Skip to code content (skip section selection)
A. Performance bonds. The City may decline to issue or reissue a wastewater discharge permit to any user who has failed to comply with any provision of this Part, a previous wastewater discharge permit, or order issued hereunder, or any other pretreatment standard or requirement, unless such user first files a satisfactory bond, payable to the City, in a sum not to exceed a value determined by the City to be necessary to achieve consistent compliance.
B. Liability insurance. The City may decline to issue or reissue a wastewater discharge permit to any user who has failed to comply with any provision of this Part, a previous wastewater discharge permit, or order issued hereunder, or any other pretreatment standard or requirement, unless the user first submits proof that it has obtained financial assurances sufficient to restore or repair damage to the POTW caused by its discharge.
C. Public nuisances. A violation of any provision of this Part, a wastewater discharge permit, or order issued hereunder, or any other pretreatment standard or requirement is hereby declared a public nuisance and shall be corrected or abated as directed by the City. Any person(s) creating a public nuisance shall be subject to the provisions of the City removing, abating, or remedying said nuisance.
D. Falsifying information. Any person who knowingly makes any false statements, representation or certification in any application, record, report, plan or other document filed or required to be maintained pursuant to this Part, or wastewater discharge permit, or who falsifies, tampers with, or knowingly renders inaccurate any monitoring device or method required under this Part, is subject to prosecution in accordance with the provisions of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code pertaining to perjury and falsification in official matters pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4901 et seq.
E. Contractor listing. Users which have not achieved compliance with applicable pretreatment standards and requirements are not eligible to receive a contractual award for the sale of goods or services to the City. Existing contracts for the sale of goods or services to the City held by a user found to be in significant noncompliance with pretreatment standards or requirements may be terminated at the discretion of the City.
F. Assessment of civil penalties.
(1) Pursuant to provision of the Pennsylvania Penalty Bill (Act 9 of 1992), 6 providing for enhanced penalty authority for publicly owned treatment works' which are authorized to enforce industrial pretreatment standards for industrial waste discharges, and in addition to proceeding under any other remedy available at law or equity for violation of pretreatment standards and/or requirements, the City, as the operator of a publicly owned treatment works, may assess a civil penalty upon an industrial user for violation of any of the terms and provisions of this Part. The penalty may be assessed whether or not the violation was willful or negligent. The civil penalty shall not exceed $25,000 per day for each violation, regardless of jurisdictional boundaries. Each violation for each separate day shall constitute a separate and distinct offense under this section.
(2) As part of any notice of assessment of civil penalties issued by the City to an industrial user, there shall also be included a description of the applicable appeals process to be followed, including the name, address and telephone number of the person responsible for accepting such appeal, on behalf of the City.
(3) For purposes of this section, a single operational upset which leads to simultaneous violations of more than one pretreatment standard or requirement shall be treated as a single violation as required by Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The City may, however, recover its costs for reestablishing the operation of the treatment works in addition to any civil penalty imposed under this section.
(4) The City shall publicly adopt a formal, written civil penalty assessment policy (in its environment response plan) and make it publicly available. Each industrial discharger participating in the pretreatment program shall be given written notice of the policy. The penalty assessment policy shall consider:
(a) Damage to air, water, land or other natural resources of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and their uses.
(b) Costs of restoration and abatement.
(c) Savings resulting to the person in consequence of the violation;
(d) History of past violations.
(e) Deterrence of future violations.
(f) Other relevant factors.
(5) Uses of penalties. All civil penalties collected pursuant to this section shall be placed by the City in a restricted account and shall only be used by the City and the publicly owned treatment works for the following uses:
(a) The repair of damage and any additional maintenance needed or any additional costs imposed as a result of the violation for which the penalty was imposed.
(b) Pay any penalty imposed on the City or the publicly owned treatment works by the federal or state government for violation of pretreatment standards.
(c) For the costs incurred by the City or publicly owned treatment works to investigate and take the enforcement action that resulted in a penalty being imposed.
(d) For the monitoring of discharges in the pretreatment program and for capital improvements to the treatment works, including sewage collection lines, which may be required by the pretreatment program.
(e) Any remaining funds may be used for capital improvements to the treatment works, including collection lines.
(6) Injunctive relief.
(a) The City shall have the power to obtain injunctive relief to enforce compliance with or restrain any violation of any pretreatment requirement or standard pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of Pennsylvania Penalty Bill (Act 9 of 1992), 40 CFR 403.8(f)(1)(vi)(A) and any other applicable statute and/ or common law. Injunctive relief shall be available upon the showing of one or more of the following:
 A discharge from an industrial user presents an imminent danger or substantial harm to the POTW or the public.
 A discharge from an industrial user presents an imminent or substantial endangerment to the environment.
