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Pennsylvania Statutes Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety § 691.601. Abatement of nuisances;  restraining violations

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(a) Any activity or condition declared by this act to be a nuisance or which is otherwise in violation of this act, shall be abatable in the manner provided by law or equity for the abatement of public nuisances.  In addition, suits to abate such nuisances or suits to restrain or prevent any violation of this act may be instituted in equity or at law in the name of the Commonwealth upon relation of the Attorney General, or upon relation of any district attorney of any county, or upon relation of the solicitor of any municipality affected, after notice has first been served upon the Attorney General of the intention of the district attorney or solicitor to so proceed.  Such proceedings may be prosecuted in the Commonwealth Court, or in the court of common pleas of the county where the activity has taken place, the condition exists, or the public is affected, and to that end jurisdiction is hereby conferred in law and equity upon such courts:  Provided, however, That no action shall be brought by such district attorney or solicitor against any municipality discharging sewage under a permit of the department heretofore issued or hereafter issued under this act:  And provided further, That, except in cases of emergency where, in the opinion of the court, the exigencies of the cases require immediate abatement of said nuisances, the court may, in its decree, fix a reasonable time during which the person or municipality responsible for the nuisances may make provision for the abatement of the same.

(b) In cases where the circumstances require it or the public health is endangered, a mandatory preliminary injunction or special injunction may be issued upon the terms prescribed by the court, notice of the application therefor having been given to the defendant in accordance with the rules of equity practice, and in any such case the Attorney General, the district attorney or the solicitor of any municipality shall not be required to give bond.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (e), any person having an interest which is or may be adversely affected may commence a civil action on his own behalf to compel compliance with this act or any rule, regulation, order or permit issued pursuant to this act against the department where there is alleged a failure of the department to perform any act which is not discretionary with the department or against any other person alleged to be in violation of any provision of this act or any rule, regulation, order or permit issued pursuant to this act.  Any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, the courts of common pleas shall have jurisdiction of such actions, and venue in such actions shall be as set forth in the Rules of Civil Procedure concerning actions in assumpsit.

(d) Whenever any person presents information to the department which gives the department reason to believe that any person is in violation of any requirement of this act or any condition of any permit issued hereunder or of the acts enumerated in subsection 315(h)   1 or any condition or any permit issued thereunder, the department shall immediately order inspection of the operation at which the alleged violation is occurring, and the department shall notify the person presenting such information and such person shall be allowed to accompany the inspector during the inspection.

(e) No action pursuant to this section may be commenced prior to sixty days after the plaintiff has given notice in writing of the violation to the department and to any alleged violator, nor may such action be commenced if the department has commenced and is diligently prosecuting a civil action in a court of the United States or a state to require compliance with this act or any rule, regulation, order or permit issued pursuant to this act, but in any such action in a court of the United States or of the Commonwealth any person may intervene as a matter of right.

(f) The provisions of subsection (b) to the contrary notwithstanding, any action pursuant to this section may be initiated immediately upon written notification to the department in the case where the violation or order complained of constitutes an imminent threat to the health or safety of the plaintiff or would immediately affect a legal interest of the plaintiff.

(g) The court, in issuing any final order in any action brought pursuant to this section, may award costs of litigation (including attorney and expert witness fees) to any party, whenever the court determines such award is appropriate.  The court may, if a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is sought, require the filing of a bond or equivalent security in accord with the Rules of Civil Procedure.

1  35 P.S. § 691.315(h).

Cite this article: - Pennsylvania Statutes Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety § 691.601. Abatement of nuisances;  restraining violations - last updated January 01, 2019 |

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