75-6-109. Administrative enforcement. (1) If the department believes that a violation of this part, a rule adopted under this part, or a condition of approval issued under this part has occurred, it may serve written notice of the violation, by certified mail, on the alleged violator or the violator's agent. The notice must specify the provision of this part, the rule, or the condition of approval alleged to have been violated and the facts alleged to constitute a violation. The notice must include an order to take necessary corrective action within a reasonable period of time. The time period must be stated in the order. Service by mail is complete on the date of filing.
(2) If the alleged violator does not request a hearing before the board within 30 days of the date of service, the order becomes final. Failure to comply with a final order may subject the violator to an action commenced pursuant to 75-6-104, 75-6-113, or 75-6-114.
(3) If the alleged violator requests a hearing before the board within 30 days of the date of service, the board shall schedule a hearing. After the hearing is held, the board may:
(a) affirm or modify the department's order issued under subsection (1) if the board finds that a violation has occurred; or
(b) rescind the department's order if the board finds that a violation has not occurred.
(4) An order issued by the department or the board may set a date by which the violation must cease and set a time limit for action to correct a violation.
(5) As an alternative to issuing an order pursuant to subsection (1), the department may:
(a) require the alleged violator to appear before the board for a hearing, at a time and place specified in the notice, to answer the charges complained of; or
(b) initiate an action under 75-6-111(2), 75-6-113, or 75-6-114.
(6) (a) An action initiated under this part may include an administrative penalty not to exceed:
(i) $1,000 for each day of a violation pertaining to a public water system, other than a water hauler or a water bottling plant, that serves a population of more than 10,000; and
(ii) $500 for each day of violation for other violations.
(b) Administrative penalties collected under this section must be deposited in the state general fund.
(7) In determining the amount of penalty to be assessed to a person, the department or the board, as appropriate, shall consider the penalty factors in 75-1-1001 and the rules promulgated under 75-6-103(2)(i).
(8) The contested case provisions of the Montana Administrative Procedure Act, provided for in Title 2, chapter 4, part 6, apply to a hearing under 75-6-108 or this section.
History: En. Sec. 6, Ch. 645, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 302, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 64, Ch. 509, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 10, Ch. 73, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 195, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 11, Ch. 487, L. 2005.