Chapter 17.39 Storm System Discharges

City Code Chapter

(Chapter replaced by Ordinance 184898; effective October 28, 2011.)

17.39.010 Intent.

  1. The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) is authorized to facilitate the development and management of the City’s storm sewer and drainage system facilities to adequately convey, manage and protect the water quality of discharges of stormwater runoff.  This Chapter applies to the City storm sewer and drainage systems as defined in this Chapter.  This Chapter provides BES the authority to ensure these systems are operated in a manner that protects public health and the environment.

17.39.020 Definitions.

(Replaced by Ordinance 185397; Amended by Ordinances 186403, 186902 and 189506, effective June 21, 2019.)

  1. As used in Chapter 17.39:
  2. A.  “Capacity” means the flow volume or rate for which a specific facility is designed to safely contain, receive, convey, infiltrate, or reduce pollutants from sanitary sewage, stormwater, wastewater, or other discharge in order to meet a specific performance standard. 
  3. B.  “City Storm Sewer and Drainage System” means a City conveyance or system of conveyances, including but not limited to pipes, pumps, drainage ditches, constructed channels, groundwater-related disposal systems, underground injection control devices, stormwater management facilities, and storm drains, that are designed or used to collect and transport stormwater. “City Storm sewer and drainage system” does not include natural streams, creeks, ponds, lakes, a combined sewer, or part of a Publicly Owned Treatment Works, as defined in 40 CFR 122.2.
  4. C.  “Clean Water Act (CWA)” is the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended (33 U.S.C. § 1251 et seq.).
  5. D.  “Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)” means the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government.
  6. E.  “Director” means the Director of the Bureau of Environmental Services or the Director's designee.
  7. F.  “Discharge” means is any disposal, injection, dumping, spilling, pumping, emitting, emptying, leaching, leaking or placing of any material so that such material enters or is likely to enter a waterbody, groundwater or a public sewer and drainage system.
  8. G.  “Discharge Authorization (DA)” means a written approval by the Director which prescribes certain requirements or restrictions for a discharge to the City sewer and drainage system.
  9. H.  “Discharger” means any person who causes or permits a direct or indirect discharge to the City sewer and drainage system.
  10. I.  “Groundwater” means subsurface water that occurs in soils and geological formations that are fully saturated.  Groundwater fluctuates seasonally and includes perched groundwater.
  11. J.  “Groundwater Discharge” means a discharge of water pumped or directed from the ground. Groundwater discharges include but are not limited to subsurface water from site remediation and investigations, well development, Brownfield development, discharges from footing and foundation drains, and subsurface water associated with construction or property management dewatering activities.
  12. K.  “Illicit Connection” means any connection to the City’s storm sewer and drainage system not approved by the City or not in compliance with a valid City permit.
  13. L.  “Illicit Discharge” means any discharge to the storm sewer and drainage system that is not composed entirely of stormwater and is not authorized under Sections 17.39.030 or 17.39.040.
  14. M.  “Interference” means a discharge that, alone or in conjunction with other discharges, inhibits or disrupts the normal operation of the City’s storm sewer and drainage system or contributes to a violation of any requirement of the City’s NPDES Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Discharge Permit.  This includes any increase in the magnitude or duration of a violation, any increase in cost due to damage to the system, and any requirement for specialized treatment of stormwater caused by such a discharge.
  15. N.  “National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)” means the Clean Water Act (40 CFR Part 122) regulations that require dischargers to control and reduce pollutants in discharges to waters of the United States.
  16. O.  “Pollutant” means an elemental or physical material that can be mobilized or dissolved by water or air and that could create a negative impact to human health, safety, or the environment.
  17. P.  “Process Wastewater” means any water used during manufacturing or processing that comes into direct contact with or results from the production, or handling of a raw material, intermediate product, or finished product, including any by-product or waste product. 
  18. Q.  “Representative Sample” means a sample that is collected by grab, composite or other technique that adequately reflects the quality of sediments or discharge for a specific area or entire site. Sampling shall be conducted in accordance with 40 CFR Part 136 or a method approved by EPA or BES.
  19. R.  “Sampling Manhole” means a monitoring access point, such as a manhole in a sewer lateral, that is acceptable to BES and that allows for observation, sampling, or measurement of all discharges to the City’s sewer or drainage system.
  20. S.  “Stormwater” means water that originates as precipitation on a particular site, basin, or watershed.
  21. T.  “Toxic Substance” means any chemical listed in Oregon’s water quality standards for toxic pollutant tables in OAR, Division 340-041-033; the CWA effluent guidelines list of toxic pollutants at CFR 401.15; or the toxic chemical release reporting specific toxic chemical listings at 40 CFR 372.65 at concentrations specified in those lists or, if no concentration is specified, at concentrations determined pursuant to BES Storm and Drainage Discharge Rules.
  22. U.  “Underground Injection Control (UIC) System” means any system or structure that is intended to discharge fluids below the ground surface.  Examples of UICs include, but are not limited to sumps, drywells, trench drains, and infiltration galleries.
  23. V.  “UIC Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) Permit” means the Safe Drinking Water Act (40 CFR Part 144) and Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR 340-44) regulating the construction and operation of Class V UICs for stormwater discharges.

