10 CFR § 205.199J - Consent order.
(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this subpart, the DOE may at any time resolve an outstanding compliance investigation or proceeding, or a proceeding involving the disallowance of costs pursuant to § 205.199E with a Consent Order. A Consent Order must be signed by the person to whom it is issued, or a duly authorized representative, and must indicate agreement to the terms contained therein. A Consent Order need not constitute an admission by any person that DOE regulations have been violated, nor need it constitute a finding by the DOE that such person has violated DOE regulations. A Consent Order shall, however, set forth the relevant facts which form the basis for the Order.
(b) A Consent Order is a final Order of the DOE having the same force and effect as a Remedial Order issued pursuant to § 205.199B or an Order of Disallowance issued pursuant to § 205.199E, and may require one or more of the remedies authorized by § 205.199I and § 212.84(d)(3). A Consent Order becomes effective no sooner than 30 days after publication under paragraph (c) of this section, unless (1) the DOE makes a Consent Order effective immediately, because it expressly deems it necessary in the public interest, or (2) the Consent Order involves a sum of less than $500,000 in the aggregate, excluding penalties and interest, in which case it will be effective when signed both by the person to whom it is issued and the DOE, and will not be subject to the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section unless the DOE determines otherwise. A Consent Order shall not be appealable pursuant to the provisions of § 205.199C or § 205.199D and subpart H, and shall contain an express waiver of such appeal or judicial review rights as might otherwise attach to a final Order of the DOE.
(c) When a Consent Order has been signed, both by the person to whom it is issued and the DOE, the DOE will publish notice of such Consent Order in the Federal Register and in a press release to be issued simultaneously therewith. The Federal Register notice and the press release will state at a minimum the name of the company concerned, a brief summary of the Consent Order and other facts or allegations relevant thereto, the address and telephone number of the DOE office at which copies of the Consent Order will be available free of charge, the address to which comments on the Consent Order will be received by the DOE, and the date by which such comments should be submitted, which date will not be less than 30 days after publication of the Federal Register notice. After the expiration of the comment period the DOE may withdraw its agreement to the Consent Order, attempt to negotiate a modification of the Consent Order, or issue the Consent Order as signed. The DOE will publish in the Federal Register, and by press release, notice of any action taken on a Consent Order and such explanation of the action taken as deemed appropriate. The provisions of this paragraph shall be applicable notwithstanding the fact that a Consent Order may have been made immediately effective pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section (except in cases where the Consent Order involves sums of less than $500,000 in the aggregate, excluding penalties and interest).
(d) At any time and in accordance with the procedures of subpart J, a Consent Order may be modified or rescinded, upon petition by the person to whom the Consent Order was issued, and may be rescinded by the DOE upon discovery of new evidence which is materially inconsistent with evidence upon which the DOE's acceptance of the Consent Order was based. Modifications of a Consent Order which is subject to public comment under the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section, which in the opinion of the DOE significantly change the terms or the impact of the original Order, shall be republished under the provisions of that paragraph.
(e) Notwithstanding the issuance of a Consent Order, the DOE may seek civil or criminal penalties or compromise civil penalties pursuant to subpart P concerning matters encompassed by the Consent Order, unless the Consent Order by its terms expressly precludes the DOE from so doing.
(f) If at any time after a Consent Order becomes effective it appears to the DOE that the terms of the Consent Order have been violated, the DOE may refer such violations to the Department of Justice for appropriate action in accordance with subpart P.