Bill Text: MI HB4096 | 2019-2020 | 100th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Natural resources; gas and oil; penalties for pollutant and oil spills into the Great Lakes; increase. Amends secs. 3109 & 3115 of 1994 PA 451 (MCL 324.3109 & 324.3115).

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-05 - Bill Electronically Reproduced 01/29/2019 [HB4096 Detail]

Download: Michigan-2019-HB4096-Introduced.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE BILL No. 4096

 

 

January 29, 2019, Introduced by Reps. Sowerby, Ellison, Wittenberg, Hood, Pohutsky, Robinson, Love, Shannon, Brenda Carter, Chirkun, Pagan, Clemente, Bolden, Hammoud, Peterson, Hoadley, Haadsma, Rabhi and Cynthia Johnson and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation.

 

     A bill to amend 1994 PA 451, entitled

 

"Natural resources and environmental protection act,"

 

by amending sections 3109 and 3115 (MCL 324.3109 and 324.3115),

 

section 3109 as amended by 2014 PA 536 and section 3115 as amended

 

by 2004 PA 143.

 

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:

 

     Sec. 3109. (1) A person shall not directly or indirectly

 

discharge into the waters of the state a substance that is or may

 

become injurious to any of the following:

 

     (a) To the public health, safety, or welfare.

 

     (b) To domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural,

 

recreational, or other uses that are being made or may be made of

 

such waters.

 

     (c) To the value or utility of riparian lands.

 


     (d) To livestock, wild animals, birds, fish, aquatic life, or

 

plants or to their growth or propagation.

 

     (e) To the value of fish and game.

 

     (2) The discharge of any raw sewage of human origin, directly

 

or indirectly, into any of the waters of the state shall be

 

considered prima facie evidence of a violation of this part by the

 

municipality in which the discharge originated unless the discharge

 

is permitted authorized by an order or rule of or a valid permit

 

issued by the department. If the an unauthorized discharge is not

 

the subject of a valid permit issued by the department, a

 

municipality responsible for the discharge may be is subject to the

 

remedies provided in section 3115. If the discharge is the subject

 

of a valid permit issued by the department pursuant to under

 

section 3112, and is in violation of that permit, a municipality

 

responsible for the discharge is subject to the penalties

 

prescribed in section 3115.

 

     (3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a municipality is not

 

responsible or subject to the remedies or penalties provided in

 

section 3115 under either of the following circumstances:

 

     (a) The discharge is an unauthorized discharge from a sewerage

 

system as defined in section 4101 that is permitted under this part

 

and owned by a party other than the municipality, unless the

 

municipality has accepted responsibility in writing for the

 

sewerage system and, with respect to the civil fine and penalty

 

under section 3115, the municipality has been notified in writing

 

by the department of its responsibility for the sewerage system.

 

     (b) The discharge is from 3 or fewer on-site wastewater


treatment systems.

 

     (4) Unless authorized by a permit, order, or rule of the

 

department, the discharge into the waters of this state of any

 

medical waste, as defined in part 138 of the public health code,

 

1978 PA 368, MCL 333.13801 to 333.13832, is prima facie evidence of

 

a violation of this part and subjects the responsible person to the

 

penalties prescribed in section 3115.

 

     (5) Unless a discharge is authorized by a permit, order, or

 

rule of the department, the discharge into the waters of this state

 

from an oceangoing vessel of any ballast water is prima facie

 

evidence of a violation of this part and subjects the responsible

 

person to the penalties prescribed in section 3115.

 

     (6) The discharge of petroleum into the waters of this state

 

from a pipeline that crosses over, through, or under the waters of

 

the state is prima facie evidence of a violation of this part and

 

subjects the responsible person to the penalties prescribed in

 

section 3115.

 

     (7) (6) A violation of this section is prima facie evidence of

 

the existence of a public nuisance and in addition to the remedies

 

provided for in this part may be abated according to law in an

 

action brought by the attorney general in a court of competent

 

jurisdiction.

 

     (8) (7) As used in this section, "on-site wastewater treatment

 

system" means a system of components, other than a sewerage system

 

as defined in section 4101, used to collect and treat sanitary

 

sewage or domestic equivalent wastewater from 1 or more dwellings,

 

buildings, or structures and discharge the resulting effluent to a


soil dispersal system on property owned by or under the control of

 

the same individual or entity that owns or controls the dwellings,

 

buildings, or structures.

