A civil action authorized to be brought under this section shall be referred to the Attorney General for appropriate action, except that the Secretary is not required to refer to the Attorney General a violation of this chapter, or any order or regulation issued under this chapter, if the Secretary believes that the administration and enforcement of this chapter would be adequately served by administrative action under subsection (c) or suitable written notice or warning to the person who committed or is committing the violation.
A person who willfully violates a provision of any order or regulation issued by the Secretary under this chapter, or who fails or refuses to pay, collect, or remit any assessment or fee duly required of the person under such order or regulation, may be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 for each such violation. Each violation shall be a separate offense.
The penalty assessed or cease and desist order issued under this subsection shall be final and conclusive unless the person against whom the penalty is assessed or the order is issued files an appeal with the appropriate district court of the United States in accordance with subsection (d).
A finding of the Secretary shall be set aside only if the finding is found to be unsupported by substantial evidence.
A person who fails to obey a cease and desist order after the order has become final and unappealable, or after the appropriate United States district court has entered a final judgment in favor of the Secretary, shall be subject to a civil penalty assessed by the Secretary, after opportunity for a hearing and for judicial review under the procedures specified in subsections (c) and (d), of not more than $500 for each offense. Each day during which such failure continues shall be considered as a separate violation of such order.
If a person fails to pay an assessment of a civil penalty after it has become final and unappealable, or after the appropriate United States district court has entered final judgment in favor of the Secretary, the Secretary shall refer the matter to the Attorney General for recovery of the amount assessed in any district court in which the person resides or conducts business. In such action, the validity and appropriateness of such civil penalty shall not be subject to review.