SEC. 51-3-55. Penalties; injunctive relief.
(1) It shall be the duty of the Commission on Natural Resources to serve as the enforcement agency for the Permit Board when the board determines that the sanctions available to it are not sufficient to achieve compliance with the provisions of this chapter. In such cases the board shall notify the commission of such noncompliance or violation and request that the commission take appropriate action. A member of the commission or an employee of the commission may also make such a request.
(2) Any person who knowingly submits false or inaccurate information in support of a permit application or a notice of claim or who wilfully fails to comply with the conditions of a permit issued by the board or who wilfully violates orders issued by the commission shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) within the discretion of the court. Each day in which such violation exists or continues shall constitute a separate offense.
(3) In addition to or in lieu of filing a criminal complaint, the commission may impose a civil penalty not more than Twenty-five Thousand Dollars ($25,000.00) for each such offense, such penalty to be assessed and levied by the commission after a hearing as provided herein.
(4) Appeals from the imposition of the civil penalty may be taken to the chancery court in the same manner as appeals from orders of the commission. If the appellant desires to stay the execution of a civil penalty assessed by the commission, he shall give bond with sufficient resident sureties of one or more guaranty or surety companies authorized to do business in this state, payable to the State of Mississippi, in an amount equal to double the amount of any civil penalty assessed by the commission, as to which the stay of execution is desired, conditioned, if the judgment shall be affirmed, to pay all costs of the assessment entered against the appellant.
(5) In lieu of, or in addition to, the penalty provided in subsection (3) of this section, the commission shall have power to institute and maintain in the name of the state any and all proceedings necessary or appropriate to enforce the provisions of Sections 51-3-1 through 51-3-55, rules and regulations in force pursuant thereto, and orders and permits issued under those sections, in the appropriate circuit, chancery, county or justice court of the county in which venue may lie. The commission may obtain mandatory or prohibitory injunctive relief, either temporary or permanent, and in cases of imminent and substantial hazard or endangerment to life or property, it shall not be necessary in such cases that the state plead or prove: (a) That irreparable damage would result if the injunction did not issue; (b) that there is no adequate remedy at law; or (c) that a written complaint or commission order has first been issued for the alleged violation.
(6) Commission hearings on the imposition of the above prescribed civil penalty or other sanctions shall be conducted as prescribed in Sections 49-17-31 through 49-17-41.
SOURCES: Laws, 1978, ch. 437, Sec. 4; 1985, ch. 459, Sec. 29, eff from and after passage (approved April 1, 1985).