20.57.02.05

.05 Notice of Probable Violation.

A. General.

(1) The Division may issue a NOPV upon finding good cause to believe a violation of the federal Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act, 49 U.S.C. §1671 et seq., as amended, which is incorporated by reference, or Public Utilities Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, has occurred.

(2) The NOPV may contain a proposed compliance order.

(3) A gas company or gas master meter operator shall respond in writing within 30 days after receipt of a NOPV.

(4) The Commission may waive the requirements of §A(3) of this regulation upon written request from a gas company or gas master meter operator demonstrating sufficient cause.

B. Contents of Notice of Probable Violation. A NOPV shall include:

(1) A statement of the statute, regulation, or rule allegedly violated by a gas company or gas master meter operator;

(2) A description of the evidence indicating a possible violation;

(3) Notice of response options available to the gas company or gas master meter operator;

(4) If appropriate, the amount of the proposed civil penalty and the maximum civil penalty applicable under law; and

(5) If appropriate, a statement of the remedial action being sought in a compliance order.

C. Response Options. A gas company or gas master meter operator shall respond to the NOPV as follows:

(1) If a NOPV contains a proposed compliance order, a gas company or gas master meter operator may:

(a) Agree to the proposed compliance order;

(b) Request the execution of a consent order;

(c) Object to the proposed compliance order and submit written explanations, information, or other materials in answer to the allegations in the notice; or

(d) Request a hearing under Public Utilities Article, Annotated Code of Maryland; and

(2) If the NOPV contains a proposed civil penalty, a gas company or gas master meter operator may:

(a) Pay the penalty;

(b) Submit an offer in compromise of the proposed civil penalty;

(c) Object to the proposed civil penalty and submit a written explanation, information, or other material to mitigate the proposed civil penalty; or

(d) Request a hearing under Public Utilities Article, Annotated Code of Maryland.