 

     Sec. 3115. (1) The department may request the attorney general

 

to commence a civil action for appropriate relief, including a

 

permanent or temporary injunction, for a violation of this part or

 

a provision of a permit or order issued or rule promulgated under

 

this part. An action under this subsection may be brought in the

 

circuit court for the county of Ingham or for the county in which

 

the defendant is located, resides, or is doing business. If

 

requested by the defendant within 21 days after service of process,

 

the court shall grant a change of venue to the circuit court for

 

the county of Ingham or for the county in which the alleged

 

violation occurred, is occurring, or, in the event of a threat of

 

violation, will occur. The court has jurisdiction to restrain the

 

violation and to require compliance. In addition to any other

 

relief granted under this subsection, the court, except as

 

otherwise provided in this subsection, shall impose a civil fine of

 

not less than $2,500.00 and the court may award reasonable attorney

 

fees and costs to the prevailing party. However, all of the

 

following apply:

 

     (a) The maximum civil fine imposed by the court shall be not

 

more than $25,000.00 per day of violation, except if the violation

 

involves the discharge of petroleum into the waters of this state,

 

the court may impose a civil fine of not more than $500,000.00 per

 

day.

 

     (b) For a failure to report a release to the department or to


the primary public safety answering point under section 3111b(1),

 

the court shall impose a civil fine of not more than

 

$2,500.00.$50,000.00.

 

     (c) For a failure to report a release to the local health

 

department under section 3111b(2), the court shall impose a civil

 

fine of not more than $500.00.

 

     (2) A person who at the time of the violation knew or should

 

have known that he or she discharged a substance contrary to this

 

part, or contrary to a permit or order issued or rule promulgated

 

under this part, or who intentionally makes a false statement,

 

representation, or certification in an application for or form

 

pertaining to a permit or in a notice or report required by the

 

terms and conditions of an issued permit, or who intentionally

 

renders inaccurate a monitoring device or record required to be

 

maintained by the department, is guilty of a felony and shall be

 

fined not less than $2,500.00 or more than $25,000.00 for each

 

violation. The court may impose an additional fine of not more than

 

$25,000.00 for each day during which the unlawful discharge

 

occurred. If the conviction is for a violation committed after a

 

first conviction of the person under this subsection, the court

 

shall impose a fine of not less than $25,000.00 per day and not

 

more than $50,000.00 per day of violation. Upon conviction, in

 

addition to a fine, the court in its discretion may sentence the

 

defendant to imprisonment for not more than 2 years or impose

 

probation upon a person for a violation of this part. the

 

defendant. With the exception of the issuance of criminal

 

complaints, issuance of warrants, and the holding of an


arraignment, the circuit court for the county in which the

 

violation occurred has exclusive jurisdiction. However, the person

 

shall is not be subject to the penalties of this subsection if the

 

discharge of the effluent is in conformance with and obedient to a

 

rule, order, or permit of the department. In addition to a fine,

 

the attorney general may file a civil suit in a court of competent

 

jurisdiction to recover the full value of the injuries done to the

 

natural resources of the state and the costs of surveillance and

 

enforcement by the state resulting from the violation.

 

     (3) Upon a finding by the court that the actions of a civil

 

defendant pose or posed a substantial endangerment to the public

 

health, safety, or welfare, the court shall impose, in addition to

 

the sanctions set forth in subsection (1), a fine of not less than

 

$500,000.00 and not more than $5,000,000.00.

 

     (4) Upon a finding by the court that the actions of a criminal

 

defendant pose or posed a substantial endangerment to the public

 

health, safety, or welfare, the court shall impose, in addition to

 

the penalties set forth in subsection (2), a fine of not less than

 

$1,000,000.00 and, in addition to a fine, a sentence of 5 years'

 

imprisonment.

 

     (5) To find a defendant civilly or criminally liable for

 

substantial endangerment under subsection (3) or (4), the court

 

shall determine that the defendant knowingly or recklessly acted in

 

such a manner as to cause a danger of death or serious bodily

 

injury and that either of the following occurred:

 

     (a) The defendant had an actual awareness, belief, or

 

understanding that his or her conduct would cause a substantial


danger of death or serious bodily injury.

 

     (b) The defendant acted in gross disregard of the standard of

 

care that any reasonable person should observe in similar

 

circumstances.

 

     (6) Knowledge possessed by a person other than the defendant

 

under subsection (5) may be attributable to the defendant if the

 

defendant took affirmative steps to shield himself or herself from

 

the relevant information.

 

     (7) A civil fine or other award ordered paid pursuant

 

according to this section shall do both of the following:

 

     (a) Be payable to the state of Michigan and credited to the

 

general fund.

 

     (b) Constitute a lien on any property, of any nature or kind,

 

owned by the defendant.

 

     (8) A lien under subsection (7)(b) shall take effect and have

 

priority over all other liens and encumbrances except those filed

 

or recorded prior to before the date of judgment only if notice of

 

the lien is filed or recorded as required by state or federal law.

 

     (9) A lien filed or recorded pursuant to under subsection (8)

 

shall be terminated according to the procedures required by state

 

or federal law within 14 days after the fine or other award ordered

 

to be paid is paid.

 

     (10) In addition to any other method of collection, any fine

 

or other award ordered paid may be recovered by right of setoff to

 

any debt owed to the defendant by the this state, of Michigan,

 

including the right to a refund of income taxes paid.

 

     Enacting section 1. This amendatory act takes effect 90 days


after the date it is enacted into law.

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