§ 50.999  PENALTY.
   (A)   Any user or contributor who is found to have failed to comply with any provision of this chapter, except §§ 50.240 through 50.243, or the orders, rules, regulations and wastewater permits issued hereunder, may be assessed a civil penalty up to $25,000 per day per violation, as stated in G.S. § 143-215.6A, 15A 02H NCAC .0918 and/or G.S. § 143-215.3(a). In no case, shall the amount be less than the amount of the penalty, if any, imposed upon the town as a result of the violation. Minimum actions to be taken in response to violations are charted below, but elevated enforcement as described in § 50.999 may occur at the discretion of the POTW Director.
      (1)   Continuing violation. Each days continuing violation of any section of this chapter, except §§ 50.240 through 50.243, shall be a separate and distinct offense.
      (2)   Violation of chapter. Any person, industry, commercial activity, institution or other type of business found violating any provision of this chapter shall become liable to the town for any expense, loss or damage incurred by the town due to the violation.
      (3)   Court of competent jurisdiction. Notwithstanding divisions (1) and (2) above, this chapter may also be enforced by appropriate equitable remedies issued from a court of competent jurisdiction.
      (4)   In determining the amount of the civil penalty, the POTW Director shall consider the following:
         (a)   The degree and extent of the harm to the natural resources, to the public health, or to public or private property resulting from the violation;
         (b)   The duration and gravity of the violation;
         (c)   The effect on ground or surface water quantity or quality or on air quality;
 
DESCRIPTION OF NONCOMPLIANCE
FIRST  OFFENSE
SECOND  OFFENSE
THIRD  OFFENSE
SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES
Title V noncompliance
-unaware of requirement
Notice of Violation
-warning
Notice of Violation
-with civil penalty
Notice of Violation
-with increased civil penalty
Notice of Violation
-with increased civil penalty and possible suspension of service
Title V noncompliance
-aware of requirement
Notice of Violation
-warning
Notice of Violation
-with civil penalty
Notice of Violation
-with increased civil penalty
Notice of Violation
-with increased civil penalty and possible suspension of service
Title V noncompliance
-results in NPDES violation of or other state-issued permit or state general statute violations
Notice of Violation
-with civil penalty
Notice of Violation
-with increased civil penalty
Notice of Violation
-with increased civil penalty and possible suspension of service
Notice of Violation
-with increased civil penalty and possible suspension of service
Title V noncompliance
-results in endangerment
Notice of Violation
-with civil penalty and possible suspension of service
Notice of Violation -with suspension of service and increased civil penalty
Notice of Violation -with suspension of service and increased civil penalty
Notice of Violation -with suspension of service and increased civil penalty
 
         (d)   The cost of rectifying the damage;
         (e)   The amount of money saved by noncompliance;
         (f)   Whether the violation was committed willfully or intentionally;
         (g)   The prior record of the violator;
         (h)   The cost of enforcement to the town.
      (5)   Penalties between $10,000 and $25,000 per day per violation may be assessed against a violator:
         (a)   For any class of violation, only if a civil penalty has been imposed against the violator within the five years preceding the violation; or
         (b)   In the case of failure to file, submit or make available, as the case may be, any documents, data or reports required by this chapter, except §§ 50.240 through 50.243, or the orders, rules, regulations and wastewater permits issued hereunder, only if the POTW Director determines that the violation was intentional and a civil penalty has been imposed against the violator within the five years preceding the violation.
      (6)   A contributor in violation will be issued a notice of violation explaining the violation and what penalty, if any, is being assessed.  The assessment will be added to the contributor's next scheduled sewer service charges, and the POTW shall have the remedies for the collection of the assessment as it has for collection of other service charges.
      (7)   Appeals of civil penalties assessed in accordance with this section shall be as provided in § 50.339.
   (B)   Remedies, in addition to those previously mentioned in this chapter, are available to the POTW Director who may use any single one or combination against a noncompliant user or contributor. Additional available remedies include, but are not limited to:
      (1)   Criminal violations. Referral to the District Attorney for the 24th Judicial District for the prosecution of noncompliant users or contributors who violate the provisions of G.S. § 143-215.6B.
