HEALTH AND SAFETY
ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY — HEALTH
39-108. Investigation — Inspection — Right of entry — Violation — Enforcement — Penalty — Injunctions. (1) The director shall cause investigations to be made upon receipt of information concerning an alleged violation of this act or of any rule, permit or order promulgated thereunder, and may cause to be made such other investigations as the director shall deem advisable.
(2) For the purpose of enforcing any provision of this chapter or any rule authorized in this chapter, the director or the director’s designee shall have the authority to:
(a) Conduct a program of continuing surveillance and of regular or periodic inspection of actual or potential environmental hazards, air contamination sources, water pollution sources and of solid waste disposal sites;
(b) Enter at all reasonable times upon any private or public property, upon presentation of appropriate credentials, for the purpose of inspecting or investigating to ascertain possible violations of this act or of rules, permits or orders adopted and promulgated by the director or the board;
(c) All inspections and investigations conducted under the authority of this chapter shall be performed in conformity with the prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures contained in the fourth amendment to the constitution of the United States and section 17, article I, of the constitution of the state of Idaho. The state shall not, under the authority granted by this chapter, conduct warrantless searches of private property in the absence of either consent from the property owner or occupier or exigent circumstances such as a public health or environmental emergency;
(d) Any district court in and for the county in which the subject property is located is authorized to issue a search warrant to the director upon a showing of (i) probable cause to suspect a violation, or (ii) the existence of a reasonable program of inspection. Any search warrant issued under the authority of this chapter shall be limited in scope to the specific purposes for which it is issued and shall state with specificity the manner and the scope of the search authorized.
(3) Whenever the director determines that any person is in violation of any provision of this act or any rule, permit or order issued or promulgated pursuant to this act, the director may commence either of the following:
(a) Administrative enforcement action.
(i) Notice. The director may commence an administrative enforcement action by issuing a written notice of violation. The notice of violation shall identify the alleged violation with specificity, shall specify each provision of the act, rule, regulation, permit or order which has been violated and shall state the amount of civil penalty claimed for each violation. The notice of violation shall inform the person to whom it is directed of an opportunity to confer with the director or the director’s designee in a compliance conference concerning the alleged violation. A written response may be required within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the notice of violation by the person to whom it is directed.
(ii) Scheduling compliance conference. If a recipient of a notice of violation contacts the department within fifteen (15) days of the receipt of the notice, the recipient shall be entitled to a compliance conference. The conference shall be held within twenty (20) days of the date of receipt of the notice, unless a later date is agreed upon between the parties. If a compliance conference is not requested, the director may proceed with a civil enforcement action as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection.
(iii) Compliance conference. The compliance conference shall provide an opportunity for the recipient of a notice of violation to explain the circumstances of the alleged violation and, where appropriate, to present a proposal for remedying damage caused by the alleged violation and assuring future compliance.
(iv) Consent order. If the recipient and the director agree on a plan to remedy damage caused by the alleged violation and to assure future compliance, they may enter into a consent order formalizing their agreement. The consent order may include a provision providing for payment of any agreed civil penalty.
(v) Effect of consent order. A consent order shall be effective immediately upon signing by both parties and shall preclude any civil enforcement action for the same alleged violation. If a party does not comply with the terms of the consent order, the director may seek and obtain, in any appropriate district court, specific performance of the consent order and such other relief as authorized in this chapter.
(vi) Failure to reach consent order. If the parties cannot reach agreement on a consent order within sixty (60) days after the receipt of the notice of violation or if the recipient does not request a compliance conference as per paragraph (a)(ii) of this subsection, the director may commence and prosecute a civil enforcement action in district court, in accordance with paragraph (b) of this subsection.
(b) Civil enforcement action. The director may initiate a civil enforcement action through the attorney general as provided in section 39-109, Idaho Code. Civil enforcement actions shall be commenced and prosecuted in the district court in and for the county in which the alleged violation occurred and may be brought against any person who is alleged to have violated any provision of this act or any rule, permit or order which has become effective pursuant to this act. Such action may be brought to compel compliance with any provision of this act or with any rule, permit or order promulgated hereunder and for any relief or remedies authorized in this act. The director shall not be required to initiate or prosecute an administrative action before initiating a civil enforcement action.
(4) No civil or administrative proceeding may be brought to recover for a violation of any provision of this chapter or a violation of any rule, permit or order issued or promulgated pursuant to this chapter more than two (2) years after the director had knowledge or ought reasonably to have had knowledge of the violation.
(5) Monetary penalties.
(a) Any person determined in a civil enforcement action to have violated any provision of this act or any rule, permit or order promulgated pursuant to this act shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed the following amounts:
(i) For any violation of any provision of this act, rule, permit or order related to air quality: ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each separate air violation and day of continuing air violation, whichever is greater;
(ii) For any violation of any provision of this act, rule, permit or order related to the Idaho national pollutant elimination system program: ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation or five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each day of a continuing violation, whichever is greater; or
(iii) For any violation of any provision of this act, rule, permit or order related to any other regulatory program authorized by this act: ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation or one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each day of a continuing violation, whichever is greater.
The method of recovery of said penalty shall be by a civil enforcement action in the district court in and for the county where the violation occurred. All civil penalties collected under this act shall be paid into the general fund of the state. Parties to an administrative enforcement action may agree to a civil penalty as provided in this subsection.
(b) The imposition or computation of monetary penalties may take into account the seriousness of the violation, good faith efforts to comply with the law, and an enforceable commitment by the person against whom the penalty is directed to implement a supplemental environmental project. For purposes of this section, "supplemental environmental project" means a project which the person is not otherwise required to perform and which prevents pollution, reduces the amount of pollutants reaching the environment, contributes to public awareness of environmental matters or enhances the quality of the environment. In evaluating a particular supplemental environmental project proposal, preference may be given to those projects with an environmental benefit that relate to the violation or the objectives of the underlying statute that was violated or that enhances the quality of the environment in the general geographic location where the violation occurred.
(6) In addition to such civil penalties, any person who has been determined to have violated the provisions of this act or the rules, permits or orders promulgated thereunder shall be liable for any expense incurred by the state in enforcing the act, or in enforcing or terminating any nuisance, source of environmental degradation, cause of sickness or health hazard.
(7) No action taken pursuant to the provisions of this act or of any other environmental protection law shall relieve any person from any civil action and damages that may exist for injury or damage resulting from any violation of this act or of the rules, permits and orders promulgated thereunder.
(8) In addition to, and notwithstanding other provisions of this act, in circumstances of emergency creating conditions of imminent and substantial danger to the public health or environment, the prosecuting attorney or the attorney general may institute a civil action for an immediate injunction to halt any discharge, emission or other activity in violation of provisions of this act or rules, permits and orders promulgated thereunder. In such action the court may issue an ex parte restraining order.
(9) In any administrative or civil enforcement proceeding for violation of any Idaho NPDES program rule, permit, requirement or order, the department shall comply with the public participation requirements set forth in 40 CFR 123.27(d)(2).
[39-108, added 1972, ch. 347, sec. 8, p. 1017; am. 1974, ch. 23, sec. 52, p. 633; am. 1986, ch. 60, sec. 2, p. 170; am. 1993, ch. 275, sec. 5, p. 933; am. 1997, ch. 94, sec. 2, p. 221; am. 2000, ch. 132, sec. 16, p. 330; am. 2014, ch. 40, sec. 1, p. 92.]