15.20.01.09

.09 Inspection and Enforcement.

A. Channel Inspection by the Association.

(1) The association managers or designee shall inspect the project within 2 weeks following any storm which results in water flow exceeding channel capacity.

(2) An association shall send a written inspection report to the Secretary not later than 90 days following the storm event. The report shall:

(a) Detail the damage to the channels, vegetation, and water control structures; and

(b) Describe needed repairs and corrective maintenance and the projected time when the work shall be accomplished.

(3) The association managers or designee shall inspect the project at least once every 2 years. The following apply:

(a) An association shall send a written inspection report to the Secretary by March 1st of the appropriate year. The report shall:

(i) Outline the last inspection of the project performed not more than 6 months before submission;

(ii) Detail the condition of the channel, vegetation, and structures;

(iii) Describe needed maintenance and the projected time when the work shall be completed; and

(iv) Describe the work completed in the previous 2 years.

(b) An association need not file the biennial written inspection report required in §A(3) if:

(i) Storm damage occurred during the 6 months before March 1st of the appropriate year; and

(ii) An inspection report required in §A(1) was submitted.

(4) An association shall keep records on work performed on a project. These records shall:

(a) Include the items of work, cost, and the date the work was completed; and

(b) Be made available upon request to the Secretary.

B. State Inspection.

(1) The Secretary shall coordinate on-site inspections of a project by the Departments of Agriculture, the Environment, and Natural Resources.

(2) An association shall grant each Department the right of entry to inspect a project to ensure that it complies with an approved construction or reconstruction plan or an approved operation and maintenance plan for the project.

C. Enforcement.

(1) The Secretaries of Agriculture, the Environment, or Natural Resources may pursue any sanction or remedy provided in Agriculture Article, §8-603, Annotated Code of Maryland. Before pursuing any sanction or remedy, however, the Secretaries of the Environment and Natural Resources shall:

(a) Consult with the Secretary of Agriculture; and

(b) Provide the Secretary of Agriculture a reasonable period of time to solve any problem.

(2) The Secretary of a Department may issue a written order for corrective measures to any person who violates this chapter, or who fails to follow any requirement of an approved project plan.

(3) A person ordered to comply with this chapter may request a hearing. The following apply:

(a) The hearing request shall be made in writing to the Secretary who issued the order;

(b) The hearing request shall be made not later than 10 days after the date the order is served;

(c) When different Departments have initiated administrative proceedings arising from the same or related activities, any person subject to more than one order may request a consolidated hearing;

(d) The hearing shall be scheduled within 30 working days from the receipt of the request;

(e) A decision shall be rendered within 30 working days from the hearing date;

(f) The Administrative Procedure Act, State Government Article, §10-201 et seq., Annotated Code of Maryland, governs the practice and procedure in all hearings and appeals.

(4) Whether an order for corrective measures has been issued or contested, the Secretary of a Department may, at any time, refer an alleged violation of this chapter or of any approved plan requirement directly to the Attorney General for appropriate legal action.

(5) In addition to any other sanction under Agriculture Article, §8-603, Annotated Code of Maryland, any person who constructs, reconstructs, operates, or maintains an agricultural drainage project without approved plans or in violation of approved plan requirements, shall be liable to the State in a civil action for damages in an amount equal to double the costs of that portion of constructing, reconstructing, operating, or maintaining the project that was not done in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.

(6) A civil action under Agriculture Article, §8-603, Annotated Code of Maryland, shall be prosecuted by the Attorney General on behalf of the appropriate Department. Damages recovered shall be deposited in a special fund to be used solely for:

(a) First, correcting the deficiencies in the agricultural drainage project in question; and

(b) Second, supporting the Secretary of Agriculture's program for review and approval of the agricultural drainage projects.

(7) The Secretary of any Department may seek an injunction against any person who does not have or fails to follow an approved plan.