_________ Bill No. _______
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
By Request of the Department of Environmental Quality
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act establishing a presumption of continuing violation for air quality administrative penalties; extending the presumption of continuing violation for air quality civil penalties; and amending sections 75-2-401 and 75-2-413, MCA."
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 75-2-401, MCA, is amended to read:
"75-2-401. Enforcement -- notice -- order for corrective action -- administrative penalty. (1) When the department believes that a violation of this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, or a condition or limitation imposed by a permit issued pursuant to this chapter has occurred, it may cause written notice to be served personally or by certified mail on the alleged violator or the violator's agent. The notice must specify the provision of this chapter, the rule, or the permit condition or limitation alleged to be violated and the facts alleged to constitute a violation. The notice may include an order to take necessary corrective action within a reasonable period of time stated in the order or an order to pay an administrative penalty, or both. The order becomes final unless, within 30 days after the notice is received, the person named requests in writing a hearing before the board. On receipt of the request, the board shall schedule a hearing.
(2) If, after a hearing held under subsection (1), the board finds that violations have occurred, it shall issue an appropriate order for the prevention, abatement, or control of the emissions involved or for the taking of other corrective action or shall assess an administrative penalty, or both. As appropriate, an order issued as part of a notice or after a hearing may prescribe the date by which the violation must cease; time limits for particular action in preventing, abating, or controlling the emissions; or the date by which the administrative penalty must be paid. If, after a hearing on an order contained in a notice, the board finds that a violation has not occurred or is not occurring, it shall rescind the order.
(3) (a) An action initiated under this section may include an administrative civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each day of each violation, not to exceed a total of $80,000. If an order issued by the board under this section requires the payment of an administrative civil penalty, the board shall state findings and conclusions describing the basis for its penalty assessment.
(b) If the department has notified a person of a violation and if the department makes a prima facie showing that conduct or events giving rise to the violation are likely to have continued or recurred past the date of notice, the days of violation are presumed to include the date of the notice and every day after the notice until the person establishes that continuous compliance has been achieved. This presumption may be overcome to the extent that the person can prove by a preponderance of evidence that there were intervening days when a violation did not occur, that the violation was not continuing in nature, or that, for a telemetering device required under 75-2-230, the telemetering device was compromised or otherwise tampered with.
(b)(c) Administrative penalties collected under this section must be deposited in the state general fund. (c)(d) Penalties imposed by an administrative order under this section may not be assessed for any day of violation that
occurred more than 12 months prior to before the issuance of the initial notice and order by the department under
subsection (1). (d)(e) In determining the amount of penalty to be assessed for an alleged violation under this section, the department or
board, as appropriate, shall consider:
(i) the alleged violator's ability to pay and the economic impact of the penalty on the alleged violator;
(ii) the alleged violator's full compliance history and good faith efforts to comply;
(iii) the duration of the violation as established by any credible evidence, including evidence other than the applicable test method;
(iv) payment by the violator of penalties previously assessed for the same violation;
(v) the economic benefit of noncompliance;
(vi) the seriousness of the violation; and
(vii) other matters as justice may require.
(4) The contested case provisions of the Montana Administrative Procedure Act, Title 2, chapter 4, part 6, apply to a hearing conducted under this section.
(5) Instead of issuing the order provided for in subsection (1), the department may either:
(a) require that the alleged violators appear before the board for a hearing at a time and place specified in the notice and answer the charges complained of; or
(b) initiate action under 75-2-412 or 75-2-413.
(6) This chapter does not prevent the board or department from making efforts to obtain voluntary compliance through warning, conference, or any other appropriate means.
(7) In connection with a hearing held under this section, the board may and on application by a party shall compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of evidence on behalf of the parties."
Section 2. Section 75-2-413, MCA, is amended to read:
"75-2-413. Civil penalties -- out-of-state litigants -- effect of action -- presumption of continuing violation under certain circumstances. (1) A person who violates any provision of this chapter, a rule adopted under this chapter, or any order or permit made or issued under this chapter is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per violation. Each day of each violation constitutes a separate violation. The department may institute and maintain in the name of the state any enforcement proceedings under this section. Upon request of the department, the attorney general or the county attorney of the county of violation shall petition the district court to impose, assess, and recover the civil penalty. The civil penalty is in lieu of the criminal penalty provided for in 75-2-412, except for civil penalties for violation of the operating permit program required by Subchapter V of the federal Clean Air Act.
(2) (a) Action under subsection (1) is not a bar to enforcement of this chapter or of a rule, order, or permit made or issued under this chapter by injunction or other appropriate civil remedies.
(b) An action under subsection (1) or to enforce this chapter or a rule, order, or permit made or issued under this chapter may be brought in the district court of any county where a violation occurs or is threatened if the defendant cannot be located in Montana.
(3) If the department has notified a person
operating a commercial hazardous waste incinerator of a violation and if the
department makes a prima facie showing that the conduct or events giving rise to the violations violation are likely to have
continued or recurred past the date of notice, the days of violation are presumed to include the date of the notice and every
day after the notice until the person establishes that continuous compliance has been achieved. This presumption may be
overcome to the extent that the person operating a commercial hazardous waste incinerator can prove by a preponderance
of evidence that there were intervening days when a violation did not occur, that the violation was not continuing in nature,
or that, for a telemetering device required under 75-2-230, the telemetering device was compromised or otherwise tampered
(4) Money collected under this section must be deposited in the state general fund. This subsection does not apply to money collected by an approved local air pollution control program."
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Saving clause. [This act] does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, or proceedings that were begun before [the effective date of this act].
NEW SECTION. Section 4. Severability. If a part of [this act] is invalid, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect. If a part of [this act] is invalid in one or more of its applications, the part remains in effect in all valid applications that are severable from the invalid applications.