18.104.150  <<  18.104.155 >>   18.104.160

Civil penaltiesAmount and disposition.

(1) Except as provided in RCW 43.05.060 through 43.05.080 and 43.03.150, the department of ecology may assess a civil penalty for a violation of this chapter or rules or orders of the department adopted or issued pursuant to it.
(2) There shall be three categories of violations: Minor, serious, and major.
(a) A minor violation is a violation that does not seriously threaten public health, safety, and the environment. Minor violations include, but are not limited to:
(i) Failure to submit completed start cards and well reports within the required time;
(ii) Failure to submit variance requests before construction;
(iii) Failure to submit well construction fees;
(iv) Failure to place a well identification tag on a new well; and
(v) Minor or reparable construction problems.
(b) A serious violation is a violation that poses a critical or serious threat to public health, safety, and the environment. Serious violations include, but are not limited to:
(i) Improper well construction;
(ii) Intentional and improper location or siting of a well;
(iii) Construction of a well without a required permit;
(iv) Violation of decommissioning requirements;
(v) Repeated minor violations; or
(vi) Construction of a well by a person whose license has expired or has been suspended for not more than ninety days.
(c) A major violation is the construction of a well by a person:
(i) Without a license; or
(ii) After the person's license has been suspended for more than ninety days or revoked.
(3)(a) The penalty for a minor violation shall be not less than one hundred dollars and not more than five hundred dollars. Before the imposition of a penalty for a minor violation, the department may issue an order of noncompliance to provide an opportunity for mitigation or compliance.
(b) The penalty for a serious violation shall be not less than five hundred dollars and not more than five thousand dollars.
(c) The penalty for a major violation shall be not less than five thousand dollars and not more than ten thousand dollars.
(4) In determining the appropriate penalty under subsection (3) of this section the department shall consider whether the person:
(a) Has demonstrated a general disregard for public health and safety through the number and magnitude of the violations;
(b) Has demonstrated a disregard for the well construction laws or rules in repeated or continuous violations; or
(c) Knew or reasonably should have known of circumstances that resulted in the violation.
(5) Penalties provided for in this section shall be imposed pursuant to RCW 43.21B.300. The department shall provide thirty days written notice of a violation as provided in RCW 43.21B.300(3).
(6) For informational purposes, a copy of the notice of violation, resulting from the improper construction of a well, that is sent to a water well contractor or water well construction operator, shall also be sent by the department to the well owner.
(7) Penalties collected by the department pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the reclamation account established by chapter 89.16 RCW. Subject to legislative appropriation, the penalties may be spent only for purposes related to the restoration and enhancement of groundwater resources in the state.


FindingsShort titleIntent1995 c 403: See note following RCW 34.05.328.
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