Senate Bill No. 511
(By Senator Love)
[Introduced March 10, 2005; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §24B-4-6 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to civil penalties that can be
imposed by the Commission for pipeline safety violations.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §24B-4-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. HEARINGS; BURDEN OF PROOF; ENFORCEMENT.
(a) Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or
any valid regulation or order issued thereunder,
shall be is
subject to a civil penalty to be imposed by the Commission of not
to exceed one hundred thousand dollars for each violation for each
day that the violation persists: Provided, That the maximum civil
penalty shall may not exceed two hundred thousand one million dollars for any related series of violations.
(b) Any civil penalty may be compromised by the Commission.
In determining the amount of penalty, or the amount agreed upon in
compromise, the appropriateness of the penalty to the size of the
business of the person charged, the gravity of the violation, and
the good faith of the person charged in attempting to achieve
compliance, after notification of the violation, shall be
considered. The amount of the penalty, when finally determined, or
the amount agreed upon in compromise, may be deducted from any sums
owing by the state to the person charged or may be recovered in a
civil action in the state courts.
(c) Civil penalties collected under this section shall be paid
into the State Treasury.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to raise the civil penalties
that the Public Service Commission can impose for violations of Gas
Pipeline Safety Act from the existing one thousand dollars for each
violation to one hundred thousand dollars for each day of violation
to a maximum of one million dollars for any related series of
violations. This change would mirror the federal regulations.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would