43 CFR § 3165.3 - Notice, State Director review and hearing on the record.

§ 3165.3 Notice, State Director review and hearing on the record.

(a)Notice.

(1) Whenever any person fails to comply with any provisions of the lease, the regulations in this part, applicable orders or notices, or any other appropriate order of the authorized officer, the authorized officer will issue a written notice or order to the appropriate party and the lessee(s) to remedy any defaults or violations.

(2) Whenever any purchaser or transporter, who is not an operating rights owner or operator, fails or refuses to comply with 30 U.S.C. 1713 or applicable rules or regulations regarding records relevant to determining the quality, quantity, and disposition of oil or gas produced from or allocable to a Federal or Indian oil and gas lease, applicable orders or notices, or any other appropriate orders of the authorized officer, the authorized officer will give written notice or order to the purchaser or transporter to remedy any violations.

(3) Written orders or a notice of violation, assessment, or proposed penalty will be issued and served by personal service by the authorized officer, or by certified mail, return receipt requested. Service will be deemed to occur when the document is received or 7 business days after the date it is mailed, whichever is earlier.

(4) Any person may designate a representative to receive any notice of violation, order, assessment, or proposed penalty on that person's behalf.

(5) In the case of a major violation, the authorized officer will make a good faith effort to contact such designated representative by telephone, to be followed by a written notice or order. Receipt of a notice or order will be deemed to occur at the time of such verbal communication, and the time of notice and the name of the receiving party will be documented in the file. If the good faith effort to contact the designated representative is unsuccessful, notice of the major violation or order may be given to any person conducting or supervising operations subject to the regulations in this part.

(6) In the case of a minor violation, the authorized officer will only provide a written notice or order to the designated representative.

(7) A copy of all orders, notices, or instructions served on any contractor or field employee or designated representative will also be mailed to the operator. Any notice involving a civil penalty against an operator will be mailed to the operator, with a copy to the operating rights owner.

(b)State Director review. Any adversely affected party that contests a notice of violation or assessment or an instruction, order, or decision of the authorized officer issued under the regulations in this part, may request an administrative review, before the State Director, either with or without oral presentation. Such request, including all supporting documentation, shall be filed in writing with the appropriate State Director within 20 business days of the date such notice of violation or assessment or instruction, order, or decision was received or considered to have been received and shall be filed with the appropriate State Director. Upon request and showing of good cause, an extension for submitting supporting data may be granted by the State Director. Such review shall include all factors or circumstances relevant to the particular case. Any party who is adversely affected by the State Director's decision may appeal that decision to the Interior Board of Land Appeals as provided in § 3165.4 of this part.

(c)Review of proposed penalties. Any adversely affected party wishing to contest a notice of proposed penalty shall request an administrative review before the State Director under the procedures set out in paragraph (b) of this section. However, no civil penalty shall be assessed under this part until the party charged with the violation has been given the opportunity for a hearing on the record in accordance with section 109(e) of the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Management Act. Therefore, any party adversely affected by the State Director's decision on the proposed penalty, may request a hearing on the record before an Administrative Law Judge or, in lieu of a hearing, may appeal that decision directly to the Interior Board of Land Appeals as provided in § 3165.4(b)(2) of this part. If such party elects to request a hearing on the record, such request shall be filed in the office of the State Director having jurisdiction over the lands covered by the lease within 30 days of receipt of the State Director's decision on the notice of proposed penalty. Where a hearing on the record is requested, the State Director shall refer the complete case file to the Office of Hearings and Appeals for a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge in accordance with part 4 of this title. A decision shall be issued following completion of the hearing and shall be served on the parties. Any party, including the United States, adversely affected by the decision of the Administrative Law Judge may appeal to the Interior Board of Land Appeals as provided in § 3163.4 of this title.

(d)Action on request for State Director review. The State Director will issue a final decision within 10 business days after the receipt of a complete request for administrative review or, where oral presentation has been made, within 10 business days after the oral presentation. The State Director's decision represents the final Bureau decision from which further review may be obtained as provided in paragraph (c) of this section for proposed penalties, and in § 3165.4 for all other decisions.

(e)Effect of request for State Director review or for hearing on the record.

(1) Any request for review by the State Director under this section shall not result in a suspension of the requirement for compliance with the notice of violation or proposed penalty, or stop the daily accumulation of assessments or penalties, unless the State Director to whom the request is made so determines.

(2) Any request for a hearing on the record before an administrative law judge under this section shall not result in a suspension of the requirement for compliance with the decision, unless the administrative law judge so determines. Any request for hearing on the record shall stop the accumulation of additional daily penalties until such time as a final decision is rendered, except that within 10 days of receipt of a request for a hearing on the record, the State Director may, after review of such request, recommend that the Director reinstate the accumulation of daily civil penalties until the violation is abated. Within 45 days of the filing of the request for a hearing on the record, the Director may reinstate the accumulation of civil penalties if he/she determines that the public interest requires a reinstatement of the accumulation and that the violation is causing or threatening immediate, substantial and adverse impacts on public health and safety, the environment, production accountability, or royalty income. If the Director does not reinstate the daily accumulation within 45 days of the filing of the request for a hearing on the record, the suspension shall continue.

[52 FR 5394, Feb. 20, 1987; 52 FR 10225, Mar. 31, 1987, as amended at 53 FR 17365, May 16, 1988; 66 FR 1894, Jan. 10, 2001; 81 FR 81421, Nov. 17, 2016]