20.58.02.05

.05 Notice of Probable Violation (NOPV).

A. General.

(1) The Division may issue to an operator an NOPV upon finding good cause to believe a violation of the federal pipeline safety laws under 49 U.S.C. Chapter 601 or Public Utilities Article, §§11-201—11-206, Annotated Code of Maryland, has occurred.

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

(3) An operator shall respond to the Division in writing within 30 days after receipt of an NOPV.

(4) The Commission may waive the requirements of §A(3) of this regulation after a written request from an operator demonstrating sufficient cause.

B. Contents of the Notice of Probable Violation. An NOPV shall include:

(1) A statement identifying the statute, regulation, or rule allegedly violated by an operator;

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

(3) Notice of response options available to the 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 required remedial action.

C. Response Options. An operator shall respond to an NOPV as follows:

(1) If an NOPV contains a proposed compliance order, an 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 a written explanation, information, or other material in answer to the allegations in the notice; or

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

(2) If an NOPV contains a proposed civil penalty, an operator may:

(a) Pay the penalty;

(b) Submit a compromise to 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.