Utah Admin. Code R645-400-300 - Provisions of State Enforcement

Current through Bulletin 2022-07, April 1, 2022

310. Cessation Orders.
311. The Division will immediately order a cessation of coal mining and reclamation operations or of the relevant portion thereof, if it finds, on the basis of any Division inspection, any violation of the State Program, or any condition of a permit or an exploration approval under the State Program, which:
311.100. Creates an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public; or
311.200. Is causing or can reasonably be expected to cause significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air, or water resources.
312. Coal mining and reclamation operations conducted by any person without a valid coal mining permit constitute a condition or practice which causes or can reasonably be expected to cause significant, imminent environmental harm to land, air or water resources, unless such operations are an integral, uninterrupted extension of previously permitted operations, and the person conducting such operations has filed a timely and complete application for a permit to conduct such operations.
313. If the cessation ordered under R645-400-311 will not completely abate the imminent danger or harm in the most expeditious manner physically possible, the Division will impose affirmative obligations on the person to whom it is issued to abate the violation. The order will specify the time by which abatement will be accomplished.
314. When a notice of violation has been issued under R645-400-320 and the permittee fails to abate the violation within the abatement period fixed or subsequently extended by the Division then the Division will immediately order a cessation of coal exploration or coal mining and reclamation operations or of the portion relevant to the violation. A cessation order issued under R645-400-314 will require the permittee to take all steps the Division deems necessary to abate the violations covered by the order in the most expeditious manner physically possible.
315. A cessation order issued under R645-400-311 or R645-400-314 will be in writing, signed by the authorized representative of the Division who issued it, and will set forth with reasonable specificity:
315.100. The nature of the violation;
315.200. The remedial action or affirmative obligation required, if any, including interim steps, if appropriate;
315.300. The time established for abatement, if appropriate, including the time for meeting any interim steps;
315.400. A reasonable description of the portion of the coal exploration or coal mining and reclamation operations to which it applies; and
315.500. The order will remain in effect until the violation has been abated or until vacated, modified or terminated in writing by the Division.
316. Reclamation operations and other activities intended to protect public health and safety and the environment will continue during the period of any order unless otherwise provided in the order.
317. The Division may modify, terminate or vacate a cessation order for good cause, and may extend the time for abatement if the failure to abate within the time previously set was not caused by lack of diligence on the part of the permittee.
318. The Division will terminate a cessation order by written notice to the permittee, when it is determined that all conditions, practices or violations listed in the order have been abated. Termination will not affect the right of the Board to assess civil penalties for those violations under R645-401.
319. Within sixty days after issuing a cessation order, the Division will notify in writing the permittee, the operator, and any person who has been listed or identified by the applicant, permittee, or the Division as an owner or controller of the operation, as defined in R645-100-200, that the cessation order was issued and that the person has been identified as an owner or controller.
320. Notices of Violation.
321. The Division will issue a notice of violation if, on the basis of a Division inspection carried out during the enforcement of a State Program it finds a violation of the State Program or any condition of a permit or an exploration approval imposed under the State Program which does not create an imminent danger or harm for which a cessation order must be issued under R645-400-310.
322. When on the basis of any Division inspection other than one described in R645-400-321, the Division determines that there exists a violation of the State Program or any condition of a permit or an exploration approval required by the Act which does not create an imminent danger or harm for which a cessation order must be issued under R645-400-310, the Division will issue a notice of violation to the permittee or his agent fixing a reasonable time not to exceed 90 days for the abatement of the violation and providing opportunity for a conference before the Division.
323. A notice of violation issued under R645-400-320 will be in writing, signed by the authorized representative of the Division, and will set forth reasonable specificity:
323.100. The nature of the violation;
323.200. The remedial action required, which may include interim steps;
323.300. A reasonable time for abatement, which may include time for accomplishment of interim steps; and
323.400. A reasonable description of the portion of the coal exploration or coal mining and reclamation operations to which it applies.
324. The Division 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, will 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 R645-400-327. An extended abatement date pursuant to this section will not be granted when the permittee's failure to abate within 90 days has been caused by lack of diligence or intentional delay by the permittee in completing the remedial action required.
325. If the permittee fails to meet any time set for abatement or for accomplishment of an interim step, the Division will issue a cessation order under R645-400-314.
326. The Division will terminate a notice of violation by written notice to the permittee, when the Division determines that all violations listed in the notice of violation have been abated. Termination will not affect the right of the Board to assess civil penalties for those violations which have been abated, nor will termination affect the right of the Board to assess civil penalties for those violations under R645-401.
