Utah Administrative Code
The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (see Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).
NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since January 1, 2020, please see the codification segue page.
NOTE TO RULEFILING AGENCIES: Use the RTF version for submitting rule changes.
R311. Environmental Quality, Environmental Response and Remediation.
Rule R311-208. Underground Storage Tank Penalty Guidance.
As in effect on January 1, 2020
Table of Contents
- R311-208-1. Definitions.
- R311-208-2. Underground Storage Tank Penalty Criteria.
- R311-208-3. Satisfaction of Penalty Under Stipulated Penalty Agreement.
- R311-208-4. Factors for Imposition of Section 19-6-416 Penalties.
- R311-208-5. Factors for Seeking or Negotiating Amount of Section 19-6-425 Penalties.
- Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment
- Notice of Continuation
- Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law
Definitions are found in Rule R311-200.
(a) This guidance provides criteria to the Director in implementing penalties under Sections 19-6-407, 19-6-408, 19-6-416, 19-6-416.5, 19-6-425 and any other Sections authorizing the Director to seek penalties.
(b) The procedures in Rule R311-208 are intended solely for the guidance of the Director and are not intended, and cannot be relied upon, to create a cause of action against the State.
(c) This guidance and ensuing criteria is intended to be flexible and liberally construed to achieve a fair, just, and equitable result.
(a) The Director may accept the following methods of payment or satisfaction of a penalty to promote compliance and to achieve the purposes set forth in Section 19-1-102(3):
(1) Payment of the penalty may be extended based on a person's inability to pay. This should be distinguished from a person's unwillingness to pay. In cases of financial hardship, the Director may accept payment of the penalty under an installment plan or delayed payment schedule with interest.
(2) Without regard to financial hardship, the Director may allow a portion of the penalty to be deferred and eventually waived if no further violations are committed within a period designated by the Director.
(3) In some cases, the Director may allow the violator to satisfy the stipulated penalty by completing an environmentally beneficial mitigation project approved by the Director. The following criteria shall be used in determining the eligibility of such projects:
(A) The project must be in addition to all regulatory compliance obligations;
(B) The project preferably should closely address the environmental effects of the violation;
(C) The actual cost to the violator, after consideration of tax benefits, must reflect a deterrent effect;
(D) The project must primarily benefit the environment rather than benefit the violator;
(E) The project must be judicially enforceable;
(F) The project must not generate positive public perception for violations of the law.
(a) Where the Director determines a penalty is appropriate under Section 19-6-416, the penalty shall not be more than $500 per occurrence. Factors that mitigate against a higher penalty are:
(1) A facility's certificate of compliance recently lapsed and product has been delivered.
(2) A facility is in compliance and replaces their tank and received one delivery of fuel without a certificate of compliance or authorization from the department, or a new facility or new tanks receive an initial delivery of fuel without a certificate of compliance or authorization from the Director.
(b) The Director may assess a penalty against each violator involved in an illegal delivery occurrence. If a violator is operating as an owner/operator and deliverer, the violator may be assessed a penalty in each capacity.
(a) Under Section 19-6-425, the court establishes penalty amounts rather than the Director. Nonetheless, the Director may enter a stipulated penalty agreement with the violator.
(b) The Director shall consider the following factors when negotiating or calculating a penalty to promote a more swift resolution of environmental problems and promote compliance:
(1) Economic benefit. The costs to an owner or operator delayed or avoided by not complying with applicable laws or rules.
(2) Gravity of the violation. The extent of deviation from the rules and the potential for harm to health and the environment, regardless of the extent of the harm that actually occurred. This factor may be adjusted upward or downward depending on:
(A) The degree of cooperation or noncooperation and good faith efforts to comply. Good faith takes into account the openness in dealing with the violations, promptness in correction of problems, and the degree of cooperation with the State;
(B) The willfulness or negligence of the violation;
(C) The history of compliance or noncompliance; and
(D) Other unique factors including how much control the violator had over and the foreseeability of the events constituting the violation, whether the violator made or could have made reasonable efforts to prevent the violation, whether the violator knew of the legal requirements which were violated, and degree of recalcitrance
(3) Environmental sensitivity. The actual impact of the violation(s) that occurred.
(4) The number of days of noncompliance.
(5) Response and investigation costs incurred by the State and others.
(6) The possible deterrent effect of a penalty to prevent future violations.
(c) All cases involving major violations with actual or high-potential for harming public health or the environment, and all cases involving a history of repeat violations by the same violator will require a penalty as a part of any settlement, unless good cause is shown for not seeking a penalty.
(d) Where the Director determines that a penalty is appropriate under Section 19-6-425, the Director may negotiate the penalty based on the following categories and ranges:
(1) Major Violations: $5,000 to $10,000 per violation. This category includes major deviations from the requirements of the rules or Act, violations that cause or may cause substantial or continuing risk to human health and the environment, or violations that may have a substantial adverse effect on the regulatory program.
(2) Moderate Violations: $2,000 to $7,000 per violation. This category includes moderate deviations from the requirements of the rules or Act but some requirements have been implemented as intended, violations that cause or may cause a significant risk to human health and the environment, or violations that may have a significant notable adverse effect on the regulatory program.
(3) Minor Violations: Up to $3,000 per violation. This category includes slight deviations from the rules or Act but most of the requirements are met, violations that cause or may cause a relatively low risk to human health and the environment, or violations that may have a minor adverse effect on the regulatory program.
(e) The Director may consult "EPA Penalty Guidance for Violations of UST Regulations" (OSWER Directive 9610.12) as supplemental guidance to R311-208-5.
penalties, petroleum, underground storage tanks*
September 16, 1996
March 27, 2017
For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R311, please contact the promulgating agency (Environmental Quality, Environmental Response and Remediation). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.