 A discharge from an industrial user causes the POTW to violate any condition of its discharge permit.
 The industrial user has shown a lack of ability or intention to comply with a pretreatment standard.
(b) Notwithstanding the preceding subsection, an injunction affecting an industrial operation not directly related to the condition or violation in question, may be issued if the Court determines that other enforcement procedures would not be adequate to affect prompt correction of the condition or violation. In addition to an injunction, the Court in any such proceedings may levy civil penalties in accordance with Act 9 of 1992 and this Part.
(7) Appeal. An industrial user assessed with a civil penalty under the terms of this section shall have 30 days to pay the proposed penalty in full, or, if the industrial user wishes to contest either the amount of the penalty or the fact of the violation, the industrial user must file an appeal of the action within 30 days pursuant to 2 Pa.C.S. §§101 et seq. (relating to administrative law and procedure). Failure to appeal within this period shall result in a waiver of all legal rights to contest the violation or the amount of the penalty.
(8) The penalty authorized in this section is intended to be concurrent and cumulative, and the provisions of this section shall not abridge or alter any right of action or remedy, now or hereafter existing in equity, or under the common law or statutory law, criminal or civil, available to a person, the City, authority, or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(9) Such penalty assessments may be added to the user's next scheduled sewer service or sewer surcharge bill.
G. Administrative hearings/appeals.
(1) Right to appeal. Any person or user aggrieved by any order, assessment of penalty, issuance of permit or denial of permit may appeal said order, assessment, issuance of permit or denial of permit after service of the same by the City.
(2) Right to hearing. Any order, assessment of penalty, issuance of permit or denial of permit shall inform the user that a written request for an appeal on the alleged violations, order, issuance of permit or denial of permit, and/or penalty must be filed within 30 days after service of the notice to preserve the user's right to hearing. The notice will be deemed properly served upon the user if a copy is served upon him or her personally, or sent by registered or certified mail to his or her last known address, or if he or she is served with notice by an other method of service now or hereafter authorized in civil actions under the laws of the state. In an emergency situation, if written request for an appeal/hearing is not made by the user within 30 days of the service of notice, the user will be foreclosed from hearing regarding any penalty assessed. In a nonemergency situation, if written request for a hearing is not made by the user within 30 days of the service of notice, the user will be foreclosed from hearing regarding any order, assessment of penalty, issuance of permit or denial of permit.
(3) Appeal process, hearing request and conference option.
(a) As stated immediately above, written request for appeal/hearing must be filed with the Director of Public Works within 30 days from the date that the City took the action which is the subject of the manner of the appeal to preserve the user's rights.
(b) All appeals shall contain the following information:
 The name, address and telephone number of the applicant.
 The date on which the City took the action which is the subject matter of the appeal.
 The reason(s) for such appeal, and a specification of objections setting forth the manner in which the appellant is aggrieved and the relevant issues to be resolved by the Hearing Board.
 A statement detailing the relief demanded by the appellant.
(c) A true and correct copy of the written appeal shall be served on a City Solicitor personally or by registered or certified mail within 48 hours after the appeal is filed.
(d) Conference option. At the time an appeal is requested, the user may also request a conference with the City prior to the scheduling of an administrative hearing. Said conference will include appropriate members of the City staff and its agents. Violations and penalties will be explained and discussed. Electing this option does not foreclose and/or affect the user's right to hearing, provided that the written request for hearing was filed within 30 days of service as noted above. The purpose of this option is to provide the user with an informal forum within which to discuss the alleged violations and to expedite conclusion and/ or resolution of outstanding enforcement actions. If resolution is not reached within 90 days from the date of the scheduled conference the City shall schedule the matter for formal hearing. In any event, either party may request a formal hearing at any point during the conference proceedings.
(e) Hearing protocol.
 Upon receipt of the appeal, the Hearing Board shall schedule a hearing for the appellant and give the latter written notice of the time, date and place of such hearing. A hearing will not be held if waived by the appellant or if the parties stipulate all of the essential facts or agree to submit direct or rebuttal testimony or documentary evidence in affidavit form, sworn or affirmed on personal knowledge, or by deposition.
 Written briefs of the parties or their counsel may be filed with the Hearing Board and served on the opposing party, within five days after the hearing and prior to any adjudication.
 At any hearing, parties shall have the right of presentation of evidence, cross-examination, objection, motion and argument. The Hearing Board shall not be bound by technical rules of evidence, but all relevant and material evidence of reasonable probative value shall be admissible. All witnesses shall be sworn or shall affirm.
 The Hearing Board shall not be required to maintain a verbatim transcript of the hearings.
