Code of the District of Columbia

§ 8–1060. Remedies and penalties.

(a)(1) Whenever the Mayor has reason to believe that (A) there has been a violation of this chapter or the rules and regulations issued under its authority, or (B) a threat exists to human health, the public welfare, or the environment as the result of the construction, modification, or operation of a solid waste facility located within the District, the Mayor may give written notice of the alleged violation or threat to the person responsible and order the person to take such corrective measures as the Mayor determines reasonable and necessary.

(2) If a person fails to comply with the notice within the time period stated in the notice, the Mayor may take corrective actions necessary to alleviate or terminate the violation or threat. The Mayor may assess a penalty against the person responsible equal to triple the costs of undertaking the corrective actions, or close the facility, or both.

(b) If the Mayor finds that any person is constructing or operating a solid waste facility in a manner which endangers human health, the public welfare, or the environment, or is operating a facility in violation of this chapter, the Mayor may (A) request the Corporation Counsel to commence appropriate civil action in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to secure a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, a permanent injunction, or other appropriate relief, or (B) issue a cease and desist order.

(c) The Mayor or any court may impose civil fines, penalties, costs, and fees as alternate sanctions for violations of this chapter, or the rules and regulations issued under its authority, pursuant to § 2-1801.01 et seq. Rules promulgated pursuant to this section shall be submitted to the Council for a 30-day period of review, not including weekends, holidays, or periods of Council recess. Adjudications of any infractions of this chapter shall be pursuant to § 2-1801.01 et seq. For any violation, each day of the violation shall constitute a separate offense and the penalties prescribed shall apply separately to each separate offense.

(c-1) The Council hereby ratifies the schedule of fines promulgated in § 741 of Chapter 7 of Title 21 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations and in effect prior to July 17, 1999.

(d)(1) If the Mayor determines, after investigation, that the conduct of a solid waste facility presents an imminent danger to the public health, safety or the environment, the Mayor shall close and seal the facility.

(2) At the time of the sealing of the facility, the Mayor shall provide the permit holder with written notice stating the action being taken, the basis for the action, and the right of the permit holder to request a hearing.

(3) The permit holder shall have the right to request a hearing within 72 hours after service of notice of the sealing of the premises. The Mayor shall hold a hearing within 72 hours of receipt of a timely request, and shall issue a decision within 72 hours after the hearing.

(4) Every decision and order adverse to a permit holder shall be accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law. The findings shall be supported by, and in accordance with, reliable, probative, and substantial evidence. The Mayor shall provide a copy of the decision and order and accompanying findings of fact and conclusions of law to each party to a case.

(5) Any person aggrieved by a final summary action may seek judicial review in accordance with subchapter I of Chapter 5 of Title 2.

(e) Any solid waste facility that is not in compliance with the requirements of this chapter, regulations promulgated to implement this chapter, or any permit term or condition is a public nuisance and may be enjoined and abated as provided in this chapter.

(f) An action to enjoin any public nuisance defined in subsection (e) of this section may be brought in the name of the District of Columbia by the Corporation Counsel or any of his or her assistants, in the Civil Branch of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia against any person conducting or maintaining the public nuisance. The rules of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia relating to granting an injunction or restraining order shall be applicable to actions brought pursuant to this subsection, except that the District, as complaining party, shall not be required to furnish bond or security. It shall not be necessary for the Court to find that the building, ground, premises, or place was being unlawfully used at the time of the hearing. The Court shall enter an order restraining the defendant from operating a solid waste facility in violation of this chapter, upon finding that the material allegations of the complaint are true. Nothing in this section shall preclude any person or class of persons, from bringing a public or private nuisance claim against a solid waste facility.

(g) In the case of the violation of any temporary or permanent injunction rendered pursuant to the provisions of this section, proceedings for punishment for contempt may be commenced by the Office of the Corporation Counsel, in accordance with the rules of the court. Any person found guilty of contempt pursuant to this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 12 months, or both.

(h) Any person adversely affected by violations of this chapter or the rules and regulations issued pursuant to this chapter may commence a civil action on his or her own behalf to secure any appropriate relief, including injunctive relief and the payment of civil fines or penalties, as established by the Mayor pursuant to this chapter. In any action brought pursuant to this subsection, the court, in issuing its final order, may award costs of litigation, including reasonable expert witness and attorneys fees, to the prevailing or substantially prevailing party, whenever the court determines that an award is appropriate.

(i) Any person violating the provisions of this chapter, or any rule, regulation or permit issued under its authority, shall, upon conviction in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, be guilty of a misdemeanor and be fined no more than $1,000 or imprisoned for a period not to exceed 30 days, or both, in the discretion of the court.


(Feb. 27, 1996, D.C. Law 11-94, § 11, 42 DCR 7172; June 11, 1999, D.C. Law 12-286, § 2(e), 46 DCR 3435; July 17, 1999, D.C. Law 13-15, § 2(b), 46 DCR 4462.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 6-3460.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 13-15, in subsec. (c), added the two last two sentences, added subsec. (g), and rewrote subsec. (d), which previously read:

“Any solid waste facility that is not in compliance with the requirements of this subchapter, regulations promulgated to implement this subchapter, or any permit term or condition shall, upon a finding of noncompliance by the Departments of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Public Works, or Health, or by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, be closed. Any facility so closed may file a petition with the Department finding it in noncompliance, for a hearing to allow it to reopen. At the hearing, the facility must prove that it has come into compliance, or has a plan to come into compliance which shall be implemented before the facility may reopen. In allowing a facility to reopen, the Department may impose additional terms and conditions as it deems proper and necessary to protect the public health and safety and to carry out the purposes of this subchapter. These conditions may include, but are not limited to, requiring a facility to pay reasonable fees for independent experts, sample testing, and government costs in monitoring the petitioning facility’s compliance, before or after a finding of noncompliance is made.”

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(e) of the Solid Waste Facility Permit Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-296, March 4, 1998, 45 DCR 1769), and § 2 of the Solid Waste Facility Permit Emergency Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Act 13-17, February 12, 1999, 46 DCR 2351).

For temporary addition of § 6-3460.1 1981 Ed., see § 2(f) of the Solid Waste Facility Permit Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-296, March 4, 1998, 45 DCR 1769).

For temporary addition of §§ 8-1061 through 8-1063, see § 2(b) through (d) of the Solid Waste Facility Permit Second Emergency Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Act 12-623, February 1, 1999, 45 DCR 1364).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2(e) of Solid Waste Facility Permit Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-120, June 11, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 4037).

For temporary (225 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Solid Waste Facility Permit Temporary Amendment Act of 1999 (D.C. Law 13-5, May 28, 1999, law notification 46 DCR 5305).

See Historical and Statutory Notes following § 8-1051.

For temporary (225 day) addition, see § 2(f) of Solid Waste Facility Permit Temporary Amendment Act of 1998 (D.C. Law 12-120, June 11, 1998, law notification 45 DCR 4037).