Under regulations implemented by the Federal Clean Water Act, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) required municipalities, including the Town of Oyster Bay, to implement programs and practices that would help minimize storm water pollution.
In 2003, the Town of Oyster Bay was one of the first municipalities in New York to initiate its Storm Water Management Program (SWMP). The goal of the Town’s SWMP is to reduce the impacts of storm water runoff thereby improving water quality, enhancing the recreational enjoyment of waterways, preventing beach closures and ensuring that seafood is safe for human consumption. This SWMP is a permitted program (called a Storm Water Discharge Permit) implemented by the NYSDEC as delegated by the USEPA.
The Town’s SWMP includes the following six mandated program areas:
The Town maintains a storm water drainage system that consists of the grate or curb openings that you see along Town roads and in parking lots, which are called storm drains or catch basins. These catch basins collect the storm water runoff from the streets transmitting it through a network of pipes to numerous storm water outfalls throughout the Town. These outfalls can empty into recharge basins inland or surface waters along the Town’s north and south shorelines. Were the Town not to have this storm drain system, then streets and property could flood every time it rains or freeze during the winter storms.
The Town of Oyster Bay has set up stormwater standards in order to establish minimum stormwater requirements and controls to protect and safeguard the general health, safety and welfare of the public residing within the Town. The Town of Oyster Bay has also enacted stormwater ordinances in order to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the Town of Oyster Bay through the regulation of non-stormwater discharges to the municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) to the maximum extent practicable as required by federal and state law.
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 Oyster Bay to ensure that the facility is maintained in proper working condition to meet design standards and any other provisions established by this chapter. The easement shall be recorded by the grantor in the Office of the Nassau County Clerk after approval by the counsel for the Town of Oyster Bay.
Maintenance after construction.
The owner or operator of permanent stormwater management practices installed in accordance with this chapter shall ensure that they are maintained and operated to achieve the goals of this chapter. Proper operation and maintenance also includes, as a minimum, the following:
The Town of Oyster Bay shall approve a formal maintenance agreement for stormwater management facilities binding on all subsequent landowners and recorded in the Nassau 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 Schedule B of this chapter, entitled Sample Stormwater Control Facility Maintenance Agreement. (Note: Schedule B, Sample Stormwater Control Facility Maintenance Agreement, is included at the end of this chapter.) The Town of Oyster Bay, in lieu of a maintenance agreement, and at its sole discretion, may accept dedication of any existing or future stormwater management facility, provided such facility meets all of the requirements of this chapter and includes adequate and perpetual access and sufficient area, by easement or otherwise, for inspection and regular maintenance.
Activities that are subject to the requirements of this section are those types of activities that:
Upon notification to a person that he or she is engaged in activities that cause or contribute to violations of the municipality's MS4 SPDES permit authorization, that person shall take all reasonable actions to correct such activities such that he or she no longer causes or contributes to violations of the municipality's MS4 SPDES permit authorization.
Prohibition of illegal discharges.
No person shall discharge or cause to be discharged into the MS4 any materials other than stormwater except as provided in the below subsection (1). The commencement, conduct or continuance of any illegal discharge to the MS4 is prohibited except as described as follows:
Prohibition of illicit connections.
The construction, use, maintenance or continued existence of illicit connections to the MS4 is prohibited.
This prohibition expressly includes, without limitation, illicit connections made in the past, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under law or practices applicable or prevailing at the time of connection.
A person is considered to be in violation of this chapter if the person connects a line conveying sewage to the municipality's MS4, or allows such a connection to continue.
Best management practices.
Where the SMO has identified illicit discharges or activities contaminating stormwater, the municipality may require implementation of best management practices (BMPs) to control those illicit discharges and activities.
The owner or operator of a commercial or industrial establishment shall provide, at his/her own expense, reasonable protection from accidental discharge of prohibited materials or other wastes into the MS4 through the use of structural and nonstructural BMPs.
Any person responsible for a property or premise, which is or may be the source of an illicit discharge or an activity contaminating stormwater may be required to implement, at said person's expense, additional structural and nonstructural BMPs to reduce or eliminate the source of pollutant(s) to the MS4.
Compliance with all terms and conditions of a valid SPDES permit authorizing the discharge of stormwater associated with industrial activity, to the extent practicable, shall be deemed compliance with the provisions of this section.
The SMO may, without prior notice, suspend MS4 discharge access to a person when such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened discharge which presents or may present imminent and substantial danger to the environment, to the health or welfare of persons, or to the MS4. The SMO shall notify the person of such suspension within a reasonable time thereafter in writing of the reasons for the suspension. If the violator fails to comply with a suspension order issued in an emergency, the SMO may take such steps as deemed necessary to prevent or minimize damage to the MS4 or to minimize danger to persons.
