A number of communities in Erie and Niagara counties have joined together to develop a stormwater management program to protect our waterways and enhance our quality of life. About 45 towns, villages, and cities participate in the stormwater coalition. Forty-two municipal entities belong to the Western New York Stormwater Coalition. The Coalition's Municipal Reference Guide lists the members and contact information for their respective Stormwater Management Programs.
The Western New York Stormwater Coalition (WNYSC) is a forum for these regulated communities to share resources and work in partnership toward compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Phase II Stormwater requirements. The overall goal of the Coalition is to utilize regional collaboration to identify existing resources and develop programs to reduce the negative impacts of stormwater pollution.
Niagara County’s plan for implementation of the USEPA minimum control measures is described in the County Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP), as required by the NYSDEC. The Model SWMP Plan written by the WNYSC has been modified to apply to the specific requirements for implementation by Niagara County. Some components that do not apply or are optional have been eliminated and other components modified as necessary to agree with the County’s Program.
Niagara County contains 10 MS4 communities in the NYSDEC Designated Areas;
Each of these municipalities is responsible for administering their own MS4 stormwater program. Niagara County does not oversee the municipalities’ individual programs but works in association with these communities where County jurisdiction applies.
The SWMP Plan is based on the most current NYSDEC SPDES General Permit (GP-0-10-002) issued under the Federal Stormwater Phase II rule (issued in 1999) which requires MS4 owners and operators, in U.S. Census-defined urbanized or other designated areas, to develop a SWMP Plan. There are six program elements designed to reduce the discharge of pollutants to the maximum extent practicable. The program elements, titled Minimum Control Measures, include:
CHAPTER 245. ZONING ARTICLE XIV. STORMWATER MANAGEMENT
B. Purpose. The purpose of this article is to establish minimum stormwater management requirements and controls to protect and safeguard the general health, safety, and welfare of the public residing within this jurisdiction and to address the findings of fact in §245-59A of this chapter. This article seeks to meet those purposes by achieving the following objectives:
(1) Meet the requirements of minimum measures 4 ands of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Municipal Separate Stormwater Sewer Systems (MS4s), Permit No. GP-02-02, or as amended or revised;
(2) Require land development activities to conform to the substantive requirements of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit for Construction Activities, Permit No. GP-0-10-001, or as amended or revised;
(3) Minimize increases in stormwater runoff from land development activities in order to reduce flooding, siltation, increases in stream temperature, and streambank erosion and maintain the integrity of stream channels;
(4) Minimize increases in pollution caused by stormwater runoff from land development activities which would otherwise degrade local water quality;
(5) Minimize the total annual volume of stormwater runoff which flows from any specific site during and following development to the maximum extent practicable; and
(6) Reduce stormwater runoff rates and volumes, soil erosion and nonpoint source pollution, wherever possible, through stormwater management practices and ensure that these management practices are properly maintained and eliminate threats to public safety.
§ 245-60. Applicability; exemptions.
A. Applicability. This article shall be applicable to all land development activities subject to review for compliance with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit for Construction Activities, Permit No. GP-0-10-001, or as amended or revised.
§ 245-62. Stormwater pollution prevention plans.
B. Contents of stormwater pollution prevention plans.
(v) Maintenance schedule to ensure continuous and effective operation of each postconstruction stormwater management practice;
(w) Maintenance easements to ensure access to all stormwater management practices at the site for the purpose of inspection and repair. Easements shall be recorded on the plan and shall remain in effect with transfer of title to the property;
(x) Inspection and maintenance agreement binding on all subsequent landowners served by the on-site stormwater management measures in accordance with § 245-64 of this article.
§ 245-64. Maintenance, inspection and repair of stormwater facilities.
A. Maintenance and inspection during construction.
(1) The applicant or developer of the land development activity or their representative shall at all times properly operate and maintain all facilities and systems of treatment and control (and related appurtenances) which are installed or used by the applicant or developer to achieve compliance with the conditions of this article. Sediment shall be removed from sediment traps or sediment ponds whenever their design capacity has been reduced by 50%.
(2) For land development activities subject to§ 245-60 of the Town Code, the applicant shall have a qualified inspector perform site inspections in accordance with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) General Permit for Construction Activities, Permit No. GP-0-10-001, or as amended or revised.
B. Maintenance easement(s). Prior to the issuance of any approval that has a stormwater management facility as one of the requirements, the applicant or developer must execute a maintenance easement agreement that shall be binding on all subsequent landowners served by the stormwater management facility. The easement shall provide for access to the facility at reasonable times for periodic inspection by the Town of Niagara to ensure that the facility is maintained in proper working condition to meet design standards and any other provisions established by this section. The easement shall be recorded by the granter in the office of the County Clerk after approval by the counsel for the Town of Niagara.