17.39.030 Allowable Discharges.

(Amended by Ordinance 186902, effective December 26, 2014.)

  1. The following discharges are allowed to enter the City storm sewer and drainage system without notice to or authorization from the City unless required under administrative rules:
  2. A.  Stormwater that does not contain toxic substances and is not otherwise prohibited.
  3. B.  Non-stormwater discharges authorized by the City’s Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) Class V Underground Injection Control (UIC) or NPDES Municipal Storm Sewer System (MS4) Discharge permit, except for those discharges subject to the use of BMPs by administrative rule.

17.39.040 Prohibited Discharges.

(Amended by Ordinance 186403, effective February 1, 2014.) 

  1. The following discharges to the City’s storm sewer and drainage system are prohibited:
  2. A.  Any discharge in violation of the conditions of the discharger’s NPDES or other permit or authorization.
  3. B.  Any discharge that is intentionally routed to City UIC systems.
  4. C.  Any discharge with any of the following characteristics or materials:
    1. 1.  A pH outside the range of applicable water quality standards in OAR Division 340-041;
    2. 2.  A visible sheen;
    3. 3.  A visible discoloration including, but not limited to, those attributable to dyes and inks, except for non-toxic dyes used or approved by the City to investigate the potential source of an illicit connection;
    4. 4.  Heat that could damage or interfere with any element of the City’s storm sewer and drainage system or that causes or contributes to a violation of the receiving-water temperature standards;
    5. 5.  Toxic substances at concentrations that cause or contribute to violations of in-stream water quality standards set by DEQ or that exceed remedial action goals defined in a DEQ or EPA Record of Decision for the protection of surface water or sediment;
    6. 6.  Refuse, rubbish, garbage, discarded or abandoned objects, articles, or accumulations of discharges that contain visible floating solids;
    7. 7.  A process wastewater, unless authorized to discharge under a DEQ permit;
    8. 8.  A volume that causes or contributes to an exceedance of the planned capacity of the storm sewer and drainage system, as established by the Director;
    9. 9.  Liquids, solids, or gases which, either alone or by interaction, could cause a fire or an explosion including:  waste streams with a closed-cup flashpoint of less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Celsius (using test methods described by 40 CFR 261.21); or discharges which cause the atmosphere in any portion of the City’s storm sewer and drainage system to reach a concentration of 10 percent or more of the Lower Explosive Limit per National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health standards;
    10. 10.  A substance that causes or may cause a nuisance, hazard, interference, obstruction or damage to the City’s storm sewer and drainage system, City personnel, the general public, receiving waters, or associated sediments; or
    11. 11.  Any substance that causes or contributes to a violation of the terms of the City’s NPDES MS4 Discharge Permit or Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF) for Class V UIC Permit or in-stream water quality standards set by the State of Oregon.
  5. D.  Existing Discharges.  Dischargers found to violate Section 17.39.040 may be required to obtain a BES discharge permit or authorization or the discharge may be terminated regardless of past acceptance by the City.

17.39.050 Notification and Control of Illicit Connections and Discharges.

(Amended by Ordinances 186403 and 186902, effective December 26, 2014.)

  1. A.  Notification by telephone must be provided to BES and other authorities as applicable for the following conditions:
    1. 1.  Illicit Connections.  Notice must be provided within twenty-four hours after discovery of an illicit connection to the City’s storm sewer and drainage system. 
    2. 2.  Illicit Discharges.  Notice must be provided immediately after discovery of the illicit discharge. Written reports must also be submitted to BES within five days of discovery of an illicit discharge or as otherwise specified by a BES discharge permit or authorization.
  2. B.  Control and Abatement.  Dischargers shall immediately take all reasonable steps to minimize the effects of an illicit discharge to the City storm sewer and drainage system or any waters of the state. These actions may include cleaning the impacted public and private system components under City direction or performing additional monitoring to determine the nature and extent of the discharge. 
  3. C.  Protection of City Systems.  Dischargers must eliminate or control direct or indirect spills or discharges into the City’s storm sewer and drainage system.  The Director may require dischargers to make structural or operational modifications to their facilities, equipment, or drainage systems or to take other measures to  protect the City’s storm sewer and drainage system.  Such structures and site modifications must be reviewed and approved by the Director to determine sufficiency.  A permit or permit review may be required.