327. Circumstances which may qualify a coal mining and reclamation operation for an abatement period of more than 90 days are:
327.100. 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;
327.200. 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;
327.300. Where the permittee cannot abate within 90 days due to a labor strike;
327.400. 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
327.500. 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.
328. Other information on abatement times extended beyond 90 days.
328.100. Whenever an abatement time in excess of 90 days is permitted, interim abatement measures will be imposed to the extent necessary to minimize harm to the public or the environment.
328.200. If any of the conditions in R645-400-327 exists, the permittee may request the authorized representative of the Division to grant an abatement period exceeding 90 days. The authorized representative will not grant such an abatement period without the concurrence of the Director or his or her designee and the abatement period granted will not exceed the shortest possible time necessary to abate the violation. The permittee will have the burden of establishing by clear and convincing proof that he or she is entitled to any extension under the provisions of R645-400-324 and R645-400-327.
328.300. 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 will promptly and fully document in the file his or her reasons for granting or denying the request. The Director or designee of the Director specified in R645-400-328.200 will review this document before concurring in or disapproving the extended abatement date and will promptly and fully document the reasons for his or her concurrence or disapproval in the file.
328.400. Any determination made under R645-400-328.200 or R645-400-328.300 will contain a right of appeal to the Board under R645-400-360.
328.500. No extension granted under R645-400-328.200 or R645-400-328.300 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 R645-400-328.200.
329. Enforcement actions at abandoned sites. The Division may refrain from using a notice of violation or cessation order for a violation at an abandoned site, as defined in R645-100-200., if abatement of the violation is required under any previously issued notice on order.
330. Suspension or Revocation of Permits.
331. The Board will issue an order to a permittee requiring him or her to show cause why his or her permit and right to mine under the State Program should not be suspended or revoked, if the Board determines that a pattern of violations of any requirements of the State Program, or any permit condition required by the Act exists or has existed, and that each violation was caused by the permittee willfully or through an unwarranted failure to comply with those requirements or conditions. A finding of unwarranted failure to comply will be based upon a demonstration of greater than ordinary negligence on the part of the permittee. Violations by any person conducting coal mining and reclamation operations on behalf of the permittee will be attributed to the permittee, unless the permittee establishes that they were acts of deliberate sabotage.
332. Pattern of Violation.
332.100. The Director may determine that a pattern of violations exists or has existed, based upon two or more Division inspections of the permit area within a 12-month period, after considering the circumstances, including:
332.110. The number of violations, cited on more than one occasion, of the same or related requirements of the State Program or the permit; and
332.120. The number of violations, cited on more than one occasion, of different requirements of the State Program or the permit; and
332.130. The extent to which the violations were isolated departures from lawful conduct.
332.200. If after the review described in R645-400-332, the Director determines that a pattern of violation exists or has existed and that each violation was caused by the permittee willfully or through unwarranted failure to comply, he or she will recommend that the Board issue an order to show cause as provided in R645-400-331.
332.300. The Director will promptly review the history of violations of any permittee who has been cited for violations of the same or related requirements of the State Program, or the permit during three or more state inspections of the permit area within a 12-month period. If, after such review, the Director determines that a pattern of violations exists or has existed, he or she will recommend that the Board issue an order to show cause as provided in paragraph R645-400-331.
333. Number of Violations.
333.100. In determining the number of violations within a 12-month period, the Director will consider only violations issued as a result of a state inspection carried out during enforcement of the State Program.
333.200. The Director may not consider violations issued as a result of inspections other than those mentioned in R645-400-333.100 in determining whether to exercise his or her discretion under R645-400-332.100, except as evidence of the willful or unwarranted nature of the permittee's failure to comply.
334. 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 will review the permittee's history of violations to determine whether a pattern of violations caused by the permittee's willful or unwarranted failure to comply exists pursuant to this section, and will make a recommendation to the Board concerning whether or not an order to show cause should issue pursuant to R645-400-331.
335. Hearing Procedures.
335.100. If the permittee files an answer to the show cause order and requests a hearing, a formal public hearing on the record will be conducted pursuant to the R641 Rules before the Board or at the Board's option by an administrative hearing officer. The hearing officer will be a person who meets minimum requirements for a hearing officer under Utah law. At such hearing the Division will have the burden of establishing a prima facie case for suspension or revocation of the permit based upon clear and convincing evidence. The ultimate burden of persuasion that the permit should not be suspended or revoked will rest with the permittee.

