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Bill Number: 442 Ratification Number: 207 Act Number 133 Introducing Body: Senate Subject: Civil remedies and administrative action authorized
(A133, R207, S442)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 49-5-110, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO CRIMINAL PENALTIES AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF UNDER THE GROUNDWATER USE ACT, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE SOUTH CAROLINA WATER RESOURCES COMMISSION TO IMPOSE CIVIL PENALTIES AND TAKE CERTAIN CIVIL ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION FOR VIOLATIONS OF THE ACT, AND TO PROVIDE THE MANNER IN WHICH THESE CIVIL PENALTIES MAY BE APPLIED.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Civil remedies and administrative action authorized
SECTION 1. Section 49-5-110 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 49-5-110. (a) Any person violating any provision of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars for each violation. In addition, if any person is adjudged to have committed the violation wilfully, the court may determine that each day during which the violation continued constitutes a separate offense.
(b) Upon violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, or the regulations of the commission, the executive director may also, either before or after the institution of criminal proceedings, institute a civil action in the circuit court in the name of the State for injunctive relief. Neither the institution of the actions nor any of the proceedings on the actions relieve any party to the proceedings from the penalty prescribed by this chapter for any violation of these provisions or regulations.
(c) In addition to the criminal penalties authorized in subsection (a) and the injunctive relief authorized in subsection (b), any person whom the commission determines to be in violation of any provision of this chapter or any regulation, permit or permit condition, final determination or order of the commission, may be assessed a civil penalty by the commission of not less than fifty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars for each day of violation. The commission may also issue an order requiring the person to comply with the provision of this chapter, regulation, permit or permit condition, final determination or order, including an order requiring modification or abandonment of any well when considered necessary to protect groundwater.
All civil penalties collected pursuant to this subsection must be deposited in the general fund of the State."
SECTION 2. (A) The amendments of Section 49-5-110 to the 1976 Code, as contained in Section 1 of this act, do not have the effect of releasing or extinguishing any penalty, forfeiture, or liability incurred under Section 49-5-110 prior to the effective date of this act, and the penalty, forfeiture, or liability must be treated as remaining in force for the purpose of sustaining any proper action or prosecution for the enforcement of the penalty, forfeiture, or liability.
(B) The amendments of Section 49-5-110 of the 1976 Code, as contained in Section 1 of this act, in addition to prospective application may be applied retroactively to any person violating any provision of Chapter 5, Title 49 of the 1976 Code, prior to the effective date of this act.
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.