17.39.060 Discharge Permits and Other Authorizations.

(Amended by Ordinances 186403 and 189506, effective June 21, 2019.)

  1. A.  BES discharge permit or authorization may be required for discharges not subject to NPDES or UIC WPCF permit requirements for discharges that would:
    1. 1.  Interfere with or harm the City storm sewer and drainage system;
    2. 2.  Contribute to a violation of the City's NPDES stormwater discharge permit;
    3. 3.  Contribute to a violation of the City’s UIC WPCF stormwater permit;
    4. 4.  Degrade the receiving surface water or groundwater; or
    5. 5.  Have a negative effect on human health, safety or the environment.
  2. B.  A BES discharge permit or authorization request must be submitted and approved before non-routine or one-time discharges of materials except for those discharges that are allowed under Section 17.39.030.
  3. C.  A discharge request must be submitted and BES must approve or deny the permit before continuous or routine discharge occurs of materials other than stormwater that are not allowed under Section 17.39.030.  A discharger must apply for a BES discharge permit or authorization when required by BES either at the time of development application or at the time of discovery of a discharge meeting the criteria of Subsection 17.39.060 A.
  4. D.  The discharger must allow site inspections by BES to verify site conditions or submit additional information, reports and plans as part of the DA or BES discharge permit request, such as:
    1. 1.  A Stormwater Pollution Control Plan (SWPCP), which describes measures to eliminate, reduce and control the level of pollutants in discharges;
    2. 2.  An Accidental Spill Prevention Plan (ASPP), which documents facility or discharger-specific spill response procedures and describes measures to prevent the release of prohibited or deleterious materials to the City storm sewer and drainage system;
    3. 3.  A Best Management Practices (BMP) Plan which describes actions to reduce or eliminates pollutants and hydrologic impacts associated with a discharge; or
    4. 4.  Monitoring data to characterize the types and loads of pollutants in the discharges.
  5. E.  The Director shall provide the discharger written notice of approval or denial of the request to discharge and information on how to request further administrative review of the decision.
  6. F.  Any new or potential discharger identified through the City’s development review process shall undergo a source control review.  Such review shall identify any site controls, City permit, or DA submittals needed to approve and accept any new discharge.

17.39.070 Inspections.

(Amended by Ordinance 186192, effective September 6, 2013.)

  1. A. Right of Entry.  To the full extent permitted by the law, BES may enter all private and public premises at any time for the purpose of inspecting for potential violations, connections or for any other lawful purpose required by or authorized under this Code or ordinances of the City, the Charter, or state or federal law.  This authorization includes but is not limited to inspection, sampling, testing, photographic documentation, record examination, copying, and installation of devices.  Entry may not be conditioned upon BES representatives signing any type of confirmation, release, consent, acknowledgement or other type of agreement. 
  2. B. Entry Protocols.
    1. 1. The BES representative will present a City photo identification card at the time of entry.
    2. 2. The BES representative will comply with reasonable, routine safety and sanitary requirements of the facility or site to be inspected as provided by the facility operator at the time of entry.  The facility operator must provide the BES representative with any facility-specific safety protective equipment necessary for entry. 

17.39.080 Sampling.

(Amended by Ordinances 186403 and 186902, effective December 26, 2014.) 

  1. BES may sample or require a discharger to provide a representative sample of any discharge, or any material intended to be discharged, for the purposes of characterization or to determine compliance with Section 17.39.040, applicable permit conditions, DEQ or EPA requirements, or BES discharge permit or authorization.
  2. A.  Dischargers may submit monitoring data gathered for other purposes that also satisfies these requirements.  Dischargers shall conduct sampling and analysis in accordance with 40 CFR Part 136 or other EPA- or BES-approved methods.
  3. B.  All dischargers with continuous or routine discharges must provide a sampling manhole or other City-approved sampling location upstream of the physical connection or discharge point into the City system.  City access to the sampling location must be provided.

17.39.090 Reporting Requirements.

  1. A.  Reports.  Dischargers may be required to submit reports or other technical information needed to determine compliance with this Chapter.  Such reports may include evaluations of site conditions, visual observations of discharges, discharge sampling results, summaries of operational and maintenance activities, compliance schedules for implementing remediation activities, or other information as requested by the Director to characterize discharges and site conditions.  The City may accept reports required by NPDES or other discharge permits.  Reports shall be submitted in a timely manner as required by the Director.
  2. B.  Fraud and False Statements.  Dischargers making false statements in any submittal, report or other document required by this Chapter or associated rules shall be subject to the enforcement provisions of this Chapter and any other applicable local and state laws and regulations.

