City of Scranton


The City of Scranton has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in to promote health, safety, and welfare within the City of Scranton and its watershed by minimizing the harms and maximizing the benefits associated with stormwater. The City of Scranton is the permitting authority for all land disturbing activities and requires the land owner to maintain all on-site stormwater control facilities and all open space areas (e.g. parks or “green” areas) required by the approved stormwater control plan. The City of Scranton will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of Scranton, under the NPDES program, also has the authority to inspect properties for noncompliance and can issue a notice of violation (NOV) for any deficiency or infraction onsite. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any stormwater facilities or practices located on the property. The City of Scranton has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.

Excerpt from Article VII of Scranton Municipal Code

Operations and Maintenance

Section 405-35. Responsibilities of Developers and Landowners

A. The City of Scranton shall make the final determination on the continuing maintenance responsibilities prior to final approval of the SWM Site Plan. The City of Scranton may require a dedication of such facilities as part of the requirements for approval of the SWM Site Plan. Such a requirement is not an indication that the City of Scranton will accept the facilities. The City of Scranton reserves the right to accept the ownership and operating responsibility for any or the entire stormwater management controls.

B. Facilities, areas, or structures used as Stormwater Management BMPs shall be enumerated as permanent real estate appurtenances and recorded as deed restrictions or conservation easements that run with the land.

C. The Operation and Maintenance Plan shall be recorded as a restrictive deed covenant that runs with the land.

Section 405-36. Operation and Maintenance Agreements

The owner is responsible for Operation and Maintenance of the SWM BMPs. If the owner fails to adhere to the Operation and Maintenance Agreement, the City of Scranton may perform the services required and charge the owner appropriate fees. Non-payment of fees may result in a lien against the property.

Each stormwater management plan shall contain provisions which clearly set forth the ownership and maintenance responsibility of all permanent stormwater management, and erosion and sediment control facilities. Including:

  1. Description of Maintenance Requirements.
  2. Establishment of suitable easements for access to all facilities by Public Officials, in accordance with this Article.
  3. Municipalities are exempt from the requirement to sign and record an Operation and Maintenance Agreement.
  4. Identification of the responsible party or entity for ownership and maintenance of both temporary and permanent stormwater management, and erosion and sediment pollution control facilities. In meeting this requirement, the following options are hereby provided for upon approval by the City of Scranton.

Facilities may be incorporated within individual lots so that the respective lot owners will own and be responsible for maintenance in accordance with recorded deed restriction. A description of the facility or system and the terms of the required maintenance shall be incorporated as part of the deed to the property.

Ownership and maintenance may be the responsibility of a Property Owners Association. The stated responsibilities of the Property Owners Association in terms of owning and maintaining the stormwater management facilities shall be submitted with final plans for determination of their adequacy, and upon their approval shall be recorded with the approved subdivision plan among the deed records of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. In addition, the approved subdivision plan and any deed written from said plan for a lot or lots shown herein shall contain a condition that it shall be mandatory for the owner or owners of said lot to be members of said Property Owners Association.

For stormwater management facilities that are proposed as part of the site development plan, the applicant will be required to execute a developer agreement and a maintenance agreement with the City of Scranton for the construction and continued maintenance of the facilities prior to the signature approval on the final plan. Access for inspection by the City of Scranton of all such facilities deemed critical to the public welfare at any reasonable time shall be provided.

In the event the City of Scranton accepts dedication of the facilities constructed in accordance with this Ordinance. As a condition of City of Scranton acceptance of said facilities, the applicant shall provide fifteen (15) percent of the cost of improvements, in the form of a maintenance bond, as estimated by the applicant’s qualified professional, and approved by the City of Scranton, to cover contingency maintenance costs for eighteen (18) months from the date of stormwater management facilities acceptance of dedication. The fifteen (15) percent bond shall be based on the construction costs of the detention basin and outlet structure within the area dedicated to the City of Scranton. Also, the City of Scranton may require the developer to make a lump sum payment to defer future maintenance costs. Said payment amount shall be negotiated and deposited in a Special City Account for maintenance costs of the dedicated facility only.

Prohibitions

Section 405-39. Prohibited Discharges and Connections

A. Any drain or conveyance, whether on the surface or the subsurface, which allows any non-stormwater discharge including sewage, process wastewater, and wash water to enter the Waters of this Commonwealth is prohibited.

B. No person shall allow, or cause to allow, discharges into surface Waters of this Commonwealth which are not composed entirely of stormwater, except (1) as provided in subsection C below, and (2) discharges allowed under a state or federal permit.

C. The following discharges are authorized unless they are determined to be significant contributors to pollution to the Waters of this Commonwealth:

  • Discharges from firefighting activities
  • Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands
  • Potable water sources including water line flushing
  • Uncontaminated water from foundations or from footing drains
  • Irrigation drainage
  • Lawn watering
  • Air conditioning condensate
  • Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges
  • Springs
  • Uncontaminated groundwater
  • Water from crawl space pumps
  • Water from individual residential car washing
  • Pavement wash waters where spills or leaks of toxic or hazardous materials have not occurred (unless all spill material has been removed) and where detergents are not used
  • Routine external building wash down (which does not use detergents or other compounds)

D. In the event that the City of Scranton or DEP determines that any of the discharges identified in Subsection 701.C, significantly contribute to pollution of the Waters of this Commonwealth, the City of Scranton or DEP will notify the responsible person(s) to cease the discharge.

