30 CFR 843.13 - Suspension or revocation of permits: Pattern of violations.
(1) The Director shall issue an order to a permittee requiring him or her to show cause why his or her permit and right to mine under the Act should not be suspended or revoked, if the Director determines that a pattern of violations of any requirements of the Act, this chapter, the applicable program, or any permit condition required by the Act exists or has existed, and that the violations were caused by the permittee willfully or through unwarranted failure to comply with those requirements or conditions. Violations by any person conducting surface coal mining operations on behalf of the permittee shall be attributed to the permittee, unless the permittee establishes that they were acts of deliberate sabotage. The Director shall promptly file a copy of any order to show cause with the Office of Hearings and Appeals and the State regulatory authority, if any.
(2) The Director may determine that a pattern of violations exists or has existed, based upon two or more Federal inspections of the permit area within any 12-month period, after considering the circumstances, including:
(iii) The extent to which the violations were isolated departures from lawful conduct.
(3) The Director shall promptly review the history of violations of any permittee who has been cited for violations of the same or related requirements of the Act, this chapter, the applicable program, or the permit during three or more Federal inspections of the permit area within any 12-month period. If, after such review, the Director determines that a pattern of violations exists or has existed, he or she shall issue an order to show cause as provided in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
(ii) The Director may not consider violations issued as a result of inspections other than those mentioned in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section in determining whether to exercise his or her discretion under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, except as evidence of the willful or unwarranted nature of the permittee's failure to comply.
(b) If the permittee files an answer to the show cause order and requests a hearing under 43 CFR part 4, a public hearing shall be provided as set forth in that part. The Office of Hearings and Appeals shall give thirty days written notice of the date, time and place of the hearing to the Director, the permittee, the State regulatory authority, if any, and any intervenor. Upon receipt of the notice, the Director shall publish it, if practicable, in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of the surface coal mining and reclamation operations, and shall post it at the State or field office closest to those operations.
(c) Within sixty days after the hearing, and within the time limits set forth in 43 CFR part 4, the Office of Hearings and Appeals shall issue a written determination as to whether a pattern of violations exists and, if appropriate, an order. If the Office of Hearings and Appeals revokes or suspends the permit and the permittee's right to mine under the Act, the permittee shall immediately cease surface coal mining operations on the permit area and shall:
(d) Whenever a permittee fails to abate a violation contained in a notice of violation or cessation order within the abatement period set in the notice or order or as subsequently extended, the Director shall review the permittee's history of violations to determine whether a pattern of violations exists pursuant to this section, and shall issue an order to show cause as appropriate pursuant to § 845.15(b)(2) of this chapter.