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Chatham County Code Book: Chapter 21, Article VIII & X

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ARTICLE VIII
Report of Spill or Release of Hazardous Substance or Oil

§21-801 Title, Purpose, and Scope.

  1. Title. This Ordinance shall be entitled the Report of Spill or Release of Hazardous Substance or Oil.
  2. Purpose. This Ordinance is adopted into the Code of Chatham County pursuant to the powers granted Chatham County as a political subdivision of the State of Georgia, and as part of its strategy for emergency management plan pursuant to the Official Code Of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §§ 38-3-27, 38-3-28 and 38-3-52 to require prompt reporting of a reportable quantity of a spill or release of any hazardous substance or oil which is known to have or suspected to have left the boundaries of the facility where stored and used.  The requirement pursuant to this Ordinance is to assist Chatham County in ensuring the health, safety and welfare of its citizens and derive the necessary knowledge and information needed of potentially hazardous substances in Chatham County and to develop an emergency management plan and response. (Amended July 01, 2011)
  3. Scope. In the interest of the general health of the public, any “person” as that term is defined in OCGA §12-14-1(6) owning or having control over any hazardous substance or oil upon learning of an “incident” as defined herein, involving such hazardous substance or oil shall immediately report by telephone to the Chatham County Police Department [now titled the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department], the City of Savannah Fire Department, and LEPC via CEMA as set forth herein.

§21-802 Definitions.

The following words of terms as used herein, shall have the same meaning and definition as set forth in the referred to sections of OCGA and in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR):

  1. “Hazardous substance” – O.C.G.A. §12-14-1 (4)
  2. “Oil” – O.C.G.A. §12-14-1 (5)
  3. “Person” – O.C.G.A. §12-14-1 (6) and 12-14-3 (a)
  4. “Reportable Quantity” – O.C.G.A. §12-14-1 (7)
  5. “Spills or Release” – O.C.G.A. §12-14-1- (8)
  6. “Facility” – 40 C.F.R. 302.3

§21-803 Incident, Defined.

An “incident” is defined herein as a known or suspected spill or release of a reportable quantity of a “hazardous substance” and the known or suspected spill or release of oil which has left the boundaries of the facility where stored or used.

§21-804 Notification Requirements.

Upon the occurrence of an incident as defined herein, where such incident is known or suspected, notification shall be by immediate telephone calls to the Chatham County Police Department [now the Savannah Chatham Metropolitan Police Department], the City of Savannah Fire Department, and to the LEPC through CEMA “Immediate” as defined herein shall be within fifteen minutes of a person learning of such an incident. [NOTE: In 2000, and Operational change was implemented where the reporting party only need to make ONE phone call within fifteen minutes versus three.  That phone call should be made to 911.  The Dispatch Center will then make notifications to law enforcement, fire and CEMA.] No later than the close of business on the second regular business day, other than a Saturday or Sunday, such telephone calls shall be followed-up by a written communication or by facsimile transmission being filed with the LEPC through CEMA setting forth all known details that are available from the facility where such incident has occurred. Said written communication or facsimile transmission when filed shall contain the names of all persons who required medical attention of emergency medical services or a medical doctor allegedly as a result of such spill or release, and to the extent known, the injury or injuries complained of or suffered by such person(s). Any obligation on the part of an owner or operator of any facility to report a spill or release or discharge of a reportable quantity of a hazardous substance or oil shall not include continuous releases as defined in 40 CFR §355.40, nor to any release covered by a state or federal permit, nor to any spills or releases that do not meet the definition of being of a reportable quantity.

§21-805 Spills.

Any airborne spill or release or any spill or release into any stream or ditch in which water is capable of moving from the facility upon which spill or releases occurs to another property, when such spill or release or discharge meets the definition of a reportable quantity shall be considered to have left the boundaries of the facility of the owner or operator, and shall require reporting hereunder.

§21-806 Penalties.

Violation of this Ordinance shall be subject to being fined upon conviction thereof by the Recorder’s Court of Chatham County in an amount not to exceed $1,000 for each violation. Each failure to report a release or discharge of reportable quantity shall be considered a separate violation.

§21-807 Federal and State Law.

Nothing contained herein shall be construed in any way to abrogate, modify or change any provision or requirement outlined in The Federal Emergency Planning and Community Rights to Know Act, 42 USC §11001 et. seq., 40 CFR §355.20, 40 CFR §302, 40 CFR §355.40, the Clean Water Act, 33 USC 1251 et seq., 40 CFR 110.1, the provisions of OCGA §12-14-1 et seq. or any other general law in force or hereinafter enacted in the State of Georgia.

§21-808 Effective Date.

This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force on and after June 24, 1995.

NOTES:

The “Report of Spill or Release of Hazardous Substance or Oil” ordinance was adopted on June 24, 1995, and amended on November 20, 1998 and again on July 01, 2011.

