In administering the city pretreatment program, the Public Works Director is obliged to follow the City pretreatment program’s approved procedures. In response to noncompliance with any requirement of this chapter, the Public Works Director shall apply its enforcement response plan, which is a part of these approved procedures. This plan provides that the application of remedies provided for in this section, PMC 13.90.530 and 13.90.540 is appropriate to the violation and consistent with the treatment of other users. Any person may review or obtain a copy (for a nominal charge) of the enforcement response plan by contacting the Public Works Director or the City.
(1) Notification of Violation. The Public Works Director may serve a written notice of violation on any user that the Public Works Director finds has violated any provision of this chapter, including terms or requirements of a permit, order, or a pretreatment standard or requirement. In all cases in this chapter, a continuation of a violation of a provision of this chapter is a “violation.” Users shall, in response to a notice of violation, provide the Public Works Director a written explanation of the violation, its cause, and a corrective action plan within 30 days of receiving this notice. Users submitting plans to correct noncompliance must include the specific actions they will take to correct ongoing and prevent future violations at the soonest practicable date. The Public Works Director’s acceptance of a plan does not relieve a user of liability for any violations. The Public Works Director may also take any action, including emergency actions or any other enforcement action, without first issuing a notice of violation.
(2) Voluntary Compliance Agreement. The Public Works Director may enter into a voluntary compliance agreement to memorialize agreements with users violating any requirements of this chapter. Such agreements must include the specific action(s) required and the date(s) they are to be completed to correct the noncompliance. Such agreements shall be judicially enforceable manner, and have the same force and effect as administrative orders issued pursuant to subsections (4) and (5) of this section.
(3) Show Cause Hearing. The Public Works Director may propose actions in response to a violation of any provision of this chapter, including a provision of a permit, order, or a pretreatment standard or requirement. The Public Works Director may order a user in violation to appear at a date, time, and location set by the Public Works Director to show why the proposed enforcement action should not be taken. The Public Works Director will notify the user of the violation, the proposed action, the rationale, and the users rights and obligations to provide evidence why the proposed enforcement action should not be taken, and to provide its support for any alternative it proposes at this meeting. This notification shall be served personally or by registered or certified mail (return receipt requested), or by electronic mail (confirmed by delivery receipt) at least 10 days prior to the hearing. Such notice may be served on any authorized representative of the user as defined in PMC 13.90.040. A show cause hearing shall not be a bar against, or prerequisite for, taking any other action against the user.
(4) Compliance Orders. The Public Works Director may issue a compliance order to any user which has violated any provision of this chapter, including a requirement of a permit, order, or a pretreatment standard or requirement. The compliance order may direct that the user come into compliance within a specified time, install and properly operate adequate treatment facilities or devices, or take such measures as the Public Works Director finds are reasonably necessary. These measures may include additional self monitoring and management practices designed to minimize the amount of pollutants discharged to the sewer. A compliance order may not extend the deadline for compliance established for a pretreatment standard or requirement, or relieve a user of liability for any violation, including a continuing violation. If the user does not come into compliance within the time provided, sewer service may be discontinued. Issuance of a compliance order shall not be a bar against, or a prerequisite for, taking any other action against the user.
(5) Cease and Desist Orders. When the Public Works Director finds that a user has violated, or continues to violate, any provision of this chapter, a wastewater discharge permit or order issued hereunder, or any other pretreatment standard or requirement, or that the user’s past violations are likely to recur, the Public Works Director may issue an order to the user directing it to cease and desist all such violations and directing the user to:
(a) Immediately comply with all requirements; and
(b) Take such appropriate remedial or preventive action as may be needed to properly address a continuing or threatened violation, including halting operations and/or terminating the discharge. Issuance of a cease and desist order shall not be a bar against, or a prerequisite for, taking any other action against the user.
(6) Administrative Fines.
