§19-16A-22. Criminal penalties; civil penalties; negotiated agreement.

(a) Criminal penalties. -- Any person violating any provision of this article or rule adopted hereunder is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for the first offense, and for the second offense, shall be fined not less than five hundred nor more than one thousand dollars, or imprisoned in the county jail not more than six months, or both fined and imprisoned. Magistrates have concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts to enforce the provisions of this article.

(b) Civil penalties. -- (1) Any person violating a provision of this article or rule adopted hereunder may be assessed a civil penalty by the commissioner. In determining the amount of any civil penalty, the commissioner shall give due consideration to the history of previous violations of any person, the seriousness of the violation, including any irreparable harm to the environment and any hazards to the health and safety of the public and the demonstrated good faith of any person charged in attempting to achieve compliance with this article after written notification of the violation.

(2) The commissioner may assess a penalty of not more than five hundred dollars for each first offense, nonserious violation, and not more than one thousand dollars for a serious violation, or for a repeat or intentional violation.

(3) The civil penalty is payable to the state of West Virginia and is collectible in any manner now or hereafter provided for collection of debt. If any person liable to pay the civil penalty neglects or refuses to pay the same, the amount of the civil penalty, together with interest at ten percent, is a lien in favor of the state of West Virginia upon the property, both real and personal, of such a person after the same has been entered and docketed to record in the county where such property is situated. The clerk of the county, upon receipt of the certified copy of such, shall enter same to record without requiring the payment of costs as a condition precedent to recording.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the commissioner may promulgate and adopt rules which permit consent agreements or negotiated settlements for the civil penalties assessed as a result of violation of the provisions of this article.

(d) No state court may allow the recovery of damages for administrative action taken if the court finds that there was probable cause for such action.