Subdivision 1. Remedies available.
The provisions of sections
chapter and chapters 114C, 115A, and 116, and sections
and all rules, standards, orders, stipulation agreements, schedules of compliance, and permits
adopted or issued by the agency thereunder or under any other law now in force or hereafter
enacted for the prevention, control, or abatement of pollution may be enforced by any one or any
combination of the following: criminal prosecution; action to recover civil penalties; injunction;
action to compel performance; or other appropriate action, in accordance with the provisions of
said chapters and this section.
Subd. 2. Criminal penalties.
(a) Violations of laws; orders; permits. Except as provided in
, any person who willfully or negligently violates any provision of this chapter
or chapter 114C or 116, or any standard, rule, variance, order, stipulation agreement, schedule
of compliance or permit issued or adopted by the agency thereunder shall upon conviction be
guilty of a misdemeanor.
(b) Duty of law enforcement officials. It shall be the duty of all county attorneys, sheriffs
and other peace officers, and other officers having authority in the enforcement of the general
criminal laws to take all action to the extent of their authority, respectively, that may be necessary
or proper for the enforcement of said provisions, rules, standards, orders, stipulation agreements,
variances, schedule of compliance, or permits.
Subd. 2a.[Repealed, 1987 c 267 s 5
Subd. 2b.[Repealed, 1987 c 267 s 5
Subd. 3. Civil penalties.
Any 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 which 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, shall forfeit and pay to the state a penalty, in an amount to be determined by the court, of
not more than $10,000 per day of violation except that if the violation relates to hazardous waste
the person shall forfeit and pay to the state a penalty, in an amount to be determined by the court,
of not more than $25,000 per day of violation.
In addition, in the discretion of the court, the defendant may be required to:
(a) 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;
(b) 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.
As 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.
The 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.
Subd. 4. Injunctions.
Any violation of the provisions, rules, standards, orders, stipulation
agreements, variances, schedules of compliance, or permits specified in this chapter and chapters
114C and 116 shall constitute a public nuisance and may be enjoined as provided by law in an
action, in the name of the state, brought by the attorney general.
Subd. 5. Actions to compel performance.
In any action to compel performance of an order
of the agency for any purposes relating to the prevention, control or abatement of pollution under
this chapter and chapters 114C and 116, the court may require any defendant adjudged responsible
to do and perform any and all acts and things within the defendant's power which are reasonably
necessary to accomplish the purposes of the order. In case a municipality or its governing or
managing body or any of its officers is a defendant, the court may require it to exercise its powers,
without regard to any limitation of any requirement for an election or referendum imposed thereon
by law and without restricting the powers of the agency to do any or all of the following, without
limiting the generality hereof: to levy taxes, levy special assessments, prescribe service or use
charges, borrow money, issue bonds, employ assistance, acquire real or personal property, let
contracts or otherwise provide for the doing of work or the construction, installation, maintenance,
or operation of facilities, and do all other acts and things reasonably necessary to accomplish the
purposes of the order, but the court shall grant the municipality the opportunity to determine the
appropriate financial alternatives to be utilized in complying with the court imposed requirements.
Subd. 6. Administrative penalties.
A provision of law that may be enforced under this
section may also be enforced under section
Subd. 7. Underground and aboveground storage tanks; red tags.
(a) The commissioner
may issue a red tag for failure to have the regulated underground tank system or aboveground
tank facility at a bulk plant, as defined in section
115C.09, subdivision 3h
, paragraph (a),
protected from corrosion, failure to have spill and overfill protection, or failure to have a leak
detection method in place. A red tag may also be issued for underground storage tank system
or aboveground tank facility at a bulk plant violations if an enforcement action, including, but
not limited to, a citation as defined in section
116.073, subdivision 1
, has been issued and the
violations are not corrected. Upon discovery of a violation at a facility with an underground
storage tank system or aboveground tank facility at a bulk plant, the commissioner shall affix a
red tag, in plain view, to the fill pipe cap of the tank system that provides notice that delivery
of petroleum products to the tank system is prohibited. When the red tag is issued, agency staff
must determine the product level in the tank.
(b) No owner or operator of a facility having an underground storage tank system or
aboveground tank facility at a bulk plant shall fill or allow the filling of a tank with a petroleum
product while a red tag is affixed to the fill pipe cap of the tank system.
(c) A person shall not remove, deface, alter, or otherwise tamper with a red tag so that the
information contained on the tag is not legible.
(d) A red tag may not be removed until the commissioner has inspected the underground
storage tank system or aboveground tank facility at a bulk plant and established that it is no longer
in violation. After making that determination, the commissioner shall remove the red tag within
24 hours or as soon as reasonably possible. Upon agreement by the commissioner, the red tag may
also be removed by an agency-certified installer who provides documentation to the commissioner
that the violation for which the system was red-tagged has been corrected.
(e) The issuance of a red tag may be appealed under section
116.072, subdivision 6
paragraphs (a) to (e), except that the person subject to the order must request a hearing within
15 days after issuance of a red tag and, if a hearing is not requested within the 15-day period,
the red tag becomes a final order not subject to further review.
History: 1973 c 374 s 13; 1976 c 76 s 3; 1983 c 373 s 1-4; 1984 c 628 art 3 s 11; 1984 c 655
art 1 s 18; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 267 s 1; 1988 c 553 s 1; 1990 c 391 art 10 s 3;
1991 c 347 art 1 s 2; 1993 c 249 s 6; 1996 c 437 s 12-16; 1998 c 379 s 1; 2004 c 169 s 1