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e-CFR data is current as of January 19, 2021

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter DPart 971Subpart J → §971.1003


Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
PART 971—DEEP SEABED MINING REGULATIONS FOR COMMERCIAL RECOVERY PERMITS
Subpart J—Enforcement


§971.1003   License and permit sanctions.

(a) Application of this section. This section governs the suspension or revocation of any license or permit issued under the Act, or the suspension or modification of any particular activity or activities under a license or permit, which suspension, revocation or modification is undertaken in addition to, or in lieu of, imposing a civil penalty under this subpart, or in addition to imposing a fine.

(b) Basis for sanctions. The Administrator may act under this section with respect to a license or permit issued under the Act, or any particular activity or activities under such a license or permit, if the licensee or permittee substantially fails to comply with any provision of the Act, any regulation or order issued under the Act, or any term, condition, or restriction in the license or permit.

(c) Nature of sanctions. In the Administrator's discretion and subject to the requirements of this section, the Administrator may take any of the following actions or combinations thereof with respect to a license or permit issued under the Act:

(1) Revoke the license or permit;

(2) Suspend the license or permit, either for a specified period of time or until certain stated requirements are met, or both; or

(3) Modify any activity under the license or permit, as by imposing additional requirements or restraints on the activity.

(d) Notice of sanction. (1) The Administrator will prepare a notice of sanction (NoS) setting forth the sanction to be imposed and the basis therefore. The NoS will state:

(i) A concise statement of the facts believed to show a violation;

(ii) A specific reference to the provisions of the Act, regulation, license or permit, or order allegedly violated;

(iii) The nature and duration of the proposed sanction;

(iv) The effective date of the sanction, which is 30 days after the date of the notice unless the Administrator establishes a different effective date under paragraph (d)(4) or paragraph (e) of this section;

(v) That the licensee or permittee has 30 calendar days from receipt of the notice in which to request or waive a hearing, under paragraph (f) of this section; and

(vi) The determination made by the Administrator under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, and any time period that the Administrator provides the licensee or permittee under paragraph (e)(1) to correct a deficiency.

(2) If a hearing is requested in a timely manner, the sanction becomes effective as provided in the final decision of the Administrator issued pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section, unless the Administrator provides otherwise under paragraph (d)(4) of this section.

(3) The NoS will be served personally or by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, on the licensee or permittee. The Administrator will also publish in the Federal Register a notice of his intention to impose a sanction.

(4) The Administrator may make the sanction effective immediately or otherwise earlier than 30 days after the date of the NoS if the Administrator finds, and issues an emergency order summarizing such finding and the basis therefor, that an earlier date is necessary to:

(i) Prevent a significant adverse environmental effect; or

(ii) Preserve the safety of life and property at sea.

If the Administrator acts under this paragraph (d)(4), the Administrator will serve the emergency order as provided in paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

(5) The NoS will be accompanied by a copy of this subpart and the applicable provisions of 15 CFR part 904 and 15 CFR part 971, subpart I.

(e) Opportunity to correct deficiencies. (1) Prior to issuing the NoS, the Administrator will determine whether the reason for the proposed sanction is a deficiency which the licensee or permittee can correct. Such determination, and the basis therefor, will be set forth in the NoS.

(2) If the Administrator determines that the reason for the proposed sanction is a deficiency which the licensee or permittee can correct, the Administrator will allow the licensee or permittee a reasonable period of time, up to 180 days from the date of the NoS, to correct the deficiency. The NoS will state the effective date of the sanction, and that the sanction will take effect on that date unless the licensee or permittee corrects the deficiency within the time prescribed or unless the Administrator grants an extension of time to correct the deficiency under paragraph (e)(3) of this section.

(3) The licensee or permittee may, within the time period prescribed by the Administrator under paragraph (e)(2) of the section, request an extension of time to correct the deficiency. The Administrator may, for good cause shown, grant an extension. If the Administrator does not grant the request, either orally or in writing before the effective date of the sanction, the request will be considered denied.

(4) When the licensee or permittee believes that the deficiency has been corrected, the licensee or permittee shall so advise the Administrator in writing. The Administrator will, as soon as practicable, determine whether or not the deficiency has been corrected and advise the licensee or permittee of such determination.

(5) If the Administrator determines that the deficiency has not been corrected by the licensee or permittee within the time prescribed under paragraph (e)(2) or (e)(3) of this section, the Administrator may:

(i) Grant the licensee or permittee additional time to correct the deficiency, for good cause shown;

(ii) If no hearing has been timely requested under paragraph (f)(1) of this section, notify the licensee or permittee that the sanction will take effect as provided in paragraph (e)(2) or (e)(3) of this section; or

(iii) If a request for hearing has been timely filed under paragraph (f)(1) of this section, and hearing proceedings have not already begun, or if the Administrator determines under paragraph (f)(3) of this section to hold a hearing, notify the licensee or permittee of the Administrator's intention to proceed to a hearing on the matter.

(f) Opportunity for hearing. (1) The licensee or permittee has 30 days from receipt of the NoS to request a hearing. However, no hearing is required with respect to matters previously adjudicated in an administrative or judicial hearing in which the licensee or permittee has had an opportunity to participate.

(2) If the licensee or permittee requests a hearing, a written and dated request shall be served either in person or by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, at the address specified in the NoS. The request shall either attach a copy of the relevant NoS or refer to the relevant NOAA case number.

(3) If no hearing is requested under paragraph (f)(2) of this section, the Administrator may nonetheless order a hearing if the Administrator determines that there are material issues of fact, law, or equity to be further explored.

(g) Hearing and decision. (1) If a timely request for a hearing under paragraph (f) of this section is received, or if the Administrator orders a hearing under paragraph (f)(3) of this section, the Administrator will promptly begin proceedings under this section by forwarding the request, a copy of the NoS and any response thereto to the Department of Commerce Office of Administrative Law Judges which will docket the matter for hearing. Written notice of the referral will promptly be given to the licensee or permittee, with the name and address of the attorney representing the Administrator in the proceedings (the agency representative). Thereafter, all pleading and other documents must be filed directly with the Department of Commerce Office of Administrative Law Judges, and a copy must be served on the opposing party (respondent or agency representative).

(2) Except as provided in this section, the hearing and appeal procedures in 15 CFR part 904, subpart C apply to any hearing held under this section.

(3) If the proposed sanction is the result of a correctable deficiency, the hearing will proceed concurrently with any attempt to correct the deficiency unless the parties agree otherwise or the Administrative Law Judge orders differently.

(4) As soon as practicable, but normally not later than 90 days after the conclusion of the formal hearing, the judge will file with the Administrator a recommended decision prepared in accordance with §971.901(h)(2).

(5) The Administrator will issue a final decision in accordance with §971.901(h)(3). The decision will be a final order of the Administrator.

(6) The Administrator will serve notice of the final decision on the licensee or permittee in the manner described by paragraph (d)(3) of this section.

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