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    Town of Auburn

    The Town of Auburn has enacted stormwater bylaws in order to comply with state and federal regulation and to manage stormwater in a responsible and sustainable manner. The Town of Auburn 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 Town of Auburn, 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 Town of Auburn has the authority to inspect stormwater facilities and practices in order to ascertain that they properly maintained and functioning.

    Excerpts from the Town of Auburn, MA Bylaws



    1.1         Purpose:

    Regulation of activities that result in the disturbance of land and the creation of stormwater runoff is necessary for the protection of the Town of Auburn's water bodies and groundwater resources, to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of the general public and protect the natural resources of the Town.

    1.1.1      Increased volumes of stormwater, contaminated stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces, and soil erosion and sedimentation are major causes of:

    1. Impairment of water quality and decreased flow in lakes, ponds, streams, rivers, wetlands and groundwater;

    2. Contamination of drinking water supplies;

    3. Erosion of stream channels;

    4. Alteration or destruction of aquatic and wildlife habitat;

    5. Flooding; and,

    6. Overloading or clogging of municipal catch basins and storm drainage systems.

    7. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has identified sedimentation from land disturbance activities and polluted stormwater runoff from land development and redevelopment as major sources of water pollution, impacting drinking water supplies, natural habitats, and recreational resources.

    1.1.2      The objectives of this Bylaw are to:

    1. Protect water resources;

    2. Require practices that eliminate soil erosion and sedimentation;

    3. To prohibit illicit connections and unauthorized discharges to the municipal storm drain system;

    4. To require the removal of all such illicit connections;

    5. Control  the  volume  and  rate  of  stormwater  runoff  resulting  from  land  disturbance activities in order to minimize potential impacts of flooding;

    6. Require  practices  to  manage  and  treat  stormwater  runoff  generated  from  new development and redevelopment,

    7. Protect groundwater and surface water from degradation or depletion;

    8. Promote infiltration and the recharge of groundwater;

    9. Prevent pollutants from entering the municipal storm drain system;

    10. Ensure that soil erosion and sedimentation control measures and stormwater runoff management practices are incorporated into the site planning and design process and are implemented and maintained;

    11. Ensure adequate long-term operation and maintenance of stormwater best management practices;

    12. Require practices to control waste such as but not limited to the following: discarded building materials, concrete truck washout, chemicals, litter, and sanitary waste at construction sites that may cause adverse impacts to water quality;

    13. Comply with state and federal statutes and regulations relating to stormwater discharges; and

    14. Establish the Town of Auburn’s legal authority to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Bylaw through inspection, monitoring and enforcement.

    1.2         Authority:

    This Bylaw is adopted under authority granted by the Home Rule Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution, the Home Rule statutes, and in accordance with the regulations of the federal Clean Water Act found at 40 CFR 122.34 and the Phase II ruling from the Environmental Protection Agency found in the December 8, 1999 Federal Register.

    1.3         Responsibility:

    1.3.1      The Land Use Enforcement Officer (LUEO) or other Town Designee as appointed by the Town Manager shall administer this bylaw.

    1.3.2      The Stormwater Committee and/or its LUEO or other Town Designee shall review all applications for a land disturbance permit, conduct inspections, issue a permit and conduct any necessary enforcement action.

    1.3.3      The Stormwater Committee may adopt and periodically amend Stormwater Regulations relating to receipt and content of Land Disturbance applications; review time periods, permit terms, conditions, additional definitions, enforcement, fees (including application, inspection, and/or consultant fees), procedures and administration of this Bylaw by majority vote of the Stormwater Committee, after conducting a public hearing to receive comments on any proposed revisions. Such hearing dates shall be advertised in a newspaper of general local circulation, at least seven (7) calendar days before the hearing date. After public notice and hearing, the Stormwater Committee may promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this Bylaw. Failure by the Committee to promulgate such rules and regulations shall not have the effect of suspending or invalidating this Bylaw,

    1.3.4      The Stormwater Committee will refer to the policy, criteria and information including specifications and standards of the latest edition of the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Standards or the latest edition of Town of Auburn’s Design Standards, whichever is more stringent in the protection of the town's environmental and infrastructure resources, for execution of the provisions of this Bylaw.

