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Chapter 21.35 Wellhead Protection

City Code Chapter

21.35.010 Wellhead Protection Authorities.

  1. A.  The Portland Water Bureau may designate wellhead protection areas in order to regulate the storage, handling, use and transportation of materials that could contaminate groundwater. The Portland Water Bureau delineates the boundaries of wellhead protection areas based on the best available information about the dynamics of the aquifers that existing and future wells tap, the time of travel of hazardous materials and other relevant factors. The Portland Water Bureau publishes a map of all designated wellhead protection areas and make the maps available to the public and to residences and businesses within the wellhead protection areas. The Portland Water Bureau may alter the boundaries of a wellhead protection area when the information that the boundaries are based on changes. Changes to a wellhead protection area are made by administrative rules per Section 21.24.080.
  2. B.  The Portland Water Bureau may designate materials as hazardous and promulgate reference manuals establishing standards for their storage, handling and transportation within wellhead protection areas. The Reference Manuals are adopted and modified as administrative rules per Section 21.24.080.
  3. C.  The Portland Water Bureau may enter into interagency agreements with Portland Fire & Rescue or other City bureaus to enforce standards, inspect premises, issue certificates of inspection or otherwise administer this Chapter.

21.35.020 Storage, Handling, Use and Transportation of Hazard Materials - Reporting.

  1. A.  The Portland Water Bureau may designate materials as hazardous and to require all persons or businesses possessing or using hazardous materials within the wellhead protection area to make regular reports to the Portland Water Bureau stating:
    1. 1.  The types and quantities of hazardous materials stored, handled, used or transported;
    2. 2.  The storage and containment provisions for hazardous materials; and;
    3. 3.  Related information, including, but not limited to, a site plan indicating the location of hazardous materials manufactured, generated, stored or used, information indicating the locations of drains, capacities of containment systems, drainage utility shutoff and topographical information.
  2. When the Portland Water Bureau establishes reporting requirements, persons or businesses must submit required information to the Portland Water Bureau in accordance with the schedule established in the Reference Manual. When another City bureau is designated to receive reports on behalf of the Portland Water Bureau, and if it is deemed practical by both City bureaus, reporting requirements and reports may be combined.
  3. B.  Failure to submit a complete report within the timeframe established in the Reference Manual constitutes a violation and is subject to enforcement per Section 21.35.050.

21.35.030 Storage, Handling, Use and Transportation of Hazardous Materials - Standards.

  1. A.  Standards for the storage, handling, use and transportation of hazardous materials are contained in the Well Field Wellhead Protection Program Reference Manual, adopted and updated as administrative rules per Section 21.24.080. The Portland Water Bureau may adopt rules to set or amend standards, including the standards found within the Reference Manual, for the storage, handling, use and transportation of hazardous materials that may be used within the wellhead protection area. The Portland Water Bureau may set standards on designation of materials as hazardous to groundwater quality; on storage, handling, use, transportation and containment of such materials both inside and outside structures, including equipment or devices for preventing and controlling spills or releases of such materials beyond containment vessels; and other matters necessary for the purpose of implementing this Chapter. Rules adopted under this Chapter are in the Reference Manual.
  2. B.  Businesses and individuals not in compliance with the standards set by this Chapter or the Reference Manual as adopted or amended must bring their operations into compliance with applicable standards in accordance with the schedule established in the Reference Manual.
  3. C.  Nothing in this Chapter exempts any person from City Code enforcement actions or the requirements of City Code Title 17.

