Section 880-X-11C-.04 - Suspension Or Revocation Of Permits (Alabama Administrative Code)

§ 880-X-11C-.04. Suspension Or Revocation Of Permits

(1)

(a) Except as provided in Paragraph (2) of this Rule, the Director of the State Regulatory Authority shall issue an order to a permittee requiring him to show cause why his permit should not be suspended or revoked and shall provide opportunity for a public hearing pursuant to Sections 9 and 10 of the Act, when, on the basis of an inspection by an authorized representative of the State Regulatory Authority the Director of the State Regulatory Authority determines that a pattern of violations of any requirements of the Act, or any permit condition required by the Act exists or has existed, and also finds that the violations are caused by the unwarranted failure of the permittee to comply with any requirements of the Act or any permit conditions, or that such violations are willfully caused by the permittee. Willful violation means an act or omission which violates the Act, or any permit condition required by the Act, committed by a person who intends the result which actually occurs. Unwarranted failure to comply means the failure of the permittee to prevent the occurrence of any violation of the permit or any requirement of the Act, due to indifference, lack of diligence, or lack of reasonable care, or the failure to abate any violation of such permit or the Act, due to indifference, lack of diligence, or lack of reasonable care. Violations by any person conducting surface coal mining operations on behalf of the permittee shall be attributed to the permittee, unless the permittee establishes that they were acts of deliberate sabotage.

(b) The Director of the State Regulatory Authority may determine that a pattern of violations exists or has existed, based on two or more inspections of the permit area within any 12-month period, after considering the circumstances, including:

1. The number of violations, cited on more than one occasion, of the same or related requirements of the Act, these regulations, or the permit;

2. The number of violations, cited on more than one occasion, of different requirements of the Act, these regulations, or the permit; and

3. The extent to which the violations were isolated departures from lawful conduct.

(c) The Director of the State Regulatory Authority shall determine that a pattern of violations exists, if he finds that there were violations of the same or related requirements of the Act, these regulations, or the permit during three or more inspections of the permit area within any 12-month period.

(2) The Director of the State Regulatory Authority may decline to issue a show cause order, or may vacate an outstanding show cause order, if he finds that, taking into account exceptional factors present in the particular case, it would be demonstratively unjust to issue or to fail to vacate the show cause order. The basis for this finding shall be fully explained and documented in the records of case.

(3) At the same time as the issuance of the order, the Director of the State Regulatory Authority shall:

(a) If practicable, publish notice of the order, including a brief statement of the procedure for intervention in the proceeding, in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of the surface coal mining and reclamation operations.

(b) Post a notice at the district or field office closest to the area of the surface coal mining and reclamation operations.

(4) If the permittee files an answer to the order to show cause or requests a hearing, a hearing shall be held before the DHA pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 880-X-5. The Director of the State Regulatory Authority shall publish, if practicable, the notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of the surface mining and reclamation operation and shall post it in the field office closest to those operations.

(5) Pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 880-X-5, the DHA shall issue a written determination as to whether a pattern of violations exists and, if appropriate, an order. If the permit and the permittee's right to mine under the Act are revoked or suspended, the permittee shall immediately cease surface coal mining operations on the permit area and shall:

(a) If the permit and the right to mine under the Act are revoked, complete reclamation within the time specified in the order; or

(b) If the permit and the right to mine under the Act are suspended, complete all affirmative obligations to abate all conditions, practices or violations, as specified in the order.

(6) Whenever a permittee fails to abate a violation contained in a notice of violation or a cessation order within the abatement period set in the notice or order or as subsequently extended, the State Regulatory Authority shall review the permittee's history of violations to determine whether a pattern of violations exists pursuant to this Rule, and shall issue an order to show cause as appropriate pursuant to Rule 880-X-11D-.07(2)(b).

Author:

Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, §§ 9-16-71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 79, 80, 85, 92, 93, 94, 95.

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