TOWN of WASHINGTON, MAINE MINING ORDINANCE
ARTICLE VIII - ENFORCEMENT AND INSPECTIONS.
- Annual Compliance Inspection
- The annual compliance inspection fee, payable to the Town of Washington, shall be
[NOTE: See Article III, § 5 for explanation of the size symbols.]
- Fifteen dollars ($15.00) for small mineral extraction activity less than 1 acre;
- Fifty dollars ($50.00) for medium mineral extraction activity 1-5 acres;
- One hundred dollars ($100.00) for large mineral extraction activity larger than 5 to 30 acres;
- Two hundred dollars ($200.00) for extra large mineral extraction activity larger than 30 acres.
- The annual compliance Inspection (ACI) shall be conducted by the CEO prior to the anniversary date of the permit.
- The CEO shall issue a Report of Inspection Compliance (RIC), provided he determines that the permit holder has not deviated from the approved plan. If the CEO determines that the permit holder has substantially deviated from the approved plan, the CEO shall issue a Report of Inspection Non-compliance (RIN). Reports shall be written and provided to the Planning Board, the Selectmen, and permit holder. The CEO shall issue an IMMEDIATE STOP WORK ORDER FOR A SPECIFIC VIOLATION, EXCEPT FOR REMEDIAL ACTION, until such time as compliance is achieved.
- The CEO shall thereafter re-inspect the site to determine if compliance has been achieved. If he determines compliance has been achieved, he shall issue a RIC, as above. If he determines that compliance has not been achieved, he shall issue a Second Step Report of Non-compliance (SSRN). The permit holder shall again pay the fees, as required by this subsection for this second compliance inspection.
- The Planning Board, after receipt of the SSRN, shall provide notice and hearing pursuant to Article V§5-B(2)and(3), to determine whether the permit holder is in compliance with his approved permit; and if not, the Planning Board shall revoke the permit, and request that the Selectmen take remedial action, as is permitted by town ordinance or State law.
- The applicant can terminate the process above at any time prior to revocation by demonstrating compliance with his approved permit at a subsequent compliance inspection, which he requests, and payment of inspection fees, followed by the issuance of a RIC by the CEO.
- Mineral extraction may not be resumed until such time as compliance is achieved. After ninety days, if compliance is not achieved, the mineral extraction permit automatically expires.
- Any appeal of the action of the Code Enforcement Officer or of the Planning Board shall be taken to the Board of Appeals within 30 days.
- Any decision of the Planning Board to revoke a mineral extraction Town permit shall be recorded in the Knox County Registry of Deeds within 30 days of the date such decision becomes final.
- It is the responsibility of the permit holder to see that the inspection is done.
- Reclamation Certification
- Upon completion of reclamation or a reclamation phase for large and extra large operations, a written certification signed by a professional engineer registered in the State of Maine shall be submitted to the Chairman of the Planning Board at the expense of the applicant, certifying that the reclamation is in compliance with the approved plans.
- No mineral extraction activity plan shall be recorded in the Knox County Registry of Deeds until a Final Plan has been approved and signed by the Planning Board in accordance with this Ordinance.
- No person, corporation or other legal entity may sell or offer to sell any materials in a mineral extraction activity site which has not been approved by the Planning Board and recorded in the Knox County Registry of Deeds.
- The Washington Planning Board may after notice and hearing, withhold approval or revoke any previous approvals, given to any applicant, owner or operator who is found in violation of this ordinance.
- Any operation that is in violation of other approvals (such as DEP Intent to Comply for Pits or Quarries or DEP permits) covering the same operation shall be deemed in violation of approvals granted under this ordinance, in that all other approvals are necessary for approvals under this ordinance to be valid.
- Mineral Extraction Plan Amendments After Approval
No changes, erasures, or modifications shall be made in a Final Plan after approval has been given by the Planning Board unless the plan is first resubmitted and the Planning Board approves any modifications. The applicant is not required to go through the complete review process of an amendment to an existing mineral extraction activity, unless, in the judgment of the Planing Board the amendment substantially alters the character of the original mineral extraction activity, or unless the change constitutes a new mineral extraction activity. If an amended Final Plan is recorded without complying with this requirement, it shall be null and void. The Planning Board shall record a revocation of a previous recorded document in the Knox County Registry of Deeds.
- The Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Washington, Maine, shall enforce this Ordinance and the Selectmen of the Town of Washington, Maine are authorized to institute legal proceedings to enjoin violations of this Ordinance.
- If the Code Enforcement Officer finds violation of any provision of this ordinance or failure to comply with any order, permit, approval, condition or other final decision or action of the Planning Board that constitutes a substantial and immediate danger to the health, safety or welfare of any person(s), or property or environment of the Town of Washington, Maine, said Town may initiate immediate injunction proceedings to abate or correct such violations. Violations are subject to inspection as per §1 of this Article.
- In any action to enforce any provision of this ordinance where the Town of Washington, Maine prevails, said Town shall be awarded reasonable attorney fees, expert witness fees, and costs unless the court finds that special circumstances make the award of these fees and costs unjust. If the defendant is the prevailing party, the defendant may be awarded reasonable attorney fees, expert witness fees, and costs provided by court rule.
- Any person, firm or corporation, being the owner or having control or use of any mineral extraction activity in violation of any of the provisions of this Ordinance or terms or conditions of any order, permit or approval or final decision of the Planning Board shall be subject to a civil penalty due and payable to the Town of Washington, Maine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) for each day said violation exists and not more than twenty-five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) for each day said violation exists or twice the economic benefit resulting from the violation, whichever is greater, not to exceed $25,000 per day. If the same person has been convicted of a violation of this ordinance within the previous two years, the maximum penalty is twenty five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) for each day said violation exists.
- In setting the penalties, the Court shall consider but is not limited to the following:
- Prior violations by the same person;
- The degree of environmental damage that can not be abated or corrected;
- The extent to which the violation continued following an order to stop;
- The extent to which the Town of Washington, Maine contributed to the violation by providing incorrect information or failing to take timely action; and
- Whether penalties have been imposed by another governmental agency for the same incident(s).
- Payment of any penalty shall be made within thirty (30) days in cash or by certified check drawn on a recognized financial institution, made payable to the Town of Washington, Maine in an amount equal to the full amount of the penalty.
- If the maximum penalty amount of Article VIII §6-A of this ordinance is held void or invalid it is the intent of the Town of Washington, Maine that provisions of Title 30-A, M.R.S.A. Section 4452 be given full force and effect and that the maximum penalty amounts authorized by such provision apply to violations of any order, permit, approval or final decision of the Planning Board, or any provision of this ordinance.
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