21.35.040 Storage, Handling, Use and Transportation of Hazardous Materials - Inspections.

  1. A.  The Portland Water Bureau may conduct inspections of businesses that store, handle, use or transport hazardous materials to determine compliance with the standards of this Chapter, including, but not limited to, the types, quantities and locations of hazardous materials, primary and secondary containment facilities and the existence of spill prevention and spill control equipment or devices. For purposes of using this authority, the Portland Water Bureau must consider the necessary qualifications for inspectors and define the frequency, priority and type of inspection of businesses based on the degree of risk to water quality in the well field, history of violations, characteristics of the use and the availability of budgeted funds and staff, and other relevant factors.
  2. B.  Inspections may be initiated as the result of a complaint or referral when the Portland Water Bureau has reason to believe there is a violation, or as defined by a routine schedule for compliance. Inspections and a reinspection determine if an operation is in compliance with this Chapter.
  3. C.  Inspections may involve a review of equipment, structures and operating practices; records or plan review; interviews with operators; and photo documentation. Businesses must allow representatives of the Portland Water Bureau, upon presentation of credentials, to:
    1. 1.  Inspect at reasonable times the facilities, equipment, practices or operations regulated or required under the provisions of this Chapter.
    2. 2.  Enter the premises where hazardous materials are being managed, or where records may be kept under the provisions of this Chapter. The property owner/operator must make necessary arrangements to allow access without delay.
    3. 3.  Have access to and copy, at reasonable times, any records that must be kept under the provisions of this Chapter.
  4. D.  If a business refuses or declines to allow an inspection or reinspection under Subsection 21.35.040 C., the Portland Water Bureau may seek an administrative warrant from Multnomah County Circuit Court to conduct such inspection or reinspection.
  5. E.  After inspection and upon finding that all standards of this Chapter have been met, the Portland Water Bureau must issue a Certificate of Inspection to each business inspected under this Chapter, as provided in Section 21.35.050.
  6. F.  In the event an inspection reveals a violation of the standards of this Chapter that may not be resolved or corrected during the course of the inspection, the Portland Water Bureau must follow the procedures in Section 21.35.060, as applicable.
  7. G.  Subject to Portland City Council approval, the Portland Water Bureau may enter into contracts with private entities or intergovernmental agreements with other municipal corporations for inspections in those portions of the wellhead protection area outside the City of Portland boundaries.

21.35.050 Storage, Handling, Use and Transportation of Hazardous Materials - Certificates of Inspection.

  1. A.  A Certificate of Inspection is valid until a subsequent inspection or review, or until it is revoked.
  2. B.  The valid Certificate of Inspection must always be kept on the premises and be available for review by Portland Water Bureau personnel or other authorized City personnel.
  3. C.  A Certificate of Inspection contains the following information:
    1. 1.  The address of the occupancy or facility, including exterior space utilized for storage, handling, use or transportation of hazardous materials;
    2. 2.  The name and address of the person or business occupying the facility; and
    3. 3.  A statement that the described occupancy complies with the applicable regulations and policies.
  4. D.  The issuance of a Certificate of Inspection does not suspend the applicability of any water regulations.
  5. E.  The Certificate of Inspection is issued to the business property owner/operator for the existing use at the location specified in the Certificate. It is not transferable.
  6. F.  If interagency agreements are made to enforce standards, and if circumstances make it practical, the Certificates of Inspection issued under this Chapter may combined with any certificates of inspection or equivalent issued by the City bureau enforcing this Chapter.

