2015 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 48 - Environmental Protection and Conservation
Section 48-39-170. Penalties.

SC Code § 48-39-170 (2015) What's This?

(A) Any person violating any provision of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than six months or fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both, for the first offense, and imprisoned not more than one year, or fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both, for each subsequent offense.

(B) Any violation of any provision of this chapter involving five yards square (225 square feet) or less of critical area may be treated as a minor violation, the penalty for which shall be a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred dollars. The enforcement officers of the Natural Resources Enforcement Division of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources may serve warrants under this provision and otherwise enforce this chapter. The magistrates of this State have jurisdiction over minor violations of this chapter. Each day of noncompliance with any order issued relative to a minor violation or noncompliance with any permit, regulation, standard, or requirement relative to a minor violation shall constitute a separate offense; provided, however, that violations which involve the construction or repair of water control structures shall not be considered minor violations regardless of the area involved.

(C) Any person who is determined to be in violation of any provision of this chapter by the department shall be liable for, and may be assessed by the department for, a civil penalty of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars per day of violation. Whenever the department determines that any person is in violation of any permit, regulation, standard, or requirement under this chapter, the department may issue an order requiring such person to comply with such permit, regulation, standard, or requirement, including an order requiring restoration when deemed environmentally appropriate by the department; in addition, the department may bring a civil enforcement action under this section as well as seeking an appropriate injunctive relief under Section 48-39-160. The department shall be required to assert violations of any provision of this chapter relating to minor development activities within three years of the date of the violation, except if the department's failure to assert the alleged violation resulted from a knowing or intentional attempt to withhold or conceal information relating to the alleged violation by the person against whom the violation is alleged. Failure to make application for, and subsequently receive, the required permit, permit modification, or permit amendment before commencing these activities shall be deemed to be an act of concealment. The provisions of this section apply to all enforcement actions pending as of January 1, 2015, and all future enforcement actions.

(D) All penalties assessed and collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the general fund of the State.

HISTORY: 1977 Act No. 123, Section 17; 1982 Act No. 410, Section 3; 1993 Act No. 181, Section 1235; 2015 Act No. 12 (S.578), Section 1, eff May 7, 2015.

Effect of Amendment

2015 Act No. 12, Section 1, in (C), added the last three sentences.

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