 At the conclusion of the proceedings, and after consideration of the evidence and briefs of the parties, if any, the Hearing Board shall issue an adjudication which shall contain findings of facts and conclusions of law, and, if appropriate, an order. A written copy of such adjudication shall be mailed to each party.
 The decision and adjudication of the Hearing Board shall be final and binding upon the parties subject to any further right of appeal which may be provided by law.
 Failure to perfect an appeal in the manner and form required by this section shall be sufficient for dismissing the appeal.
 The action of the City shall be final as to any person who fails to file an appeal or to perfect an appeal pursuant to this section.
(4) Hearing Board.
(a) Industrial Hearing Board.
 An Industrial Hearing Board shall be appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of Council for resolution of differences between the City and any aggrieved party of any improved property on matters concerning interpretation and execution of the provisions of this Part by the City and to hear any appeals filed by such aggrieved parties.
 No one appointed to the Industrial Hearing Board herein, either as a representative at large, legal representative, industrial representative, or registered professional engineer, shall have any right or power to sit, vote, act or in any way participate with regard to any appeal of any industry with which it is in any way connected. Board members shall refrain from taking any such action on any such matter and shall avoid any conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety.
(b) One member of the Board shall be a member of the Department of Pubic Works; one member shall be a professional engineer skilled in practice of sanitary engineering; one member shall be a representative of industry or manufacturing enterprise; one member shall be a lawyer; and one member shall be selected at large for his interest in accomplishing the objectives of this Part.
 The initial appointments to the Board shall be for the following terms:
[a] Department of Public Works representative: five years.
[b] Registered professional engineer (sanitary/environmental/civil/ chemical engineer): four years.
[c] Industrial representative: three years.
[d] Legal representative: two years.
[e] Representative at large: one year.
 All succeeding terms shall be for a period of five years. The Mayor, with the consent of Council, shall appoint representatives to fill vacancies on the Board to complete unexpired terms. Interim appointments may be permitted to serve an additional full term on the Board.
(d) The powers of the Hearing Board shall include but not be limited to the following:
 To hear appeals from any person aggrieved by the application of this Part including, but not limited to, any order or decision made or issued by the City.
 To make rules with regard to conducting its hearings, such rules to be submitted to Council for their advice and consent.
 To make such findings of fact as may be required by the application of this Part.
 To decide questions presented.
(e) Any party aggrieved by any decision of said Hearing Board shall have the right to file an appeal under the Local Agency Law to the Court of Common Pleas of the County of Berks within 30 days of said decision; however, said appeal shall not act as a supersession of any final order.
H. Petitions for declaratory rulings. Any person affected by any statutory provision administered by the City or affected by any rule or order of the City may, in accordance with state law and this Part, petition the City for a declaratory ruling as to the applicability of such statute, rule or order. This petition shall clearly and concisely identify:
(1) The precise statute, rule or order under which a declaratory ruling is sought.
(2) How the petitioner is affected by the statute, rule or order.
(3) The petitioner's position on how the applicable statute, rule or order should be interpreted, including citations to any applicable documents or law that support the petitioner's position.
I. Costs. In addition to such administrative, civil, or criminal fines as may be imposed any user who violates any provisions of this Part or any condition of a permit, or plan approval related thereof, shall be financially responsible and liable to the City in addition to normal service charges and surcharges for industrial investigation and monitoring of compliance with this Part including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Cost of mileage, labor and materials incurred in detecting and correcting the violation.
(2) Laboratory analysis costs associated with detecting and correcting the violation.
(3) Additional treatment costs caused by the violation or association with detecting and correcting the violation.
(4) Costs of any additional equipment acquired or expended by the City for detecting or correcting the violation.
(5) Repair and/or replacement of any part of the facility damaged by the violation.
(6) Any liability, damages, fines or penalties incurred by the City as a result of the violation.
(7) Costs incurred in enforcing compliance, including prosecution and/or settlement of outstanding violations.
(8) Other costs as are associated with the prosecution, negotiation and/or settlement of a violation.
J. Denial of access. If the City or its duly authorized employees and agents, upon presenting identification and appropriate credentials, are denied access to carry out inspection, surveillance, and monitoring procedures as described in this Part, the City may immediately institute civil proceedings, including proceedings for necessary injunctive relief, or criminal proceedings.
K. Inspection of connections. If any person shall construct, install, alter or repair any sewer or connect to any sewer in violation of the requirements of this Part, the City may, in its discretion, order or direct such person to uncover and fully expose any or all portions of such sewer or connection and afford the City and its representatives adequate opportunity for examination and inspection of the work. If the connection and appurtenances thereto shall be found not to be in full accord with the requirements of this Part and the standards established and address its provisions, then the City may serve the offender with a written notice as provided in § 467-210.
6. Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 752.4.