The Board or Officer will give 30 days written notice of the date, time and place of the hearing to the Director, the permittee and any intervenor. Upon receipt of the notice the Director will publish it, if practicable, in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of the coal mining and reclamation operations, and will post it at the Division office closest to those operations. Upon written request by the permittee, such hearing may at the Board's option be held at or near the mine site within the county in which the permittee's operations are located.

335.200. Within 60 days after the hearing, the Board will prepare a written determination, or the Officer will prepare a written determination to the Board, as to whether or not a pattern of violation exists. If the determination is prepared by the hearing officer, it will be reviewed by the Board which will make the final decision thereon. If the Board finds a pattern of violations and revokes or suspends the permit and the permittee's right to mine under the State Program, the permittee will immediately cease coal mining operations on the permit area and will:
335.210. If the permit and the right to mine under the State Program are revoked, complete reclamation within the time specified in the order; or
335.220. If the permit and the right to mine under the State Program are suspended, complete all affirmative obligations to abate all conditions, practices, or violations as specified in the order.
340. Service of Notices of Violation, Cessation Orders and Show Cause Orders.
341. A notice of violation or cessation order will be served on the permittee or his designated agent promptly after issuance, as follows:
341.100. By tendering a copy at the coal exploration or coal mining and reclamation operation to the designated agent or to the individual who, based upon reasonable inquiry by the authorized representative, appears to be in charge of the coal exploration or coal mining and reclamation operation referred to in the notice or order. If no such individual can be located at the site, a copy may be tendered to any individual at the site who appears to be an employee or agent of the permittee. Service will be complete upon tender of the notice or order and will not be deemed incomplete because of refusal to accept.
341.200. As an alternative to R645-400-341.100, service may be made by sending a copy of the notice or order by certified mail or by hand to the permittee or his designated agent. Service will be complete upon tender of the notice or order by mail and will not be deemed incomplete because of refusal to accept.
342. A show cause order may be served on the permittee in either manner provided in R645-400-341.
343. Designation by any person of an agent for service of notices and orders will be made in writing to the Division.
350. Informal Public Hearing.
351. Except as provided in R645-400-352 and R645-400-353 a notice of violation or cessation order which requires cessation of mining, expressly or by necessary implication, will expire within 30 days after it is served unless an informal public hearing has been held within that time. The hearing will be held at or reasonably close to the mine site so that it may be viewed during the hearing or at any other location acceptable to the Division and the permittee. The Division office nearest to the mine site will be deemed to be reasonably close to the mine site unless a closer location is requested and agreed to by the Division. Expiration of a notice or order will not affect the Board's right to assess civil penalties for the violations mentioned in the notice or order under R645-401.
352. A notice of violation or cessation order will not expire as provided in R645-400-351, if the condition, practice or violation in question has been abated or if the informal public hearing has been waived, or if, with the consent of the permittee, the informal public hearing is held later than 30 days after the notice or order was served. For purposes of R645-400-352:
352.100. The informal public hearing will be deemed waived if the permittee:
352.110. Is informed, by written notice served in the manner provided in R645-400-352.200, that he or she will be deemed to have waived an informal public hearing unless he or she requests one within 30 days after service of the notice; and
352.120. Fails to request an informal public hearing within that time;
352.200. The written notice referred to in R645-400-352.110 will be delivered to the permittee by an authorized representative or sent by certified mail to the permittee no later than five days after the notice or order is served on the permittee; and
352.300. The permittee will be deemed to have consented to an extension of the time for holding the informal public hearing if his or her request is received on or after the 21st day after service of the notice or order. The extension of time will be equal to the number of days elapsed after the 21st day.
353. The Division will give as much advance notice as is practicable of the time, place, and subject matter of the informal public hearing to:
353.100. The permittee; and
353.200. Any person who filed a report which led to that notice or order.
354. The Division will also post notice of the hearing at the office closest to the mine site, and publish it, where practicable, in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of the mine.
