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    City of Bethlehem

    The City of Bethlehem has enacted a Stormwater Ordinance in to promote the public health, safety and welfare within the City’s Watersheds by minimizing the damages and maximizing the benefits associated with stormwater. The City of Bethlehem is the permitting authority for all land disturbing activities and requires the land owner to maintain all on-site stormwater control facilities and all open space areas (e.g. parks or “green” areas) required by the approved stormwater control plan. The City of Bethlehem will only provide construction permits to projects that establish a plan to manage stormwater runoff occurring during the construction process. The City of Bethlehem, under the NPDES program, also has the authority to inspect properties for noncompliance and can issue a notice of violation (NOV) for any deficiency or infraction onsite. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any stormwater facilities or practices located on the property. The City of Bethlehem has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.

    Excerpt from City of Bethlehem Code of Ordinances



    1. DEP or its designees (e.g. County Conservation District) normally ensure compliance with any permits issued, including those for stormwater management. In addition to DEP compliance programs, the City Engineer or his designee may inspect all phases of the construction, operations, maintenance and any other implementation of stormwater BMPs. The City Engineer or his designee may also check that as-built records are being maintained onsite.
    2. During any stage of the Regulated Earth Disturbance activities, if the City Engineer or his designee determines that any BMPs are not being implemented in accordance with this Ordinance, the City Engineer may suspend or revoke any existing permits or other approvals until the deficiencies are corrected.

    (Ord. 2019-20. Passed 7/2/2019)



    1. No Regulated Earth Disturbance activities within the municipality shall commence until approval by the municipality of the BMP Operations and Maintenance Plan which describes how the permanent (e.g. post-construction) stormwater BMPs will be properly operated and maintained.

    (Ord. 2019-20. Passed 7/2/2019) 


    1. The BMP Operations and Maintenance Plan for the project site shall establish responsibilities for the continuing operation and maintenance of all permanent stormwater BMPs, as follows:
    2. If a Plan includes structures or lots which are to be separately owned and in

    which streets, sewers and other public improvements are to be dedicated to the

    City, stormwater BMPs may also be dedicated to and maintained by the City;

    1. If a Plan includes operations and maintenance by a single ownership or if sewers and other public improvements are to be privately owned and maintained, then the operation and maintenance of stormwater BMPs shall be the responsibility of the owner or private management entity.
    2. The City shall make the final determination on the continuing operations and maintenance responsibilities. The City reserves the right to accept or reject the operations and maintenance responsibility for any or all of the stormwater BMPs.

    (Ord. 2019-20. Passed 7/2/2019)


    1. The property owner shall sign an operations and maintenance agreement with the City covering all stormwater BMPs that are to be privately owned. The agreement shall include the terms of the format agreement referenced in Appendix E of this Ordinance.
    2. Other items may be included in the agreement where determined by the City to be reasonable or necessary to guarantee the satisfactory operation and maintenance of all permanent stormwater BMPs. The agreement shall be subject to the review and approval of the City.

    (Ord. 2019-20. Passed 7/2/2019)


    925.41 RIGHT OF ENTRY

    1. Upon presentation of proper credentials, duly authorized representatives of the City may enter at reasonable times upon any property within the City to inspect the implementation, condition or operation and maintenance of the stormwater BMPs or to investigate or ascertain the condition of the subject property in regard to any aspect regulated by this Ordinance.
    2. Unreasonable delays in allowing the City access to a BMP shall be considered a violation of this Section.
    3. In the event that the land owner refuses admission to the property, duly authorized representatives of the municipality may seek an administrative search warrant issued by a district justice to gain access to the property.

    (Ord. 2019-20. Passed 7/2/2019) 


    1. Whenever the City finds that a person has violated a prohibition or failed to meet a requirement of this Ordinance, the City may order compliance by written notice to the responsible person. Such notice may require without limitation:
    2. The performance of monitoring, analyses and reporting
    3. The elimination of prohibited connections or discharges
    4. Cessation of any violating discharges, practices or operations
    5. The abatement or remediation of stormwater pollution or contamination hazards and the restoration of any affected property
    6. Payment of a fine to cover administrative and remediation costs
    7. The implementation of stormwater BMPs
    8. Operation and maintenance of stormwater BMPs
    9. The name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the City intends to take action
    10. The location of the property in violation
    11. Such notification shall set forth the nature of the violation(s) and establish a time limit for correction of the violation(s). Said notice may further advise that should the violator fail to take the required action within the established deadline, the work will be done by the City or designee and the expense thereof, together with all related lien and enforcement fees, charges and expenses, shall be charged to the violator.
    12. Failure to comply within the time specified shall also subject such person to the penalty provisions of this Ordinance. All such penalties shall be deemed cumulative and shall not prevent the City from pursuing any and all other remedies available in law or equity.

    (Ord. 2019-20. Passed 7/2/2019)

    925.99 PENALTIES

    1. Any person violating the provisions of this Ordinance shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be subject to the following penalties:
    2. First violation – A fine of $200.00, or thirty days imprisonment, or both;
    3. Second violation – A fine of $500.00, or sixty days imprisonment, or both;
    4. Third and each subsequent violation – A fine of $1,000.00, or ninety days imprisonment, or both.

    Each day that the violation continues shall be a separate offense.

    1. This Article and the foregoing penalties shall not be construed to limit or deny the right of the City or any person to such equitable or other remedies as may otherwise be available with or without process of law, including payment of damages to the City by any person causing damage or injury to the City’s storm sewer system.
    2. The court of common pleas, upon petition, may grant an order of stay upon cause shown, tolling the per diem judgment pending a final adjudication of the violation and judgment.
    3. Nothing contained in this Section shall be construed or interpreted to grant to any person or entity other than the municipality the right to commence any action for enforcement pursuant to this Section.
    4. District justices shall have initial jurisdiction in proceedings brought under this Section.
    5. In addition, the municipality, through its solicitor, may institute injunctive, mandamus or any other appropriate action or proceeding at law or in equity for the enforcement of this Ordinance. Any court of competent jurisdiction shall have the right to issue restraining orders, temporary or permanent injunctions, mandamus or other appropriate forms of remedy or relief.

    (Ord. 4304. Passed 2/15/2005; Ord. 4423. Passed 4/17/2007.)

    Bethlehem Links:

    Bethlehem Code of Ordinances

    Bethlehem Stormwater Management Ordinance