17.39.100 Records Retention.

  1. Dischargers subject to this Chapter shall maintain and preserve for no fewer than five years any records, books, documents, memoranda, reports, correspondence and document summaries relating to observation, sample collection and analysis conducted in order to comply with this Chapter or associated rules.  All records that are the subject of any enforcement or litigation activities brought by the City shall be retained and preserved by the discharger until all enforcement activities have concluded and all periods of limitation with respect to any and all appeals have expired.

17.39.110 Enforcement.

(Replaced by Ordinance 186192; Amended by Ordinance 186403, effective February 1, 2014.)

  1. A.  Violations. It is a violation for any person to fail to comply with the requirements of this Chapter or associated rules. Each day a violation occurs or continues may be considered a separate violation. BES will hold the person or persons solely responsible for complying with BES enforcement actions. Violations of this Chapter or associated rules include, but are not limited to:
    1. 1.  Discharges with any of the attributes of the prohibited discharge list of Section 17.39.040;
    2. 2.  Failure to meet any requirement or condition of a BES discharge permit or authorization, including exceedances of a discharge limit, issued under the authority of this Chapter or associated rules;
    3. 3.  Failure to comply with a BES discharge permit or authorization-related submittal schedule or a violation remediation schedule;
    4. 4.  Failure to pay review fees or assigned penalties for violations; or
    5. 5.  Failure to comply with enforcement actions as identified in the BES Enforcement Program administrative rules (PPD item ENB-4.15).
  2. B.  Enforcement Tools.  BES may use any or all of the following tools to enforce this Chapter or associated administrative rules: notice of investigation, warning notice, notice of violation, compliance order, requirement to obtain a permit, notice of termination, withholding of permits, violation abatement, legal action, criminal case referral, or referral to other regulatory agencies. BES enforcement actions are described in program-specific administrative rules and the BES Enforcement Program administrative rules (PPD item ENB-4.15).
  3. C.  Civil Penalties.  Dischargers violating this Chapter or associated rules may be assessed civil penalties of up to $10,000 per day per violation according to program-specific administrative rules and the BES Enforcement Program administrative rules (PPD item ENB-4.15). Penalties and other charges will accrue interest from the date of initial City notice assessing the penalty until the penalty is paid in full. Dischargers violating this Chapter will be solely responsible for reimbursing the City’s abatement expenses.
  4. D.  Cost Recovery.  The Director may recover all reasonable costs incurred by the City that are attributable to or associated with violations of this Chapter or associated administrative rules per PPD item ENB-4.15. Failure to pay costs related to a civil penalty or summary abatement within 30 days following a final determination is grounds for permit revocation or termination of the permittee’s discharge
  5. E.  City Summary Abatement.  To the extent permitted by law, the Director may recover from the person causing the violation all costs incurred by the City to summarily abate the following:
    1. 1.  A violation that is not remedied through required corrective actions;
    2. 2.  A situation that poses an imminent danger to human health, public safety, or the environment; or
    3. 3.  Continued noncompliance with the PCC or associated rules.
  6. F.  Nothing in this Chapter is intended to impose liability on the City for any injury or damage resulting from the failure of any person to comply with the provisions of this Chapter.

17.39.120 Administrative Reviews, Appeals, and Compliance Cases.

(Replaced by Ordinance 186192; Amended by Ordinances 186902 and 189750, effective November 29, 2019.)

  1. A.  Administrative Review and Appeal. A person may request a modification to a BES decision related to this Chapter via an administrative review with BES staff, unless administrative review is limited by administrative rule. After the requestor has exhausted all BES administrative review, the requestor may file for an appeal with the Code Hearings Officer per PCC Title 22, unless appeal is limited by administrative rule.
  2. B.  BES Code Compliance Cases. BES may file a case before the Code Hearings Officer under PCC Title 22 to compel compliance with City regulations. The person committing the violation will be offered the opportunity to present evidence in the case.

17.39.130 Conflict.

(Amended by Ordinance 186192, effective September 6, 2013.)

  1. This Chapter supersedes all other ordinances or elements thereof to the extent that they are inconsistent with or conflict with any part of this Chapter are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency or conflict.

17.39.140 Severability.

(Amended by Ordinance 186192, effective September 6, 2013.)

  1. If any provision, paragraph, word or Section of this Chapter or associated rules is invalidated by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions, paragraphs, words, and sections shall not be affected and shall continue in full force and effect.