42 U.S. Code § 300i - Emergency powers
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(a) Actions authorized against imminent and substantial endangerment to health
Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter the Administrator, upon receipt of information that a contaminant which is present in or is likely to enter a public water system or an underground source of drinking water, or that there is a threatened or potential terrorist attack (or other intentional act designed to disrupt the provision of safe drinking water or to impact adversely the safety of drinking water supplied to communities and individuals), which may present an imminent and substantial endangerment to the health of persons, and that appropriate State and local authorities have not acted to protect the health of such persons, may take such actions as he may deem necessary in order to protect the health of such persons. To the extent he determines it to be practicable in light of such imminent endangerment, he shall consult with the State and local authorities in order to confirm the correctness of the information on which action proposed to be taken under this subsection is based and to ascertain the action which such authorities are or will be taking. The action which the Administrator may take may include (but shall not be limited to)
(1) issuing such orders as may be necessary to protect the health of persons who are or may be users of such system (including travelers), including orders requiring the provision of alternative water supplies by persons who caused or contributed to the endangerment, and
(2) commencing a civil action for appropriate relief, including a restraining order or permanent or temporary injunction.
(b) Penalties for violations; separate offenses
Any person who violates or fails or refuses to comply with any order issued by the Administrator under subsection (a)(1) of this section may, in an action brought in the appropriate United States district court to enforce such order, be subject to a civil penalty of not to exceed $15,000 for each day in which such violation occurs or failure to comply continues.
Source(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title XIV, § 1431, as added Pub. L. 93–523, § 2(a),Dec. 16, 1974, 88 Stat. 1680; amended Pub. L. 99–339, title II, § 204,June 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 660; Pub. L. 104–182, title I, § 113(d),Aug. 6, 1996, 110 Stat. 1636; Pub. L. 107–188, title IV, § 403(2),June 12, 2002, 116 Stat. 687.)
2002—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107–188, in first sentence, inserted “, or that there is a threatened or potential terrorist attack (or other intentional act designed to disrupt the provision of safe drinking water or to impact adversely the safety of drinking water supplied to communities and individuals), which” after “drinking water”.
1996—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–182substituted “$15,000” for “$5,000”.
1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–339, § 204(1), (2), inserted “or an underground source of drinking water” after “to enter a public water system” and “including orders requiring the provision of alternative water supplies by persons who caused or contributed to the endangerment,” after “including travelers),”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–339, § 204(3), struck out “willfully” after “person who” and substituted “subject to a civil penalty of not to exceed” for “fined not more than”.