    1.3.5      The Applicant will publish a notice in the local newspaper that the LUEO or other Town Designee is accepting comments on the Land Disturbance Permit. The Land Disturbance Permit application shall be available for inspection by the public during normal business hours at the Town Hall for 5 business days from the notice. A public hearing is not required. The public may submit their comments within the time that the Land Disturbance Permit is available for inspection. Comments may be submitted to the LUEO or other Town Designee during business hours. .

    1.3.6      Filing an application for a land disturbance permit grants the Stormwater Committee or its agent, permission to enter the site to verify the information in the application and to inspect for compliance with permit conditions.

    1.3.7      The LUEO or other Town Designee may:

    1. Approve the Application and issue a permit if it finds that the proposed plan will protect water resources and meets the objectives and requirements of this Bylaw;

    2. Approve the Application and issue a permit with conditions, modifications, requirements for operation and maintenance requirements of permanent structural BMPs, designation of responsible party, or restrictions that the LUEO or other Town Designee determines are required to ensure that the project will protect water resources and will meet the objectives and requirements of this Bylaw; or

    3. Disapprove the application and deny a permit if it finds that the proposed plan will not protect water resources or fails to meet the objectives and requirements of this Bylaw. If the LUEO or other Town Designee finds that the applicant has submitted insufficient information to describe the site, the work, or the effect of the work on water quality and runoff volume, the LUEO or other Town Designee may disapprove the application, denying a permit.

    1.3.8      No permit shall be issued by the LUEO or other Town Designee for projects that require approval from the Conservation Commission, Zoning Board or the Planning Board until those decisions have been rendered.

    1.3.9      The LUEO or other Town Designee shall take final action on an Application within 30 days if review from Conservation Commission, Zoning Board or Planning Board is not required. Failure to take action shall be deemed to be approval of said Application. Upon certification by the Town Clerk that the allowed time has passed without the Stormwater Committee's action, the Land Disturbance Permit shall be considered presumptively approved.

    1.3.10    The LUEO or other Town Designee shall take final action on an Application within 30 days of final decision(s) from Conservation Commission, Zoning Board and/or Planning Board Failure to take action shall be deemed to be approval of said Application. Upon certification by the Town Clerk that the allowed time has passed without the LUEO or other Town Designee’s action, the Land Disturbance Permit shall be considered presumptively approved.

    1.3.11    Appeals of LUEO or other Town Designee’s action shall be filed with the Stormwater Committee within 20 days of a decision. Any decision of the Stormwater Committee shall be final. Further relief of a decision by the Stormwater Committee made under this Bylaw shall be reviewable in the Superior Court and action filed in the court within 20 days thereof. The remedies listed in this Bylaw are not exclusive of any other remedies available under any applicable federal, state or local law.

    1.4         Definitions:

    STORMWATER: Runoff from precipitation or snow melt.

    STORMWATER COMMITTEE: A Committee of the Town of Auburn consisting of the following members: Highway Surveyor, Sewer Superintendent, Director of Public Health, Zoning Enforcement Officer, Agent of the Conservation, , the Town Engineer, the Town Planner and Auburn Water District (Commissioner, Superintendent or designee). The representative of the Auburn Water District shall be “ex-officio” (non- voting).

    STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN: A document containing narrative, drawings and details prepared by a qualified professional engineer (PE) which includes structural and non-structural best management practices to  manage  and  treat stormwater runoff generated  from  regulated  development activity. A stormwater management plan also includes an Operation and Maintenance Plan describing the maintenance requirements for structural best management practices.

    STORMWATER MANAGEMENT REGULATIONS: A set of procedures and policies adopted and updated from time to time by the Stormwater Committee under the authority of this bylaw.

    SURFACE WATER DISCHARGE PERMIT. A permit issued by the Department of Environmental Protection pursuant to 314 CMR 3.00 that authorizes the discharge of pollutants to waters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    TSS: Total Suspended Solids. Material, including but not limited to trash, debris, soils, sediment and sand suspended in stormwater runoff.

