Revised Code of Washington - RCW Title 78 Mines, Minerals, And Petroleum - Section 78.56.140 Citizen action suits
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§ 78.56.140. Citizen action suits
(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (5) of this section, any aggrieved person may commence a civil action on his or her own behalf:
(a) Against any person, including any state agency or local government agency, who is alleged to be in violation of a law, rule, order, or permit pertaining to metals mining and milling operations regulated under chapter 232, Laws of 1994;
(b) Against a state agency if there is alleged a failure of the agency to perform any nondiscretionary act or duty under state laws pertaining to metals mining and milling operations; or
(c) Against any person who constructs a metals mining and milling operation without the permits and authorizations required by state law.
The superior courts shall have jurisdiction to enforce metals mining laws, rules, orders, and permit conditions, or to order the state to perform such act or duty, as the case may be. In addition to injunctive relief, a superior court may award a civil penalty when deemed appropriate in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars per violation per day, payable to the state of Washington.
(2) No action may be commenced:
(a) Under subsection (1)(a) of this section:
(i) Prior to sixty days after the plaintiff has given notice of the alleged violation to the state, and to any alleged violator of a metals mining and milling law, rule, order, or permit condition; or
(ii) If the state has commenced and is diligently prosecuting a civil action in a court of the state or of the United States or is diligently pursuing authorized administrative enforcement action to require compliance with the law, rule, order, or permit. To preclude a civil action, the enforcement action must contain specific, aggressive, and enforceable timelines for compliance and must provide for public notice of and reasonable opportunity for public comment on the enforcement action. In any such court action, any aggrieved person may intervene as a matter of right; or
(b) Under subsection (1)(b) of this section prior to sixty days after the plaintiff has given notice of such action to the state.
(3)(a) Any action respecting a violation of a law, rule, order, or permit condition pertaining to metals mining and milling operations may be brought in the judicial district in which such operation is located or proposed.
(b) In such action under this section, the state, if not a party, may intervene as a matter of right.
(4) The court, in issuing any final order in any action brought pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, may award costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney and expert witness fees, to any prevailing party, wherever the court determines such award is appropriate. The court may, if a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is sought, require the filing of a bond or equivalent security in accordance with the rules of civil procedure.
(5) A civil action to enforce compliance with a law, rule, order, or permit may not be brought under this section if any other statute, or the common law, provides authority for the plaintiff to bring a civil action and, in such action, obtain the same relief, as authorized under this section, for enforcement of such law, rule, order, or permit. Nothing in this section restricts any right which any person, or class of persons, may have under any statute or common law to seek any relief, including relief against the state or a state agency.
[1994 c 232 § 14.]
Sections: 78.56.050 78.56.060 78.56.070 78.56.080 78.56.090 78.56.100 78.56.110 78.56.120 78.56.130 78.56.140 78.56.150 78.56.160 78.56.900 78.56.901 78.56.902
Last modified: April 7, 2009