§ 880-X-11D-.10. Procedures For Assessment Conference
(1) The State Regulatory Authority shall arrange for a conference to review the proposed assessment or reassessment, upon written request of the person to whom the notice or order was issued, if the request is received within 30 days from the date the proposed assessment or reassessment is mailed.
(a) The State Regulatory Authority shall assign a conference officer to hold the assessment conference. The assessment conference shall be held within 60 days from the date of issuance of the proposed assessment or the end of the abatement period, whichever is later.
(b) The State Regulatory Authority shall post notice of the time and place of the conference at the field office closest to the mine at least five days before the conference. Any person shall have a right to attend and participate in the conference.
(c) The conference officer shall consider all relevant information on the violation. Within 30 days after the conference is held, the conference officer shall either:
1. Settle the issues, in which case a settlement agreement shall be prepared and signed by the conference officer on behalf of the State Regulatory Authority and by the person assessed; or
2. Affirm, raise, lower, or vacate the penalty.
(d) An increase or reduction of a proposed civil penalty assessment of more than 25 percent and more than $500.00 shall not be final and binding on the State Regulatory Authority until approved by the Director of the State Regulatory Authority, or designee.
(3) The conference officer shall promptly serve the person assessed with a notice of his or her action in the manner provided in Rule 880-X-11D-.09(2) and shall include a worksheet if the penalty has been raised or lowered. The reasons for the conference officer's action shall be fully documented in the file.
(a) If a settlement agreement is entered into, the person assessed will be deemed to have waived all rights to further review of the violation or penalty in question, except as otherwise expressly provided for in the settlement agreement. The settlement agreement shall contain a clause to this effect.
(b) If full payment of the amount specified in the settlement agreement is not received by the State Regulatory Authority within 30 days after the date of signing, the State Regulatory Authority may enforce the agreement or rescind it and proceed according to Paragraph (2)(c)2. within 30 days from the date of the rescission.
(c) At a formal review following an assessment conference, no evidence as to statements made or evidence produced by one party at a conference shall be introduced as evidence by another party or to impeach a witness.
Author: Randall C. Johnson(May 20, 1982; Amended: November 14, 1989; effective: March 7, 1991.)
Statutory Authority: Code of Ala. 1975, §§ 9-16-71, 73, 74, 75, 76, 79, 80, 92, 93, 94.
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