    VERNAL POOLS: Confined basin depression which, at least in most years, holds water for a minimum of two continuous months during the spring and/or summer, and which is free of adult fish populations, as well as the area within 100 feet of the mean annual boundary of such a depression, which has been certified by the Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.

    WATERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH: All waters within the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth, including, without limitation, rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, springs, impoundments, estuaries, wetlands, coastal waters, and groundwater.

    1.5         Regulations:

    The Town may promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this Bylaw. Failure by the Town to promulgate such rules and regulations shall not have the effect of suspending or invalidating this Bylaw. Permit Procedures and Requirements shall be defined and included as part of any rules and regulations promulgated as permitted under Section 4 of this Bylaw.

    1.6         Fees:

    The Stormwater Committee may adopt any regulations deemed necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Bylaw, including the adoption of a system of fees for services related to the Town’s review of plans and the Town’s issuance of permits. Any changes to the Committee’s fee schedule shall require a duly noticed and advertised public hearing.


    2.1 Applicability:

    This Section shall apply to flows entering the municipal storm drainage system. 2.2 Prohibited and Exempt Activities:

    2.2.1      Prohibited Activities  Illicit Discharges. No person shall dump, discharge, cause, or allow to be discharged any pollutant or non-stormwater discharge into the municipal storm drain system, into a watercourse, or into the waters of the Commonwealth.  Illicit Connections. No person shall construct, use, allow, maintain, or continue any illicit connection to the municipal storm drain system, regardless of whether the connection was permissible under applicable law, regulation, or custom at the time of connection.  Obstruction of Municipal Storm Drain System. No person shall obstruct or interfere with the normal flow of stormwater into or out of the municipal storm drain system without prior written approval from the Land Use Enforcement Officer.

    2.2.2 Exemptions  Discharge or flow resulting from firefighting activities;  The following non-stormwater discharges or flows are exempt from this Bylaw, provided that the source is not a significant contributor of a pollutant to the municipal storm drain system:

    1. Waterline flushing;
    2. Flow from potable water sources;
    3. Springs;
    4. Natural flow from riparian habitats and wetlands;
    5. Diverted stream flow;
    6. Rising groundwater;
    7. Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration as defined in 40 CFR 35.2005(20), or uncontaminated pumped groundwater;
    8. Discharge from landscape irrigation or lawn watering;
    9. Water  from  exterior  foundation  drains,  footing  drains  (not  including  active groundwater dewatering systems), or air conditioning condensation;
    10. Water from individual residential car washing;
    11. Discharge from dechlorinated swimming pool water (less than one ppm chlorine), provided test data is submitted to the Town substantiating that the water meets the one ppm standard, and the pool is drained in such a way as not to cause a nuisance or public safety issue and complies with all applicable Town Bylaws;
    12. Discharge from street sweeping;
    13. Dye testing, provided verbal notification is given to the Highway Surveyor prior to the time of the test;
    14. Non-stormwater discharge permitted under an NPDES permit or a Surface Water Discharge Permit, waiver, or waste discharge order administered under the authority of the United States Environmental Protection Agency or  the Department of Environmental Protection, provided that the discharge is in full compliance with the requirements of the permit, waiver, or order and applicable laws and regulations; and
    15. Discharge for which advance written approval is received from the Highway Surveyor as necessary to protect public health, safety, welfare  or  the environment.  Discharge or flow that results from exigent conditions and occurs during a State of Emergency declared by any agency of the federal or state government, or by the Auburn Town Manager, Board of Selectmen or Board of Health.

    2.3         Emergency Suspension of Storm Drainage System Access:

    The Town may suspend municipal storm drain system access to any person or property without prior written notice when such suspension is necessary to stop an actual or threatened discharge of pollutants that presents imminent risk of harm to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment. In the event any person fails to comply with an emergency suspension order, the Town may take all reasonable steps to prevent or minimize harm to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment.

