A. For the purposes of this section:”Dairy farm” means any farm producing Grade A milk or milk for manufacturing purposes.”Excessive drug residue” means drug residue that is: (i) greater than the value specified as a safe level by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; (ii) equal to or greater than the value specified as the minimum actionable level by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; or (iii) greater than the value specified as the maximum tolerance level established by federal law. In the event that no safe level, actionable level, or tolerance level for drug residue has been established under federal law, any drug residue shall be deemed to exceed the safe level, minimum actionable level, or tolerance level of drug residue.”Official drug test” means a test: (i) performed by a laboratory that is certified by the Interstate Milk Shippers (IMS) and listed as certified in the IMS List Sanitation Compliance and Enforcement Ratings of Interstate Milk Shippers published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; (ii) performed in a laboratory operated by the Commonwealth; or (iii) performed using a method that has been reviewed and accepted by the United States Public Health Service, the Association of Official Analytical Chemists, or the American Public Health Association.
B. Where an official drug test detects the presence of excessive drug residue in milk produced at a dairy farm, the Commissioner may: (i) assess a civil penalty not to exceed $ 100 against the operator of the dairy farm; or (ii) order the suspension of any permit issued to the operator pursuant to § 3.2-5206. No civil penalty shall be assessed under this section unless the operator of the dairy farm has been given the opportunity for an informal fact-finding conference pursuant to § 2.2-4019. If the matter is not resolved by the informal fact-finding conference or the operator of the dairy farm is dissatisfied with the Commissioner’s decision from the informal fact-finding conference, the operator may request a second informal fact-finding conference. Any such request shall be submitted by the operator to the Commissioner within 30 days after the operator’s receipt of the decision. The Commissioner in his discretion may grant or deny such request.Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the Commissioner to hold a formal hearing pursuant to § 2.2-4020 prior to the assessment of a civil penalty or the suspension of a permit pursuant to this section.
C. If the Commissioner assesses a civil penalty pursuant to this section and the operator of the dairy farm fails to pay the civil penalty in a timely manner, the Commissioner shall suspend any permit issued pursuant to § 3.2-5206 to the operator.
D. Civil penalties assessed under this section shall be paid into the general fund of the state treasury. The Board shall prescribe procedures for payment of civil penalties. The procedures shall include provisions for a person to consent to abatement of the alleged violation and pay a penalty or negotiated sum in lieu of such penalty without admission of civil liability arising from such alleged violation.
2001, c. 523, § 3.1-530.11; 2008, c. 860.