355. An informal public hearing will be conducted by a representative of the Board who may accept oral or written arguments and any other relevant information from any person attending.
356. Within five days after the close of the informal public hearing, the Division will affirm, modify or vacate the notice or order in writing. The decision will be sent to:
356.100. The permittee; and
356.200. Any person who filed a report which led to the notice or order.
357. The granting or waiver of an informal public hearing will not affect the right of any person to formal review under UCA 40-10-22 -(3). At such formal review proceedings, no evidence as to statements made or evidence produced at an informal public hearing will be introduced as evidence or to impeach a witness.
360. Board Review of Citations.
361. Petition Process.
361.100. A permittee issued a notice of violation or cessation order under R645-400-320 or R645-400-310 or a person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected by the issuance, modification, vacation or termination of a notice or order, may request review of the Division's action by filing an application for review and request for hearing pursuant to UCA 40-10-22(3) and the Board's Rules within 30 days after receiving notice of the action.
361.200. Upon written petition by the operator or an interested party, the Board, at its discretion, or a hearing examiner appointed by the Board, pursuant to UCA 40-6-10(6), may be requested to hold a hearing at the site of the operation or within such reasonable proximity to the site that any viewings of the site can be conducted during the course of public hearing.
361.300. The Board will issue an order concerning the cessation order within 30 days after its next regularly scheduled hearing of receipt of the petition for review of the Division's cessation order.
362. The filing of a petition for review and request for a hearing under R645-400-360 will not operate as a stay of any notice or order, or of any modification, termination or vacation of either.
370. Inability to Comply.
371. No cessation order or notice of violation issued under R645-400-300 may be vacated because of inability to comply.
372. Inability to comply may not be considered in determining whether a pattern of violations exists.
373. Unless caused by lack of diligence, inability to comply may be considered only in mitigation of the amount of civil penalty under R645-401 and of the duration of the suspension of a permit under R645-400-330.
380. Compliance Conference.
381. A permittee may request an on-site compliance conference with an authorized representative to review the compliance status of any condition or practice proposed at any coal exploration or coal mining and reclamation operation. Any such conference will not constitute an inspection within the meaning of UCA 40-10-19 or R645-400-100.
382. The Division may accept or refuse any request to conduct a compliance conference under R645-400-381. Where the Division accepts such a request, reasonable notice of the scheduled date and time of the compliance conference will be given to the permittee.
383. The authorized representative at any compliance conference will review such proposed conditions and practices as the permittees may request in order to determine whether any such condition or practice may become a violation of any requirement of the Act or of any applicable permit or exploration proposal.
384. Neither the holding of any compliance conference under R645-400-380 nor any opinion given by the authorized representative at such a conference will affect:
384.100. Any rights or obligations of the Division or of the permittee with respect to any inspection, notice of violation or cessation order, whether prior or subsequent to such conference; or
384.200. The validity of any notice of violation or cessation order issued with respect to any condition or practice reviewed at the compliance conference.
390. Injunctive Relief.
391. The Division may request the Utah Attorney General's office to institute a civil action for relief, including a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order or any other order, in the district court for the district in which the coal exploration or coal mining and reclamation operation is located or in which the permittee has his principal office, whenever that permittee, in violation of the State Program or any condition of an exploration approval or permit:
391.100. Violates or fails or refuses to comply with any order or decision of the Division under the State Program;
391.200. Interferes with, hinders or delays the Division in carrying out the provisions of the State Program;
391.300. Refuses to admit the Division to a mine;
391.400. Refuses to permit inspection of a mine by the Division;
391.500. Refuses to furnish any required information or report;
391.600. Refuses to permit access to or copying of any required records; or
391.700. Refuses to permit inspection of monitoring equipment.
392. No citizen suits may be brought pursuant to UCA 40-10-21 if the Board, Division or State Attorney General has commenced and is diligently prosecuting a civil action under R645-400-391, however, in any such action in a state court any interested person may intervene as permitted by and in accordance with Rule 24 of the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure.

Notes

Utah Admin. Code R645-400-300

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