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§ 3321. Civil penalties

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated StatutesTitle 52 P.S. Mines and Mining

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes
Title 52 P.S. Mines and Mining (Refs & Annos)
Chapter 28. Noncoal Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (Refs & Annos)
52 P.S. § 3321
§ 3321. Civil penalties
(a) Authorization.--
(1) In addition to proceeding under any other remedy available at law or in equity for a violation of a provision of this act or any rule, regulation, order of the department or a condition of any permit issued under this act, the department may assess a civil penalty upon a person for the violation. The penalty may be assessed whether or not the violation was willful. The civil penalty so assessed shall not exceed $5,000 per day for each violation that leads to the issuance of a cessation order. For all other violations, the civil penalty so assessed shall not exceed $1,000 per day for each violation. A penalty may not be assessed for violations that do not lead to the issuance of a cessation order where the operator demonstrates that the violations result in no environmental damage, no injury to person or property and are corrected within the required time.
(2) In determining the amount of the civil penalty, the department shall consider the willfulness of the violation, damage or injury to the lands or to the waters of this Commonwealth or their uses, cost of restoration and other relevant factors.
(3) If the violation leads to the issuance of a cessation order, a civil penalty shall be assessed. If the violation involves the failure to correct, within the period prescribed for its correction, a violation for which a cessation order or other abatement order has been issued, a civil penalty of not less than $750 shall be assessed for each day the violation continues beyond the period prescribed for its correction. If the violation involves the failure to correct, within the period prescribed for its correction, a violation for which a cessation order or other abatement order was not issued, a civil penalty of not less than $250 shall be assessed for each day the violation continues beyond the period prescribed for its correction.
(b) Escrow of penalty; judgments.--
(1) When the department proposes to assess a civil penalty, the secretary shall inform the person, within a period of time to be prescribed by rule and regulation, of the proposed amount of the penalty. The person charged with the penalty shall then have 30 days to pay the proposed penalty in full or, if the person wishes to contest either the amount of the penalty or the fact of the violation, forward the proposed amount to the secretary for placement in an escrow account with the State Treasurer or any Pennsylvania bank, or post an appeal bond in the amount of the proposed penalty. The bond shall be executed by a surety licensed to do business in this Commonwealth and be satisfactory to the department. If, through administrative or judicial review of the proposed penalty, it is determined that no violation occurred or that the amount of the penalty shall be reduced, the secretary shall, within 30 days, remit the appropriate amount to the person, with any interest accumulated by the escrow deposit. Failure to forward the money or the appeal bond to the secretary within 30 days shall result in a waiver of all legal rights to contest the violation or the amount of the penalty.
(2) The amount assessed after administrative hearing or after waiver of administrative hearing shall be payable to the Commonwealth and shall be collectible in any manner provided under law for the collection of debts. If any person liable to pay any such penalty neglects or refuses to pay the same after demand, the amount, together with interest and any costs that may accrue, shall constitute a judgment in favor of the Commonwealth upon the property of the person from the date it has been entered and docketed of record by the prothonotary of the county where the property is situated. The department may, at any time, transmit, to the prothonotaries of the respective counties, certified copies of all such judgments, and it shall be the duty of each prothonotary to enter and docket the same of record in his office and to index it as judgments are indexed, without requiring the payment of costs as a condition precedent to the entry thereof.
(3) Any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, there shall be a statute of limitations of five years upon actions brought by the Commonwealth under this section.

Credits

1984, Dec. 19, P.L. 1093, No. 219, § 21, effective in 60 days.
52 P.S. § 3321, PA ST 52 P.S. § 3321
Current through Act 10 of the 2024 Regular Session. Some statute sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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