C. Maintenance after construction. The owner or operator of permanent stormwater management practices installed in accordance with this article shall ensure they are operated and maintained to achieve the goals of this article. Proper operation and maintenance also includes, as a minimum, the following:
(1) A preventive/corrective maintenance program for all critical facilities and systems of treatment and control (or related appurtenances) which are installed or used by the owner or operator to achieve the goals of this article.
(2) Written procedures for operation and maintenance and training new maintenance personnel.
(3) Discharges from the SMPs shall not exceed design criteria or cause or contribute to water quality standard violations in accordance with § 245-63 of this article.
(4) Maintenance agreements. The Town of Niagara shall approve a formal maintenance agreement for stormwater management facilities binding on all subsequent landowners and recorded in the office of the County Clerk as a deed restriction on the property prior to final plan approval. The maintenance agreement shall be consistent with the terms and conditions of Appendix C of this chapter, entitled "Sample Stormwater Control Facility Maintenance Agreement." The Town of Niagara, in lieu of a maintenance agreement, at its sole discretion, may accept dedication of any existing or future stormwater management facility, provided such facility meets all the requirements of this section and includes adequate and perpetual access and sufficient area, by easement or otherwise, for inspection and regular maintenance.
5. POST-CONSTRUCTION STORMWATER MANAGEMENT
5.1 Description of Minimum Control Measure
The Post-Construction Stormwater Management minimum control measure consists of Best Management Practices (BMP's) that focus on the prevention or minimization of water quality impacts from new development and redevelopment projects that disturb greater than or equal to one acre, including projects less than one acre that are part of a larger common plan of development or sale that discharge into the MS4. The BMP’s describe structural and/or non-structural practices; the legal authority mechanism that will be used to address post-construction runoff from new development and redevelopment projects; and procedures to ensure long term operation and maintenance of BMP’s.
5.2 General Permit Requirements
An MS4 must, at a minimum:
a. Develop, implement, and enforce a program that:
i. provides equivalent protection to the NYS SPDES General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Construction Activities (either GP-02-01, GP-0-08-001, or GP-0-10-001), unless more stringent requirements are contained in the MS4 General SPDES permit GP-0-10-002.
ii. addresses stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopment projects on or to County owned property from projects that result in a land disturbance of greater than or equal to one acre. Control of stormwater discharges from projects of less than one acre must be included in the program if:
iv. includes a combination of structural or non-structural management practices (according to standards defined in the most current version of the NYS Stormwater Management Design Manual) that will reduce the discharge of pollutants to the MEP. In the development of environmental plans such as watershed plans, open space preservation programs, local laws, and ordinances covered entities must incorporate principles of Low Impact Development (LID), Better Site Design (BSD) and other Green Infrastructure practices to the MEP. Covered entities must consider natural resource protection, impervious area reduction, maintaining natural hydrologic conditions in developments, buffers or set back distances for protection of environmentally sensitive areas such as streams, wetlands, and erodible soils in the development of environmental plans.
v. establish and maintain an inventory of post construction stormwater management practices to include at a minimum practices discharging to the small MS4 that have been installed since March 10, 2003, those practices owned by the small MS4, and those found to cause water quality standard violations.
vii. ensures adequate long-term operation and maintenance of management practices by trained staff, including assessment to ensure practices are performing properly.
viii. Covered entities may include the SWMP Plan provisions for development of a banking and credit system. MS4s must have an existing watershed plan based on which offsite alternative stormwater management in lieu of or in addition to on-site stormwater management practices are evaluated. Redevelopment projects must be evaluated for pollutant reduction greater than required treatment by the state standards. The individual project must be reviewed and approved by the Department. Use of a banking and credit system for new development is only acceptable in the impaired watersheds to achieve to no net increase requirement and watershed improvement strategy areas to achieve pollutant reductions in accordance with watershed plan load reduction goals. A banking and credit system must at minimum include:
b. Develop, implement, and provide adequate resources for a program to inspect development and re-development sites by trained staff and to enforce and penalize violators;
c. Develop, record, annually assess and modify as needed measurable goals; and
d. Select appropriate post-construction stormwater BMPs and measurable goals to ensure the reduction of all POCs in stormwater discharges to the MEP.
Coalition's Municipal Reference Guide
2010 Niagara County Stormwater Management Plan