Section 405-39. Roof Drains

Roof drains and sump pumps shall discharge to infiltration or vegetative BMPs to the maximum extent practicable and in no case shall discharge into any sanitary or combined sanitary/storm sewer system.

Section 405-40. Alteration of SWM/BMPs

No person shall modify, remove, fill, landscape, or alter any SWM/BMPs, facilities, areas, or structures, without the prior written approval of the City of Scranton.

Enforcement & Penalities

Section 405-41. Right-of-Entry

Upon presentation of proper credentials, the City of Scranton may enter at reasonable times upon any property within the City of Scranton to inspect the condition of the stormwater structures and facilities in regard to any aspect regulated by this Ordinance.

Section 405-42. Inspection

SWM BMPs should be inspected by the landowner, or the owner’s designee (including City of Scranton for dedicated and owned facilities) according to the following list of minimum frequencies:

1. Quarterly for the first 3 years.

2. Bi-annually thereafter,

3. During or immediately after the cessation of a significant (≥2” of rainfall in a 24 hour period) storm event.

Section 405-43. Enforcement

A. It shall be unlawful for a person to undertake any Regulated Activity except as provided in an approved SWM Site Plan, unless specifically exempted in Section 302.

B. It shall be unlawful to violate Section 703 of this Ordinance or to alter or remove any control structure required by the SWM Site Plan.

C. Inspections regarding compliance with the SWM Site Plan are a responsibility of the City of Scranton. (This does not relieve the landowner of their obligation to inspect and maintain their facilities)

D. If the City of Scranton determines at any time that any permanent stormwater management facility has been eliminated, altered, or improperly maintained, the City of Scranton shall advise the responsible party of required corrective measures, and shall provide said responsible party with a specific time to implement the required corrective measures. If such action is not taken by the property owner, the City of Scranton may cause the work to be done and back-charge all costs to the property owners in accordance with this Ordinance.

Section 405-44. Suspensions and Revocation.

A. Any approval or permit issued may be suspended or revoked by the City of Scranton for:

1. Non-compliance with or failure to implement any provision of the approved SWM Site Plan or Operation and Maintenance Agreement.

2. A violation of any provision of this Ordinance or any other applicable law, Ordinance, rule or regulation relating to the Regulated Activity.

3. The creation of any condition or the commission of any act during the Regulated Activity which constitutes or creates a hazard or nuisance, pollution, or which endangers the life or property of others.

B. A suspended approval may be reinstated by the City of Scranton when:

1. The City of Scranton has inspected and approved the corrections to the violations that caused the suspension.

2. The City of Scranton is satisfied that the violation has been corrected.

C. An approval that has been revoked by the City of Scranton cannot be reinstated. The Applicant may apply for a new approval under the provisions of this Ordinance.

D. If a violation causes no immediate danger to life, public health, or property, at its sole discretion, the City of Scranton shall provide a reasonable timeframe for the owner to correct the violation. In these cases, the City of Scranton will provide the owner, or the owner’s designee, with a written notice of the violation and the time period allowed for the owner to correct the violation. If the owner does not correct the violation within the allowed time period, the City of Scranton may revoke or suspend any, or all, applicable approvals and permits pertaining to any provision of this Ordinance.

Section 405-45. Penalties

Any person who fails to comply with this Ordinance within the period stated in the notice of the designated municipal representative shall, upon conviction thereof, be guilty of a summary offense, and shall be sentenced to pay a penalty of not more than three-hundred dollars ($300.00). Each and every day of continued violation and of each specific violation shall constitute a separate violation.

A. In the event that the owner, developer, occupant, applicant, property manager or other person responsible fails to comply with the terms of this Ordinance within the time specified by the Municipal Representative, the City of Scranton may take any actions necessary to remove the public nuisance. The costs of removal of the violation shall be in addition to any penalties for violations for failure to comply.

B. In addition to the fines for violations, costs, and penalties provided for by this Article, the City of Scranton may institute proceedings in Courts of Equity to require owner and/or occupants of real estate to comply with the provision of this Ordinance.

C. The cost of removal, fine, and penalties hereinabove mentioned may be entered by the City of Scranton as a lien against such property, or properties of individual members of a Property Owners Association, in accordance with existing provisions of law.

Section 405-46. Appeals

A. Any person aggrieved by any action of the City of Scranton or its designee, relevant to the provisions of this Ordinance, may appeal to the City Planning Commission within thirty (30) days of that action.

B. The City Planning Commission may grant an appeal to modify the requirements of one or more provisions if the application of this ordinance will exact undue hardship due to peculiar conditions pertaining to the land in question, providing such modification will not be contrary to the public interest and that the purpose and intent of the Ordinance is observed.

1. All requests to the City Planning Commission shall be in writing. The request shall state in full the grounds and facts of unreasonableness or hardship on which the request is based, the provision(s) of the Ordinance, and the minimum modification necessary.

C. Any person aggrieved by any decision of the City of Scranton, relevant to the provisions of this Ordinance, may appeal to the County Court Of Common Pleas in the county where the activity has taken place within thirty (30) days of the City of Scranton’s decision.

Link:

City of Scranton Stormwater Management Ordinance