§ 52.53  ADMINISTRATIVE ENFORCEMENT REMEDIES.
   (A)   Notification of violation.  When the Director of Public Works, or an authorized representative, finds that any person has violated, or continues to violate, any provision of this chapter, or any order issued hereunder, the city may serve upon that person a written notice of violation. Within ten days of the receipt of this notice, an explanation of the violation and a plan for the satisfactory correction and prevention of reoccurrence thereof, to include specific required actions, shall be submitted by the alleged violator to the city. If the alleged violator denies that any violation occurred or contends that no corrective action is necessary, an explanation of the basis of any such denial or contention shall be submitted to the city within ten days of receipt of the notice. Submission of an explanation or plan in no way relieves the alleged violator of liability for any violations occurring before or after receipt of the notice of violation. Nothing in this section shall limit the authority of the city to take any action, including emergency action or any other enforcement action, without first issuing a notice of violation.
   (B)   Emergency cease and desist orders.
      (1)   When the Director of Public Works, or an authorized representative, finds that any person has violated, or continues to violate, any provision of this chapter, or any order issued hereunder, or that the person's past violations are likely to recur, and that the person's violation(s) have caused or contributed to an actual or threatened discharge to the MS4, waters of the state, or waters of the United States which reasonably appears to present an imminent or substantial endangerment to the health or welfare of persons or to the environment, the Director of Public Works, or an authorized representative, may issue an order to the violator directing it immediately to cease and desist all such violations and directing the violator to:
         (a)   Immediately comply with all subchapter requirements; and
         (b)   Take such appropriate preventive action as may be needed to properly address a continuing or threatened violation, including immediately halting operations and terminating the discharge.
      (2)   Any person notified of an emergency order directed to it under this section shall immediately comply and stop or eliminate its endangering discharge. In the event of a discharger's failure to immediately comply voluntarily with the emergency order, the Director of Public Works, or an authorized representative, may take such steps as deemed necessary to prevent or minimize harm to the MS4, waters of the State of Texas, or waters of the United States, or endangerment to persons or to the environment; including immediate termination of a facility's water supply, sewer connection, or other municipal utility services. The city may allow the person to recommence its discharge when it has demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Director of Public Works, or an authorized representative, that the period of endangerment has passed, unless further termination proceedings are initiated against the discharger under this chapter. A person 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 discharge and the measures taken to prevent any future occurrence, to the city within five days of receipt of the emergency order. Issuance of an emergency cease and desist order shall not be a bar against, or a prerequisite for, taking any other action against the violator.
   (C)   Stop work orders.
      (1)   Whenever the Director of Public Works, or an authorized representative, finds that any operator of a facility, to include a construction site, has violated, or continues to violate, any provision of this chapter, or any permit or order issued thereunder, the Director, or an authorized representative, may order that a stop work order be issued to the operator, posted at the facility, and distributed to all city departments and divisions whose decisions affect any activity at the site.
      (2)   Unless express written exception is at issuance, the stop work order shall prohibit any further construction activity at the entire site and shall bar any further inspection or approval by the city associated with a building permit, grading permit, subdivision plat approval, site development plan approval, or any other city approval necessary to commence or continue construction or to assume occupancy at the site.
      (3)   A person receiving an order under this section may file a written notice of appeal with the Director of Public Works, no later than the tenth day after receipt of the order. Such notice shall include an explanation as to why the person believes the enforcement action should not be taken.
      (4)   Issuance of a stop work order shall not be a bar against, or a prerequisite for, taking any other action against the violator.
   (D)   Nuisance abatement.
      (1)   Unless specifically stated otherwise, any nuisance as defined within this chapter is hereby declared a nuisance if it exists within the corporate limits of the city or within 5,000 feet of such limits. The Director of Public Works, or an authorized representative, may give notice to cease, abate, remove or otherwise remedy a nuisance immediately to:
         (a)   The owner of property upon which a nuisance is located or from which a nuisance originated or is emanating. If the person creating, allowing, or maintaining the nuisance is not the owner of the property, notice shall also be given to such person.
         (b)   Any person creating, allowing, or maintaining a nuisance.
      (2)   The notice must be given:
         (a)   Personally to the owner/person in writing; or
         (b)   By letter addressed to the owner/person at the owner's/person's post office address and sent certified mail, return receipt requested. However, if personal or certified mail service cannot be obtained or the owner's/person's post office address is unknown, notice may be given:
            1.   By publication in the official newspaper of the city at least twice within ten consecutive days;
            2.   By posting the notice on or near the front door of each building on the property to which the nuisance relates; or
            3.   By posting the notice on a placard attached to a stake driven into the ground on the property to which the nuisance relates, if the property contains no buildings.
      (3)   The notice may order the owner/person to undertake and implement any appropriate action:
         (a)   To remediate and/or abate any adverse effects of the nuisance upon the MS4, the waters of the state, the waters of the United States, or any other aspect of the environment; and/or
         (b)   To restore any part of the MS4, the waters of the state, the waters of the United States, or any other aspect of the environment that has been harmed.
      (4)   Such remedial, abatement, and restoration action may include, but not be limited to:
         (a)   Monitoring, assessment, and evaluation of the adverse effects and determination of the appropriate remedial, abatement, and/or restoration action;
         (b)   Confinement, removal, cleanup, treatment, and disposal of any discharged or released pollution or contamination;
         (c)   Prevention, minimization, and/or mitigation of any damage to the public health, welfare, or the environment that may result from the nuisance; and
         (d)   Restoration or replacement of city property or natural resources damaged by the nuisance.
   (E)   The notice may direct that the remediation, abatement, and/or restoration be accomplished on a specified compliance schedule and/or be completed within a specified period of time. An order issued under this section does not relieve the violator of liability for any violation, including any continuing violation.
   (F)   If the owner/person does not comply with the notice within ten days of service, the Director may enter any public or private property containing the nuisance and do any work necessary to abate the nuisance, except the demolition of buildings.
   (G)   If the immediate abatement of the nuisance is deemed necessary by a Director to protect the environment or the public health, safety, or welfare from an imminent and substantial endangerment, such Director may, without complying with the notice provisions of this section or without waiting the ten-day period, enter the subject property and do or cause to be done any work necessary to abate the nuisance and remediate and restore the environment.
   (H)   After abating the nuisance, the Director may inform the owner/person in a notice sent certified mail, return receipt requested, that if the owner/person commits another violation of the same kind or nature that poses a danger to the environment or to the public health and safety on or before the first anniversary date of the original notice, the city may without further notice correct the violation at the owner's expense and assess the expense against the owner's property.
   (I)   All costs incurred by the city to abate a nuisance and remediate and restore the environment, including the cost of giving notice as required, shall be initially paid by the city and charged to the owner of the property.
   (J)   To obtain a lien against the property, the Director causing the abatement shall file a statement of expenses with the County Clerk for the county in which the property is located. The lien statement shall state the name of the owner, if known, and the legal description of the property. The lien shall be security for the costs incurred and interest accruing at the rate of 10% on the amount due from the date of payment by the city.
   (K)   The lien is inferior only to:
      (1)   Tax liens; and
      (2)   Liens for street improvements.
   (L)   A lien may not be filed against real estate protected by the homestead provisions of the Texas Constitution.
(Ord. 1680, passed 3-10-08)