Suspension due to the detection of illicit discharge. Any person discharging to the municipality's MS4 in violation of this chapter may have his/her MS4 access terminated if such termination would abate or reduce an illicit discharge. The SMO will notify a violator in writing of the proposed termination of its MS4 access and the reasons therefor. The violator may petition the SMO for a reconsideration and hearing. Access may be granted by the SMO if he/she finds that the illicit discharge has ceased and the discharger has taken steps to prevent its recurrence. Access may be denied if the SMO determines in writing that the illicit discharge has not ceased or is likely to recur. A person commits an offense if the person reinstates MS4 access to premises terminated pursuant to this section, without the prior approval of the SMO.
Access to facilities.
The SMO shall be permitted to enter and inspect facilities subject to regulation under this chapter as often as may be necessary to determine compliance with this chapter. If a discharger has security measures in force which require proper identification and clearance before entry into its premises, the discharger shall make the necessary arrangements to allow access to the SMO.
Facility operators shall allow the SMO ready access to all parts of the premises for the purposes of inspection, sampling, examination and copying of records as may be required to implement this chapter.
The municipality shall have the right to set up on any facility subject to this chapter such devices as are necessary in the opinion of the SMO to conduct monitoring and/or sampling of the facility's stormwater discharge.
The municipality has the right to require the facilities subject to this chapter to install monitoring equipment as is reasonably necessary to determine compliance with this chapter. The facility's sampling and monitoring equipment shall be maintained at all times in a safe and proper operating condition by the discharger at its own expense. All devices used to measure stormwater flow and quality shall be calibrated to ensure their accuracy.
Unreasonable delays in allowing the municipality access to a facility subject to this chapter is a violation of this chapter. A person who is the operator of a facility subject to this chapter commits an offense if the person denies the municipality reasonable access to the facility for the purpose of conducting any activity authorized or required by this chapter.
If the SMO has been refused access to any part of the premises from which stormwater is discharged, and he/she is able to demonstrate probable cause to believe that there may be a violation of this chapter, or that there is a need to inspect and/or sample as part of a routine inspection and sampling program designed to verify compliance with this chapter or any order issued hereunder, then the SMO may seek issuance of a search warrant from any court of competent jurisdiction.
Notwithstanding other requirements of law, as soon as any person responsible for a facility or operation, or responsible for emergency response for a facility or operation, has information of any known or suspected release of materials which are resulting or may result in illegal discharges or pollutants discharging into the MS4, said person shall take all necessary steps to ensure the discovery, containment, and cleanup of such release. In the event of such a release of hazardous materials, said person shall immediately notify emergency response agencies of the occurrence via emergency dispatch services. In the event of a release of nonhazardous materials, said person shall notify the municipality in person or by telephone or facsimile no later than the next business day. Notifications in person or by telephone shall be confirmed by written notice addressed and mailed to the municipality within three business days of the telephone notice. If the discharge of prohibited materials emanates from a commercial or industrial establishment, the owner or operator of such establishment shall also retain an on-site written record of the discharge and the actions taken to prevent its recurrence. Such records shall be retained for at least three years.
Notice of violation.
When the municipality's SMO finds that a person has violated a prohibition or failed to meet a requirement of this chapter, he/she may order compliance by written notice of violation to the responsible person. Such notice may require, without limitation:
In addition to or as an alternative to any penalty provided herein or by law, any person who violates the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $350 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both for conviction of a first offense; for conviction of a second offense, both of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $350 nor more than $700 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both; and upon conviction for a third or subsequent offense, all of which were committed within a period of five years, punishable by a fine not less than $700 nor more than $1,000 or imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months, or both. However, for the purposes of conferring jurisdiction upon courts and judicial officers generally, violations of this chapter shall be deemed misdemeanors and for such purpose only, all provisions of law relating to misdemeanors shall apply to such violations. Each week's continued violation shall constitute a separate additional violation.
If the violation has not been corrected pursuant to the requirements set forth in the notice of violation, or, within five business days of the decision of the municipal authority upholding the decision of the SMO, then the SMO shall request the owner's permission for access to the subject private property to take any and all measures reasonably necessary to abate the violation and/or restore the property.
If refused access to the subject private property, the SMO may seek a warrant in a court of competent jurisdiction to be authorized to enter upon the property to determine whether a violation has occurred. Upon determination that a violation has occurred, the SMO may seek a court order to take any and all measures reasonably necessary to abate the violation and/or restore the property. The cost of implementing and maintaining such measures shall be the sole responsibility of the discharger.
In addition to the enforcement processes and penalties provided, any condition caused or permitted to exist in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is a threat to public health, safety, and welfare, and is declared and deemed a nuisance, and may be summarily abated or restored at the violator's expense, and/or a civil action to abate, enjoin, or otherwise compel the cessation of such nuisance may be taken.
Oyster Bay Stormwater Runoff and Water Quality