Section 11-89C-9

Powers of governing bodies.

(a) A governing body shall proceed under this chapter as a participant in the public corporation or individually, to adopt upon reasonable public notice and following public hearing all necessary rules and regulations by resolution or ordinance to implement this chapter and to specifically regulate and control storm water discharges and eliminate the discharge of pollutants to its municipal separate storm sewers. Provided, however, that all discharges originating from any lands or facilities owned or operated by one or more entities under the jurisdiction and supervision of the Alabama Public Service Commission are exempted from regulation under any local storm water management program and shall be regulated exclusively by ADEM. Further, any commission non-jurisdictional electric supplier, as defined by Section 37-4-140, whose service area extends beyond the boundaries of a single municipal or county jurisdiction shall be exempted from the regulation of electrical transmission-related construction activities under any local storm water management program and shall be regulated exclusively by ADEM. The rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter shall be limited to include only those rules, regulations, or aspects that are absolutely required to satisfy the storm water laws. In establishing these rules and regulations, an individual governing body or public corporation shall, to the fullest extent allowed by applicable storm water laws, primarily rely upon ADEM for the enforcement and permitting of discharges to its municipal separate storm sewers from sites required to have an ADEM NPDES permit, rather than subjecting these sites to double enforcement or permitting. Consistent with and in furtherance of these objectives, the governing bodies may do all of the following:

(1) Control by resolution, ordinance, contract, order, or similar means the discharge of pollutants to its municipal separate storm sewers by storm water discharges associated with industrial activity and the quality of storm water discharged from sites of industrial activity.

(2) Prohibit by resolution, ordinance, order, or similar means illicit discharges to its municipal separate storm sewers.

(3) Control by resolution, ordinance, order, or similar means the discharge to its municipal separate storm sewers of spills, dumping, or disposal of materials other than storm water.

(4) Control by interagency or intercooperation agreements among the governing bodies and other entities the discharge of pollutants from one portion of its municipal storm water system to another portion.

(5) Require compliance with conditions in resolutions, ordinances, contracts, or orders.

(6) Enter upon private property under its regulatory jurisdiction upon reasonable notice to the owner and the person in possession thereof and during normal business hours and upon the presentation of appropriate credentials for the purpose of performing investigations regarding the existence and source of contamination and determining from the owner or other appropriate individual the methods which they will employ to stop, neutralize, remove, or otherwise remedy the contamination, and as needed to determine compliance or non-compliance with permit conditions, including any prohibition of illicit discharges to its municipal separate storm sewers. Any officer, employee, or other authorized agent who performs the duties authorized under this section in accordance with provisions hereof shall be immune from arrest and prosecution for trespass while performing any legal duty pursuant to this chapter by presenting identification issued from the county or municipality authorized by the governing bodies.

(b) The governing bodies may develop and adopt common and uniform or partly common and partly uniform resolutions, ordinances, contracts, orders, or similar means in their respective actions and procedures to implement this chapter.

(c) Any governing body may join with any other governing body to establish or participate in or with a public corporation, or with any other public corporation, authority, or district authorized by the Legislature to implement this chapter. In furtherance of this objective, any governing body may perform any of the functions and powers provided in Section 11-89C-4 for public corporations, and any function or eligibility requirement provided or required for joining and participating, and to transfer and convey to the public corporation, with or without consideration, any facilities, real or personal property, money, or thing of value, including the services of employees through loan, detail, or assignment.

(d) Any governing body may establish, levy, and impose by resolution or ordinance, any revenue-raising measure within its jurisdiction, including, but not limited to, fees, charges, or assessments, without any referendum unless required by the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, deemed necessary to implement this chapter or to comply with all provisions of storm water laws, subject to the following:

(1) A governing body shall not establish, levy, or impose fees, charges, or assessments from or against owners or operators of lands or facilities exempted from regulation under any local storm water management program, as set out in Section 11-89C-9(a), owners of greenfields, or owners of agricultural land, pursuant to this subsection.

(2) A governing body may only establish, levy, or impose an annual flat fee, charge, or assessment of no more than ten dollars ($10) from or against owners of residential property, pursuant to this subsection.

(3) A governing body may only establish, levy, or impose an annual fee, charge, or assessment from or against owners of commercial property of no more than one-half of one cent ($0.005) per square foot of commercial space on or within the property, pursuant to this subsection, provided that, regardless of actual square footage of commercial space on or within the property, no such annual fee, charge, or assessment shall exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000). Any such fee, charge, or assessment may be levied and collected in any manner permissible by law. Any governing body may call upon and enter into agreements with the respective tax assessor and tax collector or other public official performing the function of the tax assessor and tax collector to assess and collect any such fees, charges, or assessments.

(e) Any governing body may establish by resolution or ordinance necessary enforcement measures and procedures for the enforcement of rules, regulations, resolutions, ordinances, or orders through actions before a municipal, district or circuit court of competent jurisdiction, including penalties for violations in accordance with Section 11-45-9.

(f) Any governing body may institute a civil suit for damages or injunctive relief, except as limited by Section 11-89C-11 and Section 11-89C-12, in any district or circuit court having jurisdiction for a violation of this chapter. Damages may include all costs, expenses, or other losses resulting directly or indirectly from a violation of any rule, regulation, resolution, ordinance, order, or other provision authorized by this chapter, and may include attorney's fees, court costs, and trial expenses.

(g) A governing body may do any and all things, whether or not specifically or expressly authorized in this section or chapter, not otherwise prohibited by law, that are necessary and convenient to do individually, and to aid and cooperate with the public corporation or other entity in carrying out the storm water laws and the purposes and intent of this chapter.

(Acts 1995, No. 95-775, p. 1835, §9; Act 2014-439, p. 1625, §1.)