2009 Rhode Island Code
Title 46 - Waters and Navigation
CHAPTER 46-13 - Public Drinking Water Supply
§ 46-13-16 - Penalties and remedies.

SECTION 46-13-16

   § 46-13-16  Penalties and remedies. – (a) It shall be the duty of any person to proceed diligently to comply with any order issued pursuant to this chapter. If that person fails to proceed diligently or fails to comply with the order within such time, if any, as may be specified, the order may be enforced by the superior court, upon application made by the director.

   (b) Any person who willfully or negligently violates any provision of this chapter, any rule or regulation or order of the director, or any condition of any permit issued pursuant to the chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be subject to a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) for each separate offense, or to imprisonment for a period of not more than one year, or both.

   (c) In addition to proceeding under any other remedy available at law or in equity for a violation of any provision of this chapter, any rule or regulation pursuant to this chapter, or any term or condition of any permit issued pursuant to this chapter, the relevant director may assess a civil penalty upon a person for the violation. The penalty may be assessed whether or not the violation was willful or negligent. When the director assesses a civil penalty, he or she shall inform the person of the amount of the penalty. The person charged with the penalty shall then have thirty (30) days to pay the penalty in full or, if the person wishes to contest either the amount of the penalty or the fact of the violation, the person shall within the thirty (30) day period, file an appeal of the action with the director. Failure to appeal within thirty (30) days shall result in a waiver of all legal rights to contest the violation or the amount of the penalty. The maximum civil penalty which may be assessed pursuant to this section is five thousand dollars ($5,000) per day for each violation. Each violation for each separate day and each violation of any provision of this chapter, any rule or regulation under this chapter, any order of the director, or any term or condition of a permit shall constitute a separate and distinct offense under this section.

   (d) The penalties and remedies prescribed by this chapter shall be deemed concurrent and the existence of or exercise of any remedy shall not prevent the director from exercising any other remedy hereunder.

   (e) Violations on separate days shall constitute separate offenses for purposes of this chapter.

   (f) Any person who endangers the health of persons by knowingly introducing any contaminant into a public water supply system or tampering with a public water supply system shall be fined not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or imprisoned for not more than five (5) years, or both.

   (g) Any person who attempts to endanger or makes a threat to endanger the health of persons by knowingly introducing any contaminant into a public water supply system or tampering with a public water supply system shall be fined not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000), or imprisoned for not more than three (3) years, or both.

   (h) The director may bring a civil action in the superior court against any person who endangers, attempts to endanger, or makes a threat to endanger the health of persons, or otherwise renders the water unfit for human consumption, by the introduction of any contaminant into a public water supply system or tampering with a public water supply system. The court may impose on the person a civil penalty of not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for each day that the endangerment or inability to consume the water exists.

   (i) All fines and penalties collected under the penalty provisions of this chapter and all fees shall be deposited as general revenues.

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