21.35.060 Enforcement.

  1. A.  Violations. It is a violation to store, handle, use or transport hazardous materials in a manner contrary to the standards set by the Portland Water Bureau.
  2. B.  Warning letter.
    1. 1.  The Portland Water Bureau may issue a Warning Letter that informs an individual or business of a violation and the consequences of the violation or continued noncompliance. The letter may state the actions required to resolve the violation and may specify a reasonable time by which compliance is to be achieved.
    2. 2.  As part of a Warning Letter, depending on the number or gravity of violation(s), the Portland Water Bureau may require an individual or business to prepare and submit a compliance plan that establishes a reasonable timeframe for correcting the violation(s) or the implementation of alternative storage, handling, use, transportation or containment practices that satisfy the standards of this Chapter. A compliance plan is subject to review and approval of the Portland Water Bureau or a designated City bureau.
  3. C.  Orders to cure violations, civil liability, nuisances.
    1. 1.  When a person or business fails to come into compliance in the time specified in a warning letter, or within a timeframe established in an approved Compliance Plan, the Portland Water Bureau may issue an order to cure the violation and establish a final date for resolving the violation, after which the penalties in Subsections 21.35.060 D. and E. may be applied. Failure to comply with an order to cure is a violation of law.
    2. 2.  When the Portland Water Bureau finds that there is an imminent danger of a release of hazardous materials into the environment resulting from the violation of standards in this Chapter, the Portland Water Bureau may declare that a nuisance exists and may issue, without notice, an order to cure requiring immediate action to be taken to halt any activity causing such imminent danger, and directing the individual or business to take steps to correct any conditions contributing to the danger immediately.
    3. 3.  If the individual or business subject to an order to cure does not comply with the order, the Portland Water Bureau may:
      1. a.  Revoke a Certificate of Inspection;
      2. b.  Order the person or business to cease the storage, handling, use or transportation of hazardous materials that are the subject of the violation until the violation is corrected;
      3. c.  Issue a Civil Penalty pursuant to Subsection 21.35.060 D.; and/or,
      4. d.  Undertake to correct any conditions contributing to the imminent danger of a release of hazardous materials into the environment.  The costs of such action may be charged to the person or business subject to such order.
    4. 4.  The person or business subject to an order to cure may appeal the order under City Code Subsection 31.10.080 C. in the same manner that an order of the Fire Marshal may be appealed. The Fire Code Board of Appeals handle appeals as provided in the Fire Code, except that the Fire Code Board of Appeals may not grant variances or adjustments under City Code Section 31.10.080.
    5. 5.  When hazardous material is released as a result of a violation, or as a result of a failure to correct a violation, the person or business responsible is liable for all costs incurred by the City associated with cleaning up the release and all costs of any other City action reasonably determined to be necessary by the City to contain, control or clean up the release or to protect the well field from contamination.
  4. D.  Civil penalty.
    1. 1.  In addition to any other fee or civil liability provided by law, the Portland Water Bureau may impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $500 per day, or two times the reinspection fee that would otherwise have been collected, whichever is greater, for each day a violation continues to exist against any person or business who does not comply with the provisions of this chapter. Each failure to comply with a separate regulatory standard is a separate violation.
    2. 2.  Any civil penalty imposed is due and payable when the person or business incurring the penalty receives a notice in writing from the Portland Water Bureau or designated City bureau. The notice referred to in this Subsection must be sent by registered or certified mail and includes:
      1. a.  A reference to the particular Chapter or Code Section or Reference Manual involved;
      2. b.  A short and plain statement of the matters asserted or charged;
      3. c.  A statement of the amount of the penalty or penalties imposed; and,
      4. d.  A statement of the right of the person to request a hearing.
    3. 3.  The property owner, person or operator of a facility who is ordered to pay a civil penalty in accordance with this Chapter has the right to appeal the imposition of or amount of the penalty as provided by Portland City Code Subsection 31.10.080 C. in the same manner that an order of the Fire Marshal may be appealed. The Fire Code Board of Appeals handles any such appeals as provided in the Fire Code, except that the Fire Code Board of Appeals may not grant variances or adjustments under Portland City Code Subsection 31.01.080 C.5.
  5. E.  Legal action. The City may bring an action in a court of proper jurisdiction, including the Circuit Court of Multnomah County and the Federal District Court for the District of Oregon, to enforce any order to cure issued under this Chapter, collect any penalty assessed under this Chapter or recover any costs incurred under Subsections 21.35.060 C.3. and 5.
  6. FReinspection fees.
    1. 1.  Any person or business found in violation of law or any order under this Chapter who fails to correct such violation or comply with such order within 30 days after receiving written notice from the Portland Water Bureau to do so, is required to pay a reinspection fee equivalent to the Hazardous Materials Permits reinspection fees in the current Portland Fire Regulations Fee Schedule as adopted by Portland City Council.
    2. 2.  Reinspection fees are in addition to any fees adopted per Section 21.24.080. Any person or business charged a reinspection may appeal such charges per City Code Subsection 31.10.080 C. in the same manner that an order of the Fire Marshal may be appealed. If the Portland Water Bureau enforces this Chapter through interagency agreement with Portland Fire & Rescue or another City bureau, the fees charged by that City bureau are in lieu of the fees described in this paragraph.

21.35.080 Building and Site Permit Review and Approval.

  1. All applications for City building permit or other permit for site alterations, construction, building alterations, repairs or other work involving or affecting the storage, handling, use, transportation or containment of hazardous materials must be reviewed and approved by the Portland Water Bureau or other City bureau(s) to whom this function has been designated through interagency agreements, prior to issuance. The Portland Water Bureau may approve permits when finding that the activity proposed conforms with this Chapter and rules adopted under this Chapter. Such Plan reviews are conducted per City of Portland rules and practices for development review.