New Mexico Statutes Chapter 74. Environmental Improvement § 74-6-10. Penalties enforcement; compliance orders; penalties; assurance of discontinuance
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A. Whenever, on the basis of any information, a constituent agency determines that a person violated or is violating a requirement, regulation or water quality standard adopted pursuant to the Water Quality Act or a condition of a permit issued pursuant to that act, the constituent agency may:
(1) issue a compliance order requiring compliance immediately or within a specified time period or issue a compliance order assessing a civil penalty, or both; or
(2) commence a civil action in district court for appropriate relief, including injunctive relief.
B. A compliance order issued pursuant to Paragraph (1) of Subsection A of this section may include a suspension or termination of the permit allegedly violated.
C. A compliance order shall state with reasonable specificity the nature of the violation. Any penalty assessed in the compliance order shall not exceed:
(1) fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) per day of noncompliance with the provisions in Section 74-6-5 NMSA 1978, including a regulation adopted or a permit issued pursuant to that section; or
(2) ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per day for each violation of a provision of the Water Quality Act other than the provisions in Section 74-6-5 NMSA 1978 or of a regulation or water quality standard adopted pursuant to the Water Quality Act.
D. In assessing a penalty authorized by this section, the constituent agency shall take into account the seriousness of the violation, any good faith efforts to comply with the applicable requirements and other relevant factors.
E. For purposes of this section, a single operational event that leads to simultaneous violations of more than one standard shall be treated as a single violation.
F. If a person fails to take corrective actions within the time specified in a compliance order, the constituent agency may:
(1) assess a civil penalty of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for each day of continued noncompliance with the compliance order; and
(2) suspend or terminate the permit violated by the person.
G. Any compliance order issued by a constituent agency pursuant to this section shall become final unless, no later than thirty days after the compliance order is served, any person named in the compliance order submits a written request to the commission for a public hearing. The commission shall conduct a public hearing within ninety days after receipt of a request.
H. The commission may appoint an independent hearing officer to preside over any public hearing held pursuant to Subsection F of this section. The hearing officer shall:
(1) make and preserve a complete record of the proceedings; and
(2) forward to the commission a report that includes recommendations, if recommendations are requested by the commission.
I. The commission shall consider the findings of the independent hearing officer and, based on the evidence presented at the hearing, the commission shall make a final decision regarding the compliance order.
J. In connection with any proceeding under this section, the commission may:
(1) adopt rules for discovery procedures; and
(2) issue subpoenas for the attendance and testimony of witnesses and for relevant papers, books and documents.
K. Penalties collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the general fund.
L. As an additional means of enforcing the Water Quality Act or any regulation or standard of the commission, the commission may accept an assurance of discontinuance of any act or practice deemed in violation of the Water Quality Act or any regulation or standard adopted pursuant to that act, from any person engaging in, or who has engaged in, such act or practice, signed and acknowledged by the chairman of the commission and the party affected. Any such assurance shall specify a time limit during which the discontinuance is to be accomplished.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - New Mexico Statutes Chapter 74. Environmental Improvement § 74-6-10. Penalties enforcement; compliance orders; penalties; assurance of discontinuance - last updated May 06, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/nm/chapter-74-environmental-improvement/nm-st-sect-74-6-10.html
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