2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 5 - WATER RESOURCES
ARTICLE 4 - COASTAL WATERS, BEACHES, AND SAND DUNES
PART 2 - SHORE PROTECTION
§ 12-5-247 - Enforcement of part; civil penalty
. Enforcement of part; civil penalty
(a) If the department determines that any person is violating any provision of this part or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this part or the terms and conditions of any permit issued under this part, and such violation is in an area where the committee is the permit-issuing authority, the department may employ any one, or any combination of any or all, of the enforcement methods specified in paragraphs (1) through (4) of this subsection:
(1) The department may issue an administrative order specifying the provision of this part or the rule, or both, alleged to have been violated and require the person so ordered to cease and desist from such activity and to take corrective action within a reasonable period of time as prescribed in the order; provided, however, that the issuance of such order shall not affect the availability of relief under Code Section 12-5-244
. Such corrective action may include, but shall not be limited to, requiring that the sand dunes, beaches, and submerged lands be returned to their condition prior to the violation of this part or a rule adopted pursuant to this part. Any such order shall become final unless the person named therein requests in writing a hearing before a hearing officer appointed by the board no later than ten days after the issuance of such order. Review of such order shall be available as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 12-5-244
(2) Whenever the committee finds that an emergency exists requiring immediate action to protect the public or private interest where the public interest is served, it may issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring or allowing that such action be taken as it deems necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, such order shall be effective immediately. If an order requiring a person to take action is issued pursuant to this paragraph, such person shall be entitled to a hearing within ten days of the date of issuance of the order. Any person who is aggrieved or adversely affected by an emergency order of the committee, upon petition within ten days after issuance of such order, shall have a right to a hearing before an administrative law judge appointed by the board. The committee shall hold a meeting no sooner than 30 days after the issuance of an emergency order to review such order to determine whether the order has been complied with, whether the order should continue in force, and any possible effects of such order on the sand-sharing system;
(3) The committee may file in the appropriate superior court a certified copy of an unappealed final order of the administrative law judge or of a final order of the administrative law judge affirmed upon appeal or other orders of the committee, whereupon the court shall render judgment in accordance therewith and notify the parties. Such judgment shall have the same effect, and all proceedings in relation thereof shall thereafter be the same, as though such judgment has been rendered in an action duly heard and determined by the court; and
(4) The department may seek injunctive relief pursuant to Code Section 12-5-245
(b) Any person who violates any provision of this part or any rule or regulation adopted under this part, any permit issued under this part, or final or emergency order of the department shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000.00 for each act of violation. Each day of continued violation shall subject said person to a separate civil penalty. An administrative law judge appointed by the board after a hearing conducted in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act," shall determine whether or not any person has violated any provision of this part, any rule or regulation adopted under this part, any permit, or any final or emergency order of the department or permit-issuing authority and shall upon proper finding issue an order imposing such civil penalties as provided in this subsection. Review of such order shall be available as provided in subsection (a) of Code Section 12-5-244
. All civil penalties recovered by the department as provided in this subsection shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the general fund.
(c) Any person who causes or permits any removal, filling, or other alteration of the dynamic dune field or submerged lands in this state without first obtaining a permit from the permit-issuing authority shall be liable in damages to the state and any political subdivision of the state for any and all actual or projected costs and expenses and injuries occasioned by such alteration of the dynamic dune field or submerged lands. The amount of damages assessed pursuant to this Code section shall include, but shall not be limited to, any actual or projected costs and expenses incurred or to be incurred by the state or any political subdivision thereof in restoring as nearly as possible the natural topography of the sand-sharing system and replacing the vegetation destroyed by any alteration of the dynamic dune field or submerged lands. Damages to the state shall be recoverable in a civil action instituted by the department and shall be paid to the department to cover cost of restoration. Damages to a political subdivision shall be recoverable in a civil action instituted by said subdivision.
(d) Owners of property with knowledge of unauthorized activities occurring thereon are responsible under this part.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer