IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE — WATER RIGHTS AND RECLAMATION
DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES — WATER RESOURCE BOARD
42-1701B. Enforcement procedure — Notice — Consent order — Civil action. (1) Authority to commence actions. The director of the department of water resources is authorized and may commence and pursue enforcement actions to remedy the designated violations set out in title 42, Idaho Code.
(2) Notice. When the director commences an administrative enforcement action the notice of violation shall be served upon the alleged violator in person or by certified mail. The notice of violation shall identify the alleged violation and shall specify each provision of the designated chapter, rule, permit, condition of approval or order which has been violated. The notice of violation shall state the remedy, including any demand to cease and desist, restoration and mitigation measures, and the amount of any civil penalty the director seeks for redress of the violation. Factors the director may consider in seeking the appropriate remedy include the impact of the violation and whether the violation was willful, a repeat violation for which the violator had been given a prior written warning, or the violator has otherwise refused to comply with the department’s lawful directives. 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.
(3) Response. A written response may be required within fourteen (14) days of the receipt of the notice of violation by the person to whom it is directed. If a recipient of a notice of violation contacts the department within fourteen (14) days of the receipt of the notice, the recipient shall be entitled to a compliance conference. The conference shall be held within twenty-one (21) days of the 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 this section.
(4) Compliance conference and consent order. The compliance conference shall provide an opportunity for the recipient of a notice of violation to explain the circumstance of the alleged violation and, where appropriate, to present a proposal for remedying the damage caused by the violation and assuring future compliance. 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. The consent order shall be effective immediately upon signing by both parties and shall preclude a 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 other relief as authorized by law. If the parties cannot agree to a consent order within fifty-six (56) days after the receipt of the notice of violation, or if the recipient does not request a compliance conference, the director may commence and prosecute a civil enforcement action in the district court in accordance with this section.
(5) Civil enforcement actions.
(a) The director may initiate a civil enforcement action through the attorney general as provided in this section. 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 substantially violated any provision of title 42, Idaho Code, or any rule promulgated pursuant to that title. The action may be brought to compel compliance with provisions of title 42, Idaho Code, or rules promulgated pursuant to that title. The director shall not be required to prosecute an administrative enforcement action before initiating a civil enforcement action.
(b) Nothing in this section shall preclude employees of the department designated by the director from issuing Idaho uniform citations or written administrative orders directing persons to cease and desist as authorized by law.
(c) If the person who is the subject of the notice of violation fails to cease and desist the activity or activities constituting the alleged violation within the time limits set in the notice of violation, the director may seek, by and through the attorney general, injunctive relief in the district court pending the outcome of the administrative enforcement action.
(d) In an action brought against a person for diverting water without having obtained a valid water right to do so, the director need not allege or prove that irreparable injury to the state or to other water users will occur should the preliminary injunction not be issued or that the remedy at law is inadequate, and the preliminary injunction or permanent injunction shall issue without those allegations and without that proof.
(a) Any person determined in a judicial civil enforcement action to have substantially violated any designated provision of title 42, Idaho Code, or any rule promulgated pursuant to that title, shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violation or one hundred fifty dollars ($150) per day for a continuing violation, whichever is greater; except that persons determined to be in violation of section 42-351, Idaho Code, shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed:
(i) For nonirrigation uses, fifty dollars ($50.00) per one-tenth (0.1) cubic feet per second of water or part thereof diverted per calendar day, or fifty dollars ($50.00) per two tenths (0.2) of an acre foot of water or part thereof diverted to storage, up to a maximum penalty of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) per year for water illegally used or diverted;
(ii) For irrigation uses, three hundred dollars ($300) annually for each acre irrigated, in whole or in part, by the illegal use or diversion.
(b) Civil penalties shall not be assessed for violations that have occurred more than twelve (12) months prior to the issuance of the notice of violation. The court shall determine the amount of the penalty based upon the willfulness of the violation, the economic value obtained by the violator and the damage to public resources and other water right holders. A method of recovery of the penalty shall be a civil enforcement action in and for the county where the violation occurred.
(c) All civil penalties collected under this section shall be paid into the water right[s] enforcement account established pursuant to section 42-1778, Idaho Code.
(d) Parties to an administrative enforcement action may agree to a civil penalty as provided in this subsection.
(7) No action taken pursuant to this section shall relieve any person from any civil liability and damages that may exist for injury or damage resulting to others.
(8) Upon request of the director, it shall be the duty of the attorney general to institute and prosecute civil enforcement actions pursuant to this section.
[42-1701B, added 1998, ch. 173, sec. 8, p. 607; am. 2003, ch. 165, sec. 2, p. 468.]