The Town of Framingham has enacted stormwater bylaws in order to comply with state and federal regulation and to manage stormwater in a responsible and sustainable manner. The Town of Framingham 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 Town of Framingham will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The Town of Framingham, 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 Town of Framingham has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.
The purpose of the bylaw is to eliminate non-stormwater discharges to the Town of Framingham’s municipal separate storm sewer system. Non-stormwater discharges contain contaminants and supply additional flows to the Town’s storm drain system. Both increased and contaminated stormwater runoff are major causes of:
Regulation of illicit connections and discharges to the municipal separate storm sewer system is necessary for the protection of the Town of Framingham’s natural resources, municipal facilities, and to safeguard the public health, safety, welfare and the environment.
The objectives of the bylaw are:
This bylaw shall apply to flows entering the municipally owned storm drainage system, a watercourse, and any Wetland Resource Areas located within the boundaries of the Town of Framingham.
Illicit Discharges. No person shall dump, discharge, cause or allow to be discharged any pollutant or non-stormwater discharge into the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4), into a watercourse, or into the Wetland Resource Areas.
Illicit Connections: No person shall construct, use, allow, maintain or continue any illicit connection to the municipal storm drain system, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under applicable law, regulation or custom at the time of connection.
Obstruction of Municipal Storm Drain System (MS4). No person shall obstruct or interfere with the normal flow of stormwater into or out of the MS4 without prior consent from the Applicable Authority. No person shall dump or dispose of yard waste (leaves, grass clippings, etc.) into the open watercourses (swales, brooks and streams) that make up the MS4.
Other Prohibited Activities.
Discharges or flows resulting from firefighting activities or other authorized hydrant use are exempt.
The following non-stormwater discharges or flows are exempt from the prohibitions of this bylaw provided that the source is not a significant contributor of a pollutant to the municipal storm drain system:
The Applicable Authority may suspend municipal storm drain system access to any person or property without prior written notice when such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened discharge of pollutants that presents imminent risk or harm to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment. In the event any person fails to comply with an emergency suspension order, the Applicable Authority ma take all reasonable steps to prevent or minimize harm to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment.
A person commits an offense if the person reinstates water service, sanitary sewer service, and or MS4 access to premises terminated pursuant to this bylaw, without the prior written approval of the Applicable Authority.
NPDES Stormwater Permit
Any person subject to an industrial or construction activity NPDES storm water discharge permit shall comply with all provisions of such permit. Proof of compliance with said permit may be required in a form acceptable to the Applicable Authority prior to the allowing of discharges to the MS4.
Monitoring of Discharges
Upon notice of an alleged illicit discharge or connection, the Applicable Authority have the right to investigate any facility that has storm water discharges associated with industrial activity, including construction activity. The exercise of this right does not constitute a replacement or substitution for enforcement by federal or state agencies for facilities that are adequately regulated either under a NPDES permit or, if a violation is determined to have occurred, under 310 CMR 40.00, the Massachusetts Contingency Plan.
Every person owning property through which a watercourse passes, or such person’s lessee, shall keep and maintain that part of the watercourse within the property free of trash, debris, and other obstacles that would pollute, contaminate, or significantly retard the flow of water through the watercourse. In addition, the owner or lessee shall maintain existing privately owned structures within or adjacent to a watercourse so that such structures will not become a hazard to the use, function, or physical integrity of the watercourse. Failure by the property owner to maintain the watercourse does not constitute an obligation on the part of the Town to assume this responsibility.
Notwithstanding other requirements of local, state or federal law, as soon as a person responsible for a facility or operation, or responsible for emergency response for a facility or operation has information of or suspects a release of materials at that facility or operation resulting in or which may result in discharge of pollutants to the municipal drainage system or Wetland Resource Areas, the person shall take all necessary steps to ensure containment, and cleanup of the release. In the event of a release of oil or hazardous materials, the person shall immediately notify the municipal fire and police departments. In the event of a release of non-hazardous materials, the reporting person shall notify the Applicable Authority not later than the next business day. The reporting person shall provide to the Applicable Authority written confirmation of all telephone, facsimile or in-person notifications within three business days thereafter. If the discharge of prohibited materials is from a commercial or industrial facility, the facility owner or operator of the facility shall retain on-site a written record of the discharge and the actions taken to prevent its recurrence. Such records shall be retained for at least three years.
The Applicable Authority or an authorized agent of the Applicable Authority shall enforce this bylaw, regulations, orders, violation notices, and enforcement orders, and may pursue all civil and criminal remedies for such violations.
To the extent permitted by state law, or if authorized by the owner or other party in control of the property, the Applicable Authority may enter upon privately owned property for the purpose of performing their duties under these regulations and may make or cause to be made such examinations, surveys or sampling as the Applicable Authority deems reasonably necessary.
If a person violates the provisions of this bylaw, regulations, written approval, notice or order issued thereunder, the Applicable Authority may seek injunctive relief in a court of competent jurisdiction restraining the person from activities which would create further violations or compelling the person to perform abatement or remediation of the violation.
The Applicable Authority may issue a written order to enforce the provisions of this bylaw or the regulations thereunder, which may include: (a) elimination of illicit connections or discharges to the MS4; (b) performance of monitoring, analyses, and reporting; (c) that unlawful discharges, practices, or operations shall cease and desist; (d) remediation of contamination in connection therewith; and (e) implementation of source control or treatment BMPs.
If the enforcing person determines that abatement or remediation of contamination is required, the order shall set forth a deadline by which such abatement or remediation must be completed. Said order shall further advise that, should the violator or property owner fail to abate or perform remediation within the specified deadline, the Town may, at its option, undertake such work, and expenses thereof shall be charged to the violator.
Within thirty (30) days after completing all measures necessary to abet the violation or to perform remediation, the violator and the property owner will be notified of the costs incurred by the Town, including administrative costs. The violator or property owner may file a written protest objecting to the amount or basis of costs with the Applicable Authority within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notification of the costs incurred. If the amount due is not received by the expiration of the time in which to file a protest or within thirty (30) days following a decision of the Applicable Authority affirming or reducing the costs, or from a final decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, the costs shall become a special assessment against the property owner and shall constitute a lien on the owner’s property for the amount of said costs. Interest shall being to accrue on any unpaid costs at the statutory rate provided in G.L. Ch. 59, Sec. 57 after the thirty-first day at which the costs first become due.
As an alternative to criminal prosecution or civil action, the Town may elect to utilize the non-criminal disposition procedure set forth in G.L. Ch. 40, sec. 21D in which case the Applicable Authority shall be the enforcing person. For non-criminal disposition, the penalty for the first violation shall be one hundred dollars ($100), the penalty for the second violation shall be two hundred dollars ($200), and the penalty for the third and subsequent violations shall be three hundred dollars ($300). Each day or part thereof that such violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Any person who violates any provision of this bylaw, regulation, order or written approval issued thereunder, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed three hundred dollars ($300) per violation. Each day or part thereof that such violation occurs or continues shall constitute a separate offense.
The decisions or orders of the Applicable Authority shall be final. Further relief shall be to a court of competent jurisdiction.
Framingham Stormwater Management Plan