- Alaska Statutes.
- Title 46. Water, Air, Energy, and Environmental Conservation
- Chapter 3. Environmental Conservation
- Section 761. Administrative Penalties.
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AS 46.03.761. Administrative Penalties.
- (a) The department may assess an administrative penalty against an entity that violates or causes or permits to be
violated a provision of AS 46.03.720
(b) or a term or condition of a regulation, order, permit, approval, or certificate of the department issued or adopted
under AS 46.03.720(b).
- (b) Before assessing an administrative penalty under this section, the department shall
- (1) communicate about the alleged noncompliance with the entity and the governing body of the community or municipality
whose residents are served by the public water system; communication under this paragraph must be in language designed
to be easily understood by the entity and governing body and must clearly describe the nature of the alleged
- (2) offer technical assistance to aid in correcting the alleged noncompliance when the department has reason to believe
that the entity may lack the resources or expertise to get technical assistance from other sources; and
- (3) unless the alleged noncompliance poses an immediate threat to the public health, give the entity a reasonable amount
of time to correct the alleged noncompliance after the department has complied with (1) and (2) of this subsection.
- (c) If, after complying with (b) of this section, the department determines that noncompliance still exists and the
violation is subject to a penalty under this section, the department may make a preliminary determination to assess the
penalty. The department shall provide notice to the entity of its preliminary determination. The entity may, within 10
days after receiving the notice, request the department to reconsider its decision. If a timely request for
reconsideration is made, the department shall reconsider its preliminary determination and may affirm or modify the
determination. The department shall notify the entity of the decision. If a timely request for reconsideration is not
received or if, after reconsideration, the department determines that a penalty should be assessed, the department may
assess the penalty. The department shall provide notice of the assessment and instructions for contesting and appealing
the assessment to the entity by personal service or by certified mail, return receipt requested. The notice must inform
the entity of the amount of the proposed penalty and that the entity has 45 days within which to file a notice with the
department contesting the proposed penalty. If, within 45 days after receiving the notification issued by the
department, the entity fails to file a notice contesting the proposed penalty, the proposed penalty is considered a
final order. The department may extend the time periods specified in this subsection for good cause.
- (d) If an entity sends notice to the department contesting a proposed penalty under (c) of this section, the department
shall afford an opportunity for a hearing in accordance with its adjudicatory hearing procedures. After an opportunity
for a hearing, the department shall issue an order, based upon findings of fact, affirming, modifying, or rescinding
the administrative penalty. The order must include notice that the entity may appeal the order to the superior court
and the address of the appropriate superior court. The order is the final agency action on the penalty.
- (e) An entity against whom an administrative penalty is assessed under this section may obtain judicial review of the
administrative penalty by filing a notice of appeal in the superior court as provided by the Alaska Rules of Appellate
Procedure. An order of the department under (d) of this section becomes final and is not subject to review by a court
if a notice of appeal is not filed with the superior court within the period provided for by the Alaska Rules of
- (f) Unless the notice of appeal is incomplete or otherwise not in conformance with court rules, a notice of appeal under
(e) of this section is considered to be filed with the superior court on the day the entity delivers the appropriate
documents and fee to the appropriate superior court. Determining whether the notice of appeal is complete and otherwise
in conformance with court rules is the responsibility of the superior court.
- (g) An administrative penalty assessed under this section may not exceed (1) $1,000 a day for each violation if the
affected public water supply system serves a population of more than 10,000 persons; (2) $250 a day for each violation
if the affected public water supply system serves a population of 10,000 or fewer persons but more than 1,000 persons;
and (3) $100 a day for each violation if the public water supply system serves 1,000 or fewer persons. Each provision,
term, or condition violated is a separate and distinct violation. If a violation of a provision, term, or condition
continues from day to day, each day is a separate violation.
- (h) In determining the amount of a penalty assessed under this section, the department shall consider
- (1) the effect of the violation on the public health or the environment;
- (2) reasonable costs incurred by the state in the detection, investigation, and attempted correction of the violation;
- (3) the economic savings realized by the entity by not complying with the requirement for which a violation is charged;
- (4) any previous history of compliance or noncompliance by the entity with this chapter, AS 46.04, AS 46.09, and AS 46.14;
- (5) the need to deter future violations;
- (6) the extent and seriousness of the violation, including the potential for the violation to threaten public health or
- (7) whether the entity achieved compliance with the requirement violated within the shortest feasible time; and
- (8) other factors considered relevant to the assessment that are adopted by the department in regulation.
- (i) If an entity fails to pay an administrative penalty assessed under this section after the penalty becomes final, the
department may bring an action to collect the penalty. The amount of the penalty is not subject to review by the court
in such an action.
- (j) In a collection action under (i) of this section, the court shall award the prevailing party full reasonable attorney
fees and costs incurred in the collection action.
- (k) Action under this section by the department does not limit or otherwise affect the authority of the department to
otherwise enforce this chapter, AS 46.04, AS 46.08, AS 46.09, AS 46.14, or regulations adopted under those statutes, or to recover
damages, restoration expenses, investigation costs, court costs, attorney fees, or other necessary expenses. The court
shall set off against a judicial civil assessment subsequently awarded under AS 46.03.760
an amount ordered to be paid under this section by the same entity for the same violation.
- (l) In this section, "entity" means the owner or operator of a public water system.
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