Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 62.1. Waters of the State, Ports and Harbors
Chapter 3.1. State Water Control Law
12/1/2020

This section has more than one version with varying effective dates. Scroll down to see all versions.

§ 62.1-44.15:63. (For expiration date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Penalties, injunctions and other legal actions.

A. Violators of § 62.1-44.15:55, 62.1-44.15:56, or 62.1-44.15:58 shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Any person who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board, any order, notice, or requirement of the Department or VESCP authority, any condition of a permit, or any provision of this article or associated regulation shall, upon a finding of an appropriate court, be assessed a civil penalty. If a locality or district serving as a VESCP authority has adopted a uniform schedule of civil penalties as permitted by subsection K of § 62.1-44.15:54, such assessment shall be in accordance with the schedule. The VESCP authority or the Department may issue a summons for collection of the civil penalty. In any trial for a scheduled violation, it shall be the burden of the locality or Department to show the liability of the violator by a preponderance of the evidence. An admission or finding of liability shall not be a criminal conviction for any purpose. Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the treasury of the locality wherein the land lies, except that where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent, or where the Department is issuing the summons, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury.

C. The VESCP authority, the Department, or the owner of property that has sustained damage or which is in imminent danger of being damaged may apply to the circuit court in any jurisdiction wherein the land lies or other appropriate court to enjoin a violation or a threatened violation under § 62.1-44.15:55, 62.1-44.15:56, or 62.1-44.15:58 without the necessity of showing that an adequate remedy at law does not exist; however, an owner of property shall not apply for injunctive relief unless (i) he has notified in writing the person who has violated the VESCP, the Department, and the VESCP authority that a violation of the VESCP has caused, or creates a probability of causing, damage to his property, and (ii) neither the person who has violated the VESCP, the Department, nor the VESCP authority has taken corrective action within 15 days to eliminate the conditions that have caused, or create the probability of causing, damage to his property.

D. In addition to any criminal or civil penalties provided under this article, any person who violates any provision of this article may be liable to the VESCP authority or the Department, as appropriate, in a civil action for damages.

E. Without limiting the remedies that may be obtained in this section, any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any injunction, mandamus, or other remedy obtained pursuant to this section shall be subject, in the discretion of the court, to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,000 for each violation. A civil action for such violation or failure may be brought by the VESCP authority wherein the land lies or the Department. Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the treasury of the locality wherein the land lies, except that where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent, or other VESCP authority, or where the penalties are assessed as the result of an enforcement action brought by the Department, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury.

F. With the consent of any person who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board, any order, notice, or requirement of the Department or VESCP authority, any condition of a permit, or any provision of this article or associated regulations, the Board, the Director, or VESCP authority may provide, in an order issued by the Board or VESCP authority against such person, for the payment of civil charges for violations in specific sums, not to exceed the limit specified in subsection E. Such civil charges shall be instead of any appropriate civil penalty that could be imposed under subsection B or E.

G. Upon request of a VESCP authority, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall take legal action to enforce the provisions of this article. Upon request of the Board, the Department, or the district, the Attorney General shall take appropriate legal action on behalf of the Board, the Department, or the district to enforce the provisions of this article.

H. Compliance with the provisions of this article shall be prima facie evidence in any legal or equitable proceeding for damages caused by erosion or sedimentation that all requirements of law have been met and the complaining party must show negligence in order to recover any damages.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.11; 1988, cc. 694, 891, § 10.1-569; 1992, c. 298; 1993, c. 925; 1995, c. 832; 1996, c. 518; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793.

§ 62.1-44.15:63. (For effective date, see Acts 2016, cc. 68 and 758, as amended by Acts 2017, c. 345) Penalties, injunctions and other legal actions.

A. Any person who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board, any order, notice, or requirement of the VESCP authority, any condition of a land-disturbance approval, or any provision of this article or associated regulation shall, upon a finding of an appropriate court, be assessed a civil penalty. If a locality serving as a VESCP authority has adopted a uniform schedule of civil penalties as permitted by subsection G of § 62.1-44.15:54, such assessment shall be in accordance with the schedule. The VESCP authority or the Board may issue a summons for collection of the civil penalty. In any trial for a scheduled violation, it shall be the burden of the Board or the VESCP authority to show the liability of the violator by a preponderance of the evidence. Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the treasury of the locality wherein the land lies and are to be used solely for stormwater management capital projects, including (i) new stormwater best management practices; (ii) stormwater best management practice maintenance, inspection, or retrofitting; (iii) stream restoration; (iv) low-impact development projects; (v) buffer restoration; (vi) pond retrofitting; and (vii) wetlands restoration. Where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent, or where the Board is issuing the summons, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund established pursuant to § 62.1-44.15:29.1.

B. The VESCP authority, the Board, or the owner of property that has sustained damage or which is in imminent danger of being damaged may apply to the circuit court in any jurisdiction wherein the land lies or other appropriate court to enjoin a violation or a threatened violation under § 62.1-44.15:55 or 62.1-44.15:58 without the necessity of showing that an adequate remedy at law does not exist; however, an owner of property shall not apply for injunctive relief unless (i) he has notified in writing the person who has violated the VESCP, the Board, and the VESCP authority that a violation of the VESCP has caused, or creates a probability of causing, damage to his property, and (ii) neither the person who has violated the VESCP, the Board, nor the VESCP authority has taken corrective action within 15 days to eliminate the conditions that have caused, or create the probability of causing, damage to his property.

C. In addition to any civil penalties provided under this article, any person who violates any provision of this article may be liable to the VESCP authority or the Board, as appropriate, in a civil action for damages.

D. Without limiting the remedies that may be obtained in this section, any person violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any injunction, mandamus, or other remedy obtained pursuant to this section shall be subject, in the discretion of the court, to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,000 for each violation. A civil action for such violation or failure may be brought by the VESCP authority wherein the land lies or the Board. Any civil penalties assessed by a court shall be paid into the treasury of the locality wherein the land lies and used pursuant to requirements of subsection A. Where the violator is the locality itself, or its agent, or where the penalties are assessed as the result of an enforcement action brought by the Board, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Stormwater Local Assistance Fund (§ 62.1-44.15:29.1).

E. With the consent of any person who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board, any order, notice, or requirement of the VESCP authority, any condition of a land-disturbance approval, or any provision of this article or associated regulations, the Board, the Director, or VESCP authority may provide, in an order issued by the Board or VESCP authority against such person, for the payment of civil charges for violations in specific sums, not to exceed the limit specified in subsection D. Such civil charges shall be instead of any appropriate civil penalty that could be imposed under subsection A or D.

F. Upon request of a VESCP authority, the attorney for the Commonwealth shall take legal action to enforce the provisions of this article. Upon request of the Board, the Attorney General shall take appropriate legal action on behalf of the Board to enforce the provisions of this article.

1973, c. 486, § 21-89.11; 1988, cc. 694, 891, § 10.1-569; 1992, c. 298; 1993, c. 925; 1995, c. 832; 1996, c. 518; 2012, cc. 785, 819; 2013, cc. 756, 793; 2016, cc. 68, 758.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.