In section 21-804 Notification Requirements, an operational changes was implemented in 2000 where the reporting party need only to make ONE phone call to 911 within fifteen minutes instead of the three defined by the Ordinance. The Dispatch Center will make notifications to law enforcement, fire and CEMA.

ARTICLE X
Payment of Registration Fee by Facilities with Hazardous Substances

(Editor’s note: The “Payment of Registration Fee by Facilities with Hazardous Substances” ordinance was adopted on February 23, 1996, and amended on November 20, 1998. When it was added to the code book it was erroneously added as a continuation of Article VIII and numbered §21-809 through §21-816. On August 28, 2008, the ordinance was separated from Article VIII and Article X was created. The change is purely editorial.)

§21-1001 Intent of Ordinance.

Payment of Registration Fee by Facilities with Hazardous Substances.

  1. The intent of this Ordinance is to require the payment of a registration fee by facilities using over 10,000 pounds of hazardous substances for the reasonable cost of the HazMat Team for promoting the health, safety and welfare of the public, pursuant to O.C.G.A. §48-13-9.
  2. An additional intent is to require registration, but no fee by facilities using hazardous substances under 10,000 pounds.

§21-1002 Definitions.

The following words or terms as used herein shall have the same meaning and definition as set forth now, or as hereafter amended, in the referred to sections of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) and in federal law:

  1. “Hazardous Substance” – O.C.G.A. §12-14-1 (4) and/or Title III, §302-312 of the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act, (SARA III) known as the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act.
  2. “Facility” – 40 C.F.R. 302.3.
  3. “Person” – O.C.G.A. §12-14-1(6) or 40 C.F.R. 302.3.
  4. “HazMat Team” – Specifically qualified and designated members of the Savannah Fire Department, as well as the Chatham Emergency Management Agency Hazardous Materials Analyst.
  5. “Critical Facility” – any structure or facility, public or private, which is vital to the County and imperative to protect prior to, during, or after an emergency. (Amended November 20, 1998)

21 – 76§21-1003 Hazardous Substances Registration.

Every person and every facility required to report annually to the Georgia Emergency Response Commission and the Chatham County Local Emergency Planning Committee in compliance with §312 Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA III) shall register with Chatham County through the Inspections Department no later than May 1st of each year. Such registration shall be done by the Chatham Emergency Management Agency Hazardous Materials Analyst, shall be valid for 12 months from the date of registration and shall be maintained permanently at the site of the facility.

§21-1004 Registration Fees.

Registration fees shall be assessed on the basis of the combined average daily amounts of all hazardous substances as reported for the previous calendar years to the Georgia Emergency Response Commission and the Chatham County Local Emergency Planning Committee. Fee rates shall be based on the following scale:

AVERAGE DAILY AMOUNT OF ALL HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES FEE NOT TO EXCEED
1 – 9,999 lbs. No Fee
10,000 – 99,999 lbs. $1,100
100,000 – 999,999 lbs. $2,200
1,000,000 or greater pounds $3,700

By April 1 of each year following the adoption of this st Ordinance, fees may be adjusted to reflect actual costs of regulation. The failure of any person to register or to pay the hazardous substance fee by not later than May 1st of each year shall result in the requirement of payment of the original fee due plus a 25% delinquency fee increase of the amount which would have been due if timely paid, said delinquency fee amount not to exceed $1,000. Failure to pay timely the registration fee or delinquency fee shall be enforceable in the Recorder’s Court of Chatham County.  (Amended July 22, 2011)

§21-1005 Inspections.

The HazMat Team shall perform inspections in accordance with the rules and regulations under §312 SuperfundbAmendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA III), or upon the request of a registered facility.

§21-1006 Exemptions.

The following are exempted from provisions and requirements of this Ordinance:

Persons and facilities whose only hazardous substances subject to the reporting requirements cited above in compliance with §312 Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA III) are petroleum products (e.g. gasoline, diesel or oil) held only for retail sale to the general public.

Units, divisions, agencies, authorities, commissions of local, state or federal governments. A critical facility which stores petroleum products (e.g. gasoline, diesel or oil) for use during an emergency. Only the petroleum products used for emergency operations will be considered for exemption. (Amended November 20, 1998)

A business which is regulated by the Georgia Public Safety Commission. (Amended November 20, 1998)

§21-1007 Federal and State Law.

Nothing contained herein shall be construed in any way to abrogate, modify or change any provision or requirement outlined in The Federal Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act, 42 U.S.C. §11001 et. seq., 40 C.F.R. §355.20, 40 C.F.R. §302, 40 C.F.R. §355.40, the Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq., 40 C.F.R. 110.1, the provisions of O.C.G.A. §12-14-1 et seq. or any other general law in force or hereinafter enacted in the State of Georgia.

§21-1008 Effective Date.

This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force on and after March 22, 1996.

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