    2.4         Notification of Spills:

    Notwithstanding other requirements of local, state or federal law, as soon as a person responsible for a facility or operation, or responsible for emergency response for a facility or operation has information of or suspects a release of materials at that facility or operation resulting in or which may result in discharge of pollutants to the municipal drainage system or waters of the Commonwealth, the person shall take all necessary steps to ensure containment and cleanup of the release. In the event of a release of oil or hazardous materials, the person shall immediately notify the municipal fire and police departments and LUEO or other Town Designee and the Board of Health. In the event of a release of non-hazardous material, the reporting person shall notify the LUEO or other Town Designee no later than the next business day. The reporting person shall provide to the LUEO or other Town Designee written confirmation of all telephone, facsimile or in-person notifications within three business days thereafter. If the discharge of prohibited materials is from a commercial or industrial facility, the facility owner or facility operator shall also retain on-site a written record of the discharge and the actions taken to prevent its recurrence. Such records shall be retained for at least three years.


    3.1 Applicability:

    This Section shall apply to all land-disturbing activities within the jurisdiction of the Town of Auburn.

    3.2 Regulated and Exempt Activities:

    3.2.1      Regulated Activities. Regulated activities shall include, but not be limited to:  Land disturbance associated with a building permit for a new or expanded structures over 120 square feet,  Development or redevelopment involving multiple separate activities in discontinuous locations or on different schedules if the activities are part of a larger common plan of development that, all together, disturbs 10,000 square feet or more of land,  Paving or other change in surface material (including structures) over an area of 5,000 square feet or more causing a significant reduction of permeability or increase in runoff,  Construction of a new drainage system or alteration of an existing drainage system or conveyance serving a drainage area of more than 10,000 square feet,  Any other activity altering the surface of an area exceeding 10,000 square feet that will, or may, result in increased stormwater runoff flowing from the property into a public way or the municipal storm drain system, OR  Land disturbance where there is an existing or proposed slope of 15% or greater and where the land disturbance is greater than or equal to 500 square feet within the sloped area.

    3.2.2      Exempt Activities.  The following activities are exempt from the requirements of this Bylaw:  Normal maintenance and improvement of Town owned public ways and appurtenances.  Normal maintenance and improvement of land in agricultural use.  Repair of septic systems In accordance with Title V (CMR 15.00).  Normal maintenance of existing landscaping, gardens or lawn areas, provided such maintenance includes the addition, alteration or removal of less than 50 cubic yards of soil material, construction of any walls less than 4 feet high, alteration of existing grades by less than 4 feet in elevation provided such alteration remain within the 50 cubic yards threshold.  The construction of fencing that will not alter existing terrain or drainage patterns.  Construction of utilities other than drainage (gas, water, electric, telephone, etc.) that will not alter terrain or drainage patterns.

    3.3 Surety:

    The Stormwater Committee may require the permit holder to post before the start of land disturbance activity, a surety bond, irrevocable letter of credit, cash, or other acceptable security. The form of the bond shall be approved by town counsel, and be in an amount deemed sufficient by the LUEO or other Town Designee to insure that the work will be completed in accordance with the permit. If the project is phased, the LUEO or other Town Designee may release part of the bond as each phase is completed in compliance with the permit but the bond may not be fully released until the LUEO or other Town Designee has received the final report as required in the Regulations and issued a certificate of completion.


    In 1996, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (the “Department” or “MassDEP”) issued the Stormwater Policy that established Stormwater Management Standards aimed at encouraging recharge and preventing stormwater discharges from causing or contributing to the pollution of the surface waters and ground waters of the Commonwealth. In 1997, MA DEP published the Massachusetts Stormwater Handbook as guidance on the Stormwater Policy. In 2008, MA DEP revised the Stormwater Management Standards and Massachusetts Stormwater Handbook to promote increased stormwater recharge, the treatment of more runoff from polluting land uses, low impact development (LID) techniques, pollution prevention, and the removal of illicit discharges to stormwater management systems, and improved operation and maintenance of stormwater best management practices (BMPs).

    The Stormwater Management Standards address water quality (pollutants) and water quantity (flooding, base flow and recharge) by establishing standards that require the implementation of a wide variety of stormwater management strategies. These strategies include environmentally sensitive site design and LID techniques to minimize impervious surface and land disturbance, source control, and the long-term operation and maintenance of stormwater management systems.


    Massachusetts Stormwater Handbook

    Auburn Stormwater Management Page

    Auburn Stormwater Management Program (DRAFT)