Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 610. Sewage Handling and Disposal Regulations

12VAC5-610-170. Enforcement of regulations.

All sewage handling and disposal facilities shall be constructed and operated in compliance with the requirements as set forth in this chapter. The commissioner may enforce this chapter through any means lawfully available.

A. Notice. Subject to the exceptions indicated below whenever the commissioner or the district or local health department has reason to believe a violation of any of these regulations has occurred or is occurring, the alleged violator shall be notified. Such notice shall be made in writing, shall be delivered personally or sent by certified mail, shall cite the regulation or regulations that are allegedly being violated, shall state the facts which form the basis for believing the violation has occurred or is occurring, shall include a request for a specific action by the recipient by a specified time and shall state the penalties associated with such violations (See § 32.1-27 of the Code of Virginia). When the commissioner deems it necessary he may initiate criminal prosecution or seek civil relief through mandamus or injunctive relief prior to giving notice.

B. Orders. Pursuant to the authority granted in § 32.1-26 of the Code of Virginia the commissioner may issue orders to require any owner to comply with the provisions of this chapter. The order shall be signed by the commissioner and may require:

1. The immediate cessation or correction, or both, of the violation;

2. The acquisition or use of additional land, equipment, supplies or personnel to assure that the violation does not recur;

3. The submission of a plan to prevent future violations to the commissioner for review and approval;

4. The submission of an application for a variance; and

5. Any other corrective action deemed necessary for proper compliance with the regulations.

C. Hearing before the issuance of an order. Before the issuance of an order described in subsection B of this section, a hearing must be held with at least 30 days notice to the affected owner of the time, place and purpose thereof, for the purpose of adjudicating the alleged violation or violations of this chapter. The procedure at the hearing shall be in accordance with 12VAC5-610-200 B and with §§ 9-6.14:11 and 9-6.14:12 of the Code of Virginia.

D. Order; when effective. All orders shall become effective not less than 15 days after mailing a copy thereof by certified mail to the last known address of the owner violating this chapter. Violation of an order is a misdemeanor. (See § 32.1-27 of the Code of Virginia.)

E. Compliance with effective orders. The commissioner may enforce all orders. Should any owner fail to comply with any order, the commissioner may:

1. Apply to an appropriate court for an injunction or other legal process to prevent or stop any practice in violation of the order;

2. Seek mandamus against any owner that is a municipal corporation;

3. Request the Attorney General to bring an action for civil penalty;

4. Request the Commonwealth's Attorney to bring a criminal action.

F. Not exclusive means of enforcement. Nothing contained in this section shall be interpreted to require the commissioner to issue an order prior to seeking enforcement of any regulations or statute through an injunction, mandamus or criminal prosecution.

G. Suspension of regulations during disasters. If in the case of a man-made or natural disaster, the commissioner finds that certain regulations cannot be complied with and that the public health is better served by not fully complying with this chapter, he may authorize the suspension of the application of the regulations for specifically affected localities and institute a provisional regulatory plan until the disaster is abated.

Statutory Authority

§§ 32.1-12 and 32.1-164 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR355-34-02 § 2.5, eff. February 5, 1986; amended, eff. May 11, 1988; Virginia Register Volume 16, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 2000.

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