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SF 4343

as introduced - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/17/2020 12:16pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to environment; modifying penalties; requiring higher financial penalties
for repeated violations; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, sections 115.071,
subdivision 3; 116.072, subdivisions 2, 5.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 115.071, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Civil penalties.

new text begin(a) new text endAny person who violates any provision of this chapter or
chapter 114C or 116, except any provisions of chapter 116 relating to air and land pollution
caused by agricultural operations deleted text beginwhichdeleted text endnew text begin thatnew text end do not involve national pollutant discharge
elimination system permits, or of (1) any effluent standards and limitations or water quality
standards, (2) any permit or term or condition thereof, (3) any national pollutant discharge
elimination system filing requirements, (4) any duty to permit or carry out inspection, entry
or monitoring activities, or (5) any rules, stipulation agreements, variances, schedules of
compliance, or orders issued by the agency, deleted text beginshall forfeitdeleted text endnew text begin forfeitsnew text end and new text beginmust new text endpay to the state
a penalty, in an amount to be determined by the court, of not more than $10,000 per day of
violationnew text begin,new text end except that if the violation relates to hazardous wastenew text begin,new text end the person deleted text beginshall forfeitdeleted text endnew text begin
forfeits
new text end and new text beginmust new text endpay to the state a penalty, in an amount to be determined by the court, of
not more than $25,000 per day of violation.

new text begin (b) A person who violates any of the provisions referenced in paragraph (a) within 36
months of one or more previous violations subject to enforcement under this section or
section 116.072 forfeits and must pay to the state a penalty, in an amount to be determined
by the court, of at least $....... per day of violation or ... percent more than the penalty imposed
for the most recent violation, whichever is greater, except that if the violation relates to
hazardous waste, the person forfeits and must pay to the state a penalty, in an amount to be
determined by the court, of at least $....... per day of violation or ... percent more than the
penalty imposed for the most recent violation, whichever is greater. A penalty imposed
under this paragraph must not exceed $10,000 per day of violation, except that if the violation
relates to hazardous waste, the penalty must not exceed $25,000 per day of violation.
new text end

new text begin (c) new text endIn addition, in the discretion of the court, the defendant may be required to:

deleted text begin (a)deleted text endnew text begin (1)new text end forfeit and pay to the state a sum which will adequately compensate the state for
the reasonable value of cleanup and other expenses directly resulting from unauthorized
discharge of pollutants, whether or not accidental;new text begin and
new text end

deleted text begin (b)deleted text endnew text begin (2)new text end forfeit and pay to the state an additional sum to constitute just compensation for
any loss or destruction to wildlife, fish or other aquatic life and for other actual damages to
the state caused by an unauthorized discharge of pollutants.

new text begin (d) new text endAs a defense to any of said damages, the defendant may prove that the violation was
caused solely by (1) an act of God, (2) an act of war, (3) negligence on the part of the state
of Minnesota, or (4) an act or failure to act which constitutes sabotage or vandalism, or any
combination of the foregoing clauses.

new text begin (e) new text endThe civil penalties and damages provided for in this subdivision may be recovered
by a civil action brought by the attorney general in the name of the state.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116.072, subdivision 2, is amended to read:


Subd. 2.

Amount of penalty; considerations.

(a) The commissioner or county board
may issue orders assessing penalties up to $20,000 for violations identified during an
inspection or other compliance review.

(b) In determining the amount of a penaltynew text begin,new text end the commissioner or county board deleted text beginmaydeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end
consider:

(1) the willfulness of the violation;

(2) the gravity of the violation, including damage to humans, animals, air, water, land,
or other natural resources of the state;

(3) the history of past violations;

(4) the number of violations;

(5) the economic benefit gained by the person by allowing or committing the violation;
and

(6) other factors as justice may require, if the commissioner or county board specifically
identifies the additional factors in the commissioner's or county board's order.

(c) For a violation after an initial violation, the commissioner or county board deleted text beginshalldeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end,
in determining the amount of a penalty, consider the factors in paragraph (b) and the:

(1) similarity of the most recent previous violation and the violation to be penalized;

(2) time elapsed since the last violation;

(3) number of previous violations; and

(4) response of the person to the most recent previous violation identified.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment and
applies to an order assessing a penalty issued on or after that date.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 116.072, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Penalty.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), if the commissioner or county
board determines that the violation has been corrected or appropriate steps have been taken
to correct the action, the penalty must be forgiven. Unless the person requests review of the
order under subdivision 6 or 7 before the penalty is due, the penalty in the order is due and
payable:

(1) on the 31st day after the order was received, if the person subject to the order fails
to provide information to the commissioner or county board showing that the violation has
been corrected or that appropriate steps have been taken toward correcting the violation; or

(2) on the 20th day after the person receives the commissioner's or county board's
determination under subdivision 4, paragraph (b), if the person subject to the order has
provided information to the commissioner or county board that the commissioner or county
board determines is not sufficient to show the violation has been corrected or that appropriate
steps have been taken toward correcting the violation.

(b) For a repeated or serious violation, the commissioner or county board deleted text beginmaydeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end
issue an order with a penalty that will not be forgiven after the corrective action is taken.
new text begin A penalty for a repeated violation that occurs within 36 months of one or more previous
violations must be at least ... percent more than the penalty imposed for the most recent
violation, except the amount must not exceed the maximum penalty established in subdivision
2.
new text endThe penalty is due by 31 days after the order was received unless review of the order
under subdivision 6, 7, or 8 has been sought.

(c) Interest at the rate established in section 549.09 begins to accrue on penalties under
this subdivision on the 31st day after the order with the penalty was received.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment and
applies to an order assessing a penalty issued on or after that date.
new text end