43 CFR § 3163.1 - Remedies for acts of noncompliance.

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§ 3163.1 Remedies for acts of noncompliance.

(a) Whenever any person fails or refuses to comply with the regulations in this part, the terms of any lease or permit, or the requirements of any notice or order, the authorized officer shall notify that person in writing of the violation or default.

(1) For major violations, the authorized officer may also subject the person to an assessment of $1,000 per violation, per inspection.

(2) For minor violations, the authorized officer may also subject the person to an assessment of $250 per violation, per inspection.

(3) When necessary for compliance, or where operations have been commenced without approval, or where continued operations could result in immediate, substantial, and adverse impacts on public health and safety, the environment, production accountability, or royalty income, the authorized officer may shut down operations. Immediate shut-in action may be taken where operations are initiated and conducted without prior approval, or where continued operations could result in immediate, substantial, and adverse impacts on public health and safety, the environment, production accountability, or royalty income. Shut-in actions for other situations may be taken only after due notice, in writing, has been given;

(4) When necessary for compliance, the authorized officer may enter upon a lease and perform, or have performed, at the sole risk and expense of the operator, operations that the operator fails to perform when directed in writing by the authorized officer. Appropriate charges shall include the actual cost of performance, plus an additional 25 percent of such amount to compensate the United States for administrative costs. The operator shall be provided with a reasonable period of time either to take corrective action or to show why the lease should not be entered;

(5) Continued noncompliance may subject the lease to cancellation and forfeiture under the bond. The operator shall be provided with a reasonable period of time either to take corrective action or to show why the lease should not be recommended for cancellation;

(6) Where actual loss or damage has occurred as a result of the operator's noncompliance, the actual amount of such loss or damage shall be charged to the operator.

(b) Certain instances of noncompliance are violations of such a nature as to warrant the imposition of immediate major assessments upon discovery, as compared to those established by paragraph (a) of this section. Upon discovery the following violations, as well as the violations identified in subparts 3173, 3174, and 3175 of this chapter, will result in assessments in the specified amounts per violation, per inspection, without exception:

(1) For failure to install blowout preventer or other equivalent well control equipment, as required by the approved drilling plan, $1,000;

(2) For drilling without approval or for causing surface disturbance on Federal or Indian surface preliminary to drilling without approval, $1,000;

(3) For failure to obtain approval of a plan for well abandonment prior to commencement of such operations, $500.

(c) On a case-by-case basis, the State Director may compromise or reduce assessments under this section. In compromising or reducing the amount of the assessment, the State Director will state in the record the reasons for such determination.

[52 FR 5393, Feb. 20, 1987; 52 FR 10225, Mar. 31, 1987, as amended at 53 FR 17364, May 16, 1988; 53 FR 22847, June 17, 1988; 81 FR 81609, Nov. 17, 2016]

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