4906.97 Notice and hearing of complaint.

(A) Upon a finding by the power siting board that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a person has violated a provision of section 4906.98 of the Revised Code, the board shall fix a time for hearing such complaint and shall notify the person. The notice shall be served not less than fifteen days before the date of hearing and shall state the matters that are the subject of the complaint. Parties to the complaint are entitled to be heard, to be represented by counsel, and to have process to enforce the attendance of witnesses.

(B) The power siting board by order or its chairperson, with written notice to the person and opportunity to respond, may require that any activity that is the subject of a complaint under division (A) of this section be suspended for the duration of the board's consideration of the complaint. Upon a showing by the party against which the complaint was filed that all matters have been addressed satisfactorily, the chairperson shall terminate the suspension.

(C) After notice and opportunity for hearing in accordance with division (A) of this section and upon a finding by the board that a person has violated a provision of section 4906.98 of the Revised Code, the board by order may assess a forfeiture of not more than five thousand dollars for each day of the violation, but the aggregate of forfeitures for a related series of violations shall not exceed one million dollars. In determining the amount of any forfeiture, the board shall consider all of the following:

(1) The gravity of the violation;

(2) The person's history of prior violations;

(3) The person's good faith efforts to comply and undertake corrective action;

(4) The person's ability to pay the forfeiture;

(5) The cost of the project;

(6) The effect of the forfeiture on the person's ability to continue as an applicant;

(7) Such other matters as justice requires.

(D) The attorney general, upon written request of the board, shall bring a civil action to recover any forfeiture assessed under division (C) of this section but not paid, or to seek other appropriate relief, including injunctive relief. The action shall be brought in the court of common pleas of Franklin county. The court shall give precedence to the action over all other cases.

(E) All forfeitures collected under division (C) or (D) of this section shall be deposited into the state treasury to the credit of the general revenue fund.

Effective Date: 04-07-2004