         (a)   Under North Carolina law, it is a crime to negligently violate any term, condition or requirement of a pretreatment permit (called wastewater permits in this chapter), or negligently fail to apply for a pretreatment permit, issued by local governments (G.S. § 143-215.6B(f)), to knowingly and willfully violate any term, condition or requirement of a pretreatment permit, or knowingly and willfully fail to apply for a pretreatment permit issued by local governments (G.S. 143-215.6B(g)), to knowingly violate any term, condition or requirement of a pretreatment permit issued by local governments, or  knowingly fail to apply for a pretreatment permit, knowing at the time that a person is placed in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury (G.S. 143-215.6B(h)), and to falsify information required under Article 21 of Chapter 143 of the General Statutes (G.S. 143-215.6B(i));
         (b)   Violation of a prohibition or requirement of a Stage III Water Shortage shall be a misdemeanor, pursuant to G.S. § 14-4, punishable by a fine equal to the stated civil penalty, up to a maximum of $500 and imprisonment for each offense of up to 30 days;
      (2)   Injunctive relief. Whenever an industrial wastewater contributor is in violation of the provisions of this chapter, or an order or permit issued hereunder, the POTW Director may petition the Superior Court of Justice for the issuance of a restraining order or a preliminary and permanent injunction, which restrains or compels the activities in question;
      (3)   Performance bonds. The POTW Director may refuse to reissue a wastewater permit to any industrial wastewater contributor that has failed to comply with the provisions of this chapter, or any order or previous permit issued hereunder, unless the industrial wastewater contributor first files with it a satisfactory bond, payable to the POTW, in a sum not to exceed a value determined by the POTW Director to be necessary to achieve consistent compliance;
      (4)   Water supply severance.
         (a)   Whenever an industrial wastewater contributor is in violation of the provisions of this chapter, or an order or permit issued hereunder, water service to the industrial wastewater contributor may be severed and service will only recommence, at the contributor’s expense, once the contributor has paid the town all costs associated with re-establishing service as well as all customary charges for initiating service, and has also demonstrated satisfactorily the ability and willingness to comply;
         (b)   The town may disconnect a user from the town's water supply after two or more violations of §§ 50.309 and 50.310 during any 36-month period or the duration of a water shortage declaration, whichever is longer. Should service be disconnected pursuant thereto, a $100 reconnect fee shall be imposed before service is restored. If three or more violations of §§ 50.309 and/or 50.310 occur during any 36-month period or the duration of the water shortage declaration, whichever is longer, the town may also, pursuant to the discretion of the POTW Director, remove the user's water meter and in that event, all previously unpaid fees and deposits shall be forfeited. Reconnection thereafter shall only be made with the approval of the Town Manager. Before service is restored after the removal of the user's water meter, in addition to the $100 reconnect fee, the user shall also be required to pay new tap fees and system development fees and a deposit equal to twice the usual service deposit.
      (5)   Public nuisances. Any violation of the prohibitions or effluent limitations of this chapter, or contained in a wastewater permit or order issued hereunder, is hereby declared a public nuisance and shall be corrected or abated as directed by the POTW Director. Any person(s) creating a public nuisance shall be required to reimburse the town for any costs incurred in removing, abating or remedying the nuisance, including attorney's fees should a civil action be initiated to correct, discontinue or abate the nuisance. The town may recover all such costs and expenses.
   (C)   The remedies provided for in this chapter are not exclusive. The POTW Director may take any, all or any combination of these actions against a noncompliant user or contributor. Enforcement of pretreatment violations will generally be in accordance with the town’s enforcement response plan. However, the POTW Director may take other action against any user or contributor when the circumstances warrant. Further, the POTW Director is empowered to take more than one enforcement action against any noncompliant user or contributor.
(Ord. passed 6-21-2011; Ord. passed 12-13-2012; Ord. passed 6-19-2018)