Or. Admin. R. 141-085-0785 - Civil Penalties; Appeals

(1) Civil Penalties May Be Assessed. In addition to any other remedy allowed by law or these rules, the Department may assess a civil penalty for any violation of the Removal-Fill Law, these rules, an authorization or an order issued pursuant to OAR 141-085.
(2) Each Day is a Separate Offense. Each day a violation continues constitutes a separate offense for which the Department may assess a separate penalty.
(3) Multiple Penalties May Be Assessed. A civil penalty assessed on an initial violation may be followed by one or more separate civil penalties for failure to comply with a restoration order issued on the same violation.
(4) Required Notice; Right to Appeal Within 20 Calendar Days. The Department will give written notice of intent to assess a civil penalty by personal service or by registered or certified mail to the permit holder or person (hereinafter referred to as "party") incurring the civil penalty. The notice will include the following:
(a) The particular section of the statute, rule, order or authorization involved;
(b) A short and plain statement of the matter asserted or charged;
(c) A statement of the party's right to request a hearing within 20 calendar days of receiving the notice;
(d) A statement of the amount of civil penalty assessed and terms and conditions of payment; and
(e) Notification that the party may request a contested case hearing.
(5) Appeals Procedures. Procedures for requesting an appeal on a civil penalty are as set forth in OAR 141-085-0775(4) and (6).
(6) Calculating the Civil Penalty. The amount of civil penalty (F), as expressed in U.S. currency dollars, will be determined by the Department using the following formula: F = BPCI:
(a) B is the base fine factor of $1,000;
(b) "P" is the prior knowledge factor to be determined as follows:
(A) A value of 1 will be applied if the alleged violator was unaware of the Removal-Fill Law at the time of the alleged violation;
(B) A value of 2 will be applied if the alleged violator was aware of the Removal-Fill Law at the time of the alleged violation and in cases of permit non-compliance; or
(C) A value of 5 will be applied if the alleged violator had a previous violation. A previous violation exists, if there was an adjudication (either in court or administrative hearing), or the violator failed to appeal an enforcement order (and a final order was issued), or the violator signed a consent agreement. This value will not be imposed if the previous violation occurred more than five years prior to the current incident.
(c) The cooperation value (C) will be determined by the Department after reviewing the past history of the person in taking all feasible steps or procedures necessary or appropriate to correct the violation for which the penalty is being assessed. The value will be assessed as follows:
(A) A value of 1 will be applied when the person responds to communications from the Department, supplies information requested by the Department, permits access to the site to conduct site investigations and/or complies with restoration as requested by the Department; or
(B) A value of 3 will be applied when the person:
(i) Has ceased to be responsive to communications from the Department;
(ii) Has ceased to be cooperative in providing information as requested by the Department; or
(iii) Does not cease the activity alleged to constitute a violation or threatened violation after receiving verbal or written notification from the Department.
(d) "I" is the water resource adverse effect factor to be determined as follows:
(A) A value of 1 will be applied if the damage to the resource is minimal and/or the resource is expected to naturally self-restore within one year; or
(B) A value of 3 will be applied if the adverse impacts are significant and/or not expected to naturally self-restore within one year. In the case of permit non-compliance, a value of 3 will be applied if failure to correct the deficiency could result in reasonably expected adverse impacts to waters of this state or a deficiency in the obligation to provide mitigation.
(e) In cases where the prior knowledge (P) factor is greater than one (1) and the cooperation (C) factor is greater than one (1), the total amount of the civil penalty (F), in dollars U.S. currency, will be doubled, not to exceed $10,000 per day.
(f) In determining whether to assess a separate penalty for each day a violation continues, the Department may consider the number of days during which the activity alleged to constitute a violation occurred, as well as the number of days the adverse effect of this activity continues unabated.
(7) Failure to Pay Civil Penalty. Once the final adjudication of any civil penalty has been calculated and noticed, the amount of the civil penalty will increase by the amount of the original civil penalty for every 20 calendar days that pass without the alleged violator remitting payment to the Department for the full amount of the civil penalty and the Department taking receipt of the payment. In no case will the amount of the civil penalty be increased by more than ten times the original civil penalty amount. If a civil penalty or any portion of the civil penalty is not paid, interest will accrue at the rate of nine percent per annum on the unpaid balance (pursuant to ORS 82.010).
(8) Civil Penalty Relief. The alleged violator may request from the Department a reduction or waiver of the civil penalty by showing evidence of financial hardship. The request must be received within 20 calendar days from the date of personal service or mailing of the notice of civil penalty. Evidence provided as to the alleged violator's economic and financial condition may be presented without prejudice to any claim by the person that no violation has occurred or that the person is not responsible for the violation. The Department will reduce or waive a civil penalty upon request if the Department determines that the imposition of the full civil penalty would result in extreme financial hardship for the violator, and that the public interest in avoiding extreme financial hardship outweighs the public interest in deterring future violations.
(9) Settlement. The Department may settle violations and penalties in the exercise of its discretion taking into account the cooperation of the violator in addressing the violation.

Notes

Or. Admin. R. 141-085-0785
DSL 1-2009, f. 2-13-09, cert. ef. 3-1-09; DSL 1-2011, f. & cert. ef. 3-1-11; DSL 3-2012, f. 9-28-12, cert. ef. 9-29-12

Stat. Auth.: ORS 196.825 & 196.600 - 196. 692

Stats. Implemented: ORS 196.600 - 196.692, 196.800 - 196.990

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