30 CFR 843.12 - Notices of violation.
(1) An authorized representative of the Secretary shall issue a notice of violation if, on the basis of a Federal inspection carried out during the enforcement of a Federal program or Federal lands program or during Federal enforcement of a State program under section 504(b) or 521(b) of the Act and part 733 of this chapter, he finds a violation of the Act, this chapter, the applicable program or any condition of a permit or an exploration approval imposed under such program, the Act, or this Chapter, which does not create an imminent danger or harm for which a cessation order must be issued under § 843.11.
(2) When, on the basis of any Federal inspection other than one described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, an authorized representative of the Secretary determines that there exists a violation of the Act, the State program, or any condition of a permit or exploration approval required by the Act which does not create an imminent danger or harm for which a cessation order must be issued under § 843.11, the authorized representative shall give a written report of the violation to the State and to the permittee so that appropriate action can be taken by the State. Where the State fails within ten days after notification to take appropriate action to cause the violation to be corrected, or to show good cause for such failure, subject to the procedures of § 842.11(b)(1)(iii) of this chapter, the authorized representative shall reinspect and, if the violation continues to exist, shall issue a notice of violation or cessation order, as appropriate. No additional notification to the State by the Office is required before the issuance of a notice of violation if previous notification was given under § 842.11(b)(1)(ii)(B) of this chapter.
(b) A notice of violation issued under this section shall be in writing signed by the authorized representative who issues it, and shall set forth with reasonable specificity:
(1) The nature of the violation;
(2) The remedial action required, which may include interim steps;
(3) A reasonable time for abatement, which may include time for accomplishment of interim steps; and
(c) An authorized representative of the Secretary may extend the time set for abatement or for accomplishment of an interim step, if the failure to meet the time previously set was not caused by lack of diligence on the part of the permittee. The total time for abatement under a notice of violation, including all extensions, shall not exceed 90 days from the date of issuance, except upon a showing by the permittee that it is not feasible to abate the violation within 90 calendar days due to one or more of the circumstances in paragraph (f) of this section. An extended abatement date pursuant to this section shall not be granted when the permittee's failure to abate within 90 days has been caused by a lack of diligence or intentional delay by the permittee in completing the remedial action required.
(e) An authorized representative of the Secretary shall terminate a notice of violation by written notice to the permittee when he determines that all violations listed in the notice of violation have been abated. Termination shall not affect the right of the Office to assess civil penalties for those violations under 30 CFR part 845.
(f) Circumstances which may qualify a surface coal mining operation for an abatement period of more than 90 days are:
(1) Where the permittee of an ongoing permitted operation has timely applied for and diligently pursued a permit renewal or other necessary approval of designs or plans but such permit or approval has not been or will not be issued within 90 days after a valid permit expires or is required, for reasons not within the control of the permittee;
(2) Where there is a valid judicial order precluding abatement within 90 days as to which the permittee has diligently pursued all rights of appeal and as to which he or she has no other effective legal remedy;
(3) Where the permittee cannot abate within 90 days due to a labor strike;
(4) Where climatic conditions preclude abatement within 90 days, or where, due to climatic conditions, abatement within 90 days clearly would cause more environmental harm than it would prevent; or
(5) Where abatement within 90 days requires action that would violate safety standards established by statute or regulation under the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977.
(g) Whenever an abatement time in excess of 90 days is permitted, interim abatement measures shall be imposed to the extent necessary to minimize harm to the public or the environment.
(h) If any of the conditions in paragraph (f) of this section exists, the permittee may request the authorized representative to grant an abatement period exceeding 90 days. The authorized representative shall not grant such an abatement period without the concurrence of the Director or his or her designee and the abatement period granted shall not exceed the shortest possible time necessary to abate the violation. The permittee shall have the burden of establishing by clear and convincing proof that he or she is entitled to an extension under the provisions of § 843.12(c) and (f). In determining whether or not to grant an abatement period exceeding 90 days the authorized representative may consider any relevant written or oral information from the permittee or any other source. The authorized representative shall promptly and fully document in the file his or her reasons for granting or denying the request. The authorized representative's immediate supervisor shall review this document before concurring in or disapproving the extended abatement date and shall promptly and fully document the reasons for his or her concurrence or disapproval in the file.
(i) Any determination made under paragraph (h) of this section shall contain a right of appeal to the Office of Hearings and Appeals in accordance with 43 CFR 4.1281 and the regulations at 43 CFR part 4.
(j) No extension granted under paragraph (h) of this section may exceed 90 days in length. Where the condition or circumstance which prevented abatement within 90 days exists at the expiration of any such extension, the permittee may request a further extension in accordance with the procedures of paragraph (h) of this section.