CHAPTER 24B. GAS PIPELINE SAFETY.
WVC 24 B- 4 -
ARTICLE 4. HEARINGS; BURDEN OF PROOF; ENFORCEMENT.
WVC 24 B- 4 - 1
To carry out the purposes of this chapter, the commission is
authorized to conduct conferences, formal and informal hearings,
to make findings of fact and conclusions of law, and to enter
orders with respect to any issues that may arise under this
WVC 24 B- 4 - 2
§24B-4-2. Burden of proof.
Where an issue is made of the propriety of a plan submitted
under section two, article three hereof, the burden of proof of
the propriety of such plan shall be on the pipeline company
submitting such plan.
WVC 24 B- 4 - 3
§24B-4-3. Rules of practice and procedure.
The commission shall prescribe rules of practice and
procedure, the method and manner of holding hearings, and for
taking evidence on all matters that may come before it, and enter
such orders as may be just and lawful. In the investigations,
preparations, and hearings of cases, the commission shall not be
bound by the technical rules of pleadings and evidence, but in
that respect it may exercise such discretion as will facilitate
its efforts to understand and learn all the facts bearing upon
the right and justness of the matter before it.
WVC 24 B- 4 - 4
§24B-4-4. Witnesses; testimony; subpoena.
The commission shall, either as a commission or by any of
its members, or by designated employees, subpoena witnesses, take
testimony, administer oaths to any witness in any proceeding or
examination instituted before or conducted by it with reference
to any matter within its jurisdiction hereunder. In all hearings
or proceedings before the commission or its designated employees,
the evidence of witnesses and the production of documentary
evidence may be required at any designated place of hearing
within the state; and in the case of disobedience to a subpoena
or other process, the commission or any party to the proceedings
before the commission may invoke the aid of any circuit court in
the state in requiring the evidence and testimony of witnesses
and the production of papers, books, and documents. And such
court, in case of refusal to obey this subpoena issued to any
person or other witness, shall issue an order requiring such
person or other witness to appear before the commission or
designated employees and produce books and papers, if so ordered,
and give evidence touching the matter in question. Any failure
to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as
contempt thereof. A claim that such testimonial evidence may
intend to incriminate the witness giving the same shall not
excuse any witness from testifying, but such witness shall not be
prosecuted for any offense concerning which he is compelled
hereunder to testify.
WVC 24 B- 4 - 5
§24B-4-5. Enforcement of lawful orders.
The commission may compel obedience to its lawful orders by
mandamus or injunction or other proper proceedings in the name of
the state in any circuit court having jurisdiction of the parties
or of the subject matter, or the supreme court of appeals direct.
WVC 24 B- 4 - 6
(a) Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or
any valid regulation or order issued thereunder is subject to a
civil penalty to be imposed by the commission not to exceed
$200,000 for each violation for each day the violation persists:
Provided, That the maximum aggregate civil penalty may not exceed
$2 million 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 commission shall consider 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. 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 by the commission under this
section shall be submitted to the Treasurer for deposit into the
General Revenue Fund.
(d) No civil penalty paid under this section may be considered
by the commission in support of any application for a rate increase
submitted by the violator.