(a) When the Public Works Director finds that a user has violated, or continues to violate, any provision of this chapter, a wastewater discharge permit or order issued hereunder, or any other pretreatment standard or requirement, the City may fine such user in an amount not less than $500.00, nor more than $10,000. Such fines shall be assessed on a per-violation, per-day basis. In the case of monthly or other long-term average discharge limits, fines shall be assessed for each day during the period of violation.
(b) The City may add the costs of any emergency response, additional monitoring, investigation, and administrative costs related to the noncompliance and the Public Works Director’s response to the situation to the amount of the fine.
(c) The City will consider the economic benefit enjoyed by a user as a result of the noncompliance in cases where there appears to have been a monetary benefit from not complying. In such cases, the City shall provide that fines, to the maximum amounts allowable, exceed the benefit to the user from the noncompliance.
(d) Unpaid charges, fines, and penalties shall, at 30 calendar days past the due date, be assessed an additional penalty of five percent of the unpaid balance, and interest shall accrue thereafter at a rate of one percent per month. After 30 days the City shall be authorized to file a lien against the user’s property for unpaid charges, fines, and penalties.
(e) Users desiring to dispute such fines must file a written request with the Public Works Director to reconsider the fine along with full payment of the fine amount within 15 days of being notified of the fine. Where a request has merit, the Public Works Director may convene a hearing on the matter. In the event the user’s appeal is successful, the City shall rebate the difference between the initial and final penalty amounts to the user.
(f) Issuance of an administrative fine shall not be a bar against, or a prerequisite for, taking any other action against the user.
(7) Emergency Suspensions. The Public Works Director may immediately suspend a user’s discharge (or threatened discharge) when it reasonably appears to present a substantial danger to the health or welfare of persons and/or damage to the POTW. In such cases, the Public Works Director will first provide reasonable notice to the user. The Public Works Director may also immediately suspend a user’s discharge, after notice and opportunity to respond, that threatens to interfere with the operation of the POTW, or which presents or may present a danger to the environment.
(a) Any user notified of a suspension of its discharge shall immediately stop or eliminate its discharge. If a user fails to immediately comply voluntarily with the suspension order, the Public Works Director may take such steps as deemed necessary to protect the public and its interest in the sewer system. Remedies available to the Public Works Director include immediately severing the sewer connection, at the user’s expense, turning off pump stations downstream of the user, and utilizing the assistance of law enforcement. The Public Works Director may not allow the user to recommence its discharge until the user has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Public Works Director that the situation warranting the suspension has been properly addressed and any proposed termination proceeding has been resolved.
(b) A user that is responsible, in whole or in part, for any discharge presenting imminent endangerment shall submit a detailed written statement, describing the causes of the harmful contribution and the measures taken to prevent any future occurrence. Users shall submit this report to the Public Works Director prior to the date of any show cause or termination hearing under subsections (3) and (8) of this section.
Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as requiring a hearing prior to any emergency suspension under this section.
(8) Termination of Discharge (Nonemergency). Any user who violates the following conditions is subject to having the privilege of discharging to the POTW withdrawn:
(a) Discharge of nondomestic wastewater without a permit, including:
(i) Where the appropriate permit has not been requested;
(ii) Where the appropriate permit has not yet been issued; or
(iii) Where the permit has been denied or revoked based on the provisions of PMC 13.90.320.
(b) Violation of permit terms and conditions, including:
(i) Exceeding any permit limit;
(ii) Failing to meet other pretreatment standards or requirements;
(iii) Violating any prohibition; or
(iv) Failing to properly monitor and report discharges or changed conditions.
(c) Refusal of reasonable access to the user’s premises for the purpose of inspection, monitoring, or sampling (whether subject to a permit or not); or
When the Public Works Director determines this remedy is necessary and appropriate to fulfill the intentions of this chapter, such user will be notified of the proposed termination of its discharge and given notice to show cause under subsection (3) of this section why the proposed action should not be taken. Exercise of this option by the Public Works Director shall not be a bar to, or a prerequisite for, taking any other action against the user. [Ord. 4169 § 1, 2014; Code 1970 § 13.62.100.]