Bill Summary for S 561 (2011-2012)

Summary date: 

Apr 11 2011

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2011-2012 Session
Senate Bill 561 (Public) Filed Monday, April 11, 2011
TO ESTABLISH A MAXIMUM CUMULATIVE TOTAL CIVIL PENALTY PER LAND-DISTURBING PROJECT FOR A FIRST-TIME VIOLATION UNDER THE SEDIMENTATION POLLUTION CONTROL ACT OF 1973, TO AUTHORIZE THE REMISSION OF CIVIL PENALTIES UNDER THIS ACT, TO REQUIRE THAT A PERSON ASSESSED A CIVIL PENALTY IS NOTIFIED OF THE OPTION TO REQUEST A REMISSION OF THE CIVIL PENALTY AND, FOR FIRST-TIME VIOLATORS, NOTIFIED THAT FIRST-TIME VIOLATORS CANNOT BE ASSESSED MORE THAN A MAXIMUM CIVIL PENALTY WHEN ANY CONTINUING ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE IS ABATED WITHIN ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY DAYS, AND TO REQUIRE THAT FIRST-TIME VIOLATORS BE OFFERED ASSISTANCE IN DEVELOPING CORRECTIVE MEASURES.
Intro. by Daniel, Brock, Rouzer.

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Bill summary

Enacts new GS 113A-65.2, allowing a person to request remission of a civil penalty imposed under GS 113A-64 by filing a request with the NC Sedimentation Control Commission (Commission) within 60 days after receiving notice of the assessment. Requires the person also include a waiver of the right to a contested case hearing under the Administrative Procedure Act and a stipulation of the facts on which the assessment was based. States that the Commission must consider six specified factors to determine whether to approve a remission request. Places the burden to show the financial impact of the civil penalty and financial hardship on the petitioner. Permits the Commission to remit the entire penalty only when the petitioner has not been assessed civil penalties for previous violations and payment will prevent payment for necessary remedial actions. Prohibits the Commission from imposing a penalty in excess of the penalty imposed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). Makes a conforming change to GS 113A-54, allowing the Commission to make the final decision on a remission request.
Amends GS 113A-64(a)(1), which provides for civil penalties for violations of the Sedimentation Pollution Control Act, stating that the maximum cumulative total civil penalty assessed for all violations associated with the land-disturbing activity is $25,000 when the person has not previously been assessed a civil penalty under the subsection and the person halted continuing environmental damage within 180 days of the date of notice. Amends GS 113A-64(a)(2), directing the Secretary of DENR or the responsible local government to also inform the person assessed the civil penalty of the option to request remission of the penalty, and applicable deadlines to request remission or halt continuing environmental damage.
Amends GS 113A-61.1(c), which provides for notice of violation of erosion and sedimentation control programs, to direct the approving authority to deliver the notice of violation in person and offer assistance in developing corrective measures, when the person engaged in the land-disturbing activity has not received a previous notice of violation under the statute. Details the procedure for delivering notice if the approving authority fails to deliver in person within 15 days.
Applies to civil penalties paid on or after the date the act becomes law.

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