A. If the Director or a mine inspector has reasonable cause to believe that a violation of the Act has occurred, he shall with reasonable promptness issue a notice of violation to the person who is responsible for the violation. Each notice of violation shall be in writing and shall describe with particularity the nature of the violation or violations, including a reference to the provisions of this chapter and Chapters 14.5 (§ 45.1-161.293 et seq.) and 14.6 (§ 45.1-161.304 et seq.) or the appropriate regulations violated, and shall include an order of abatement and fix a reasonable time for abatement of the violation.
B. A copy of the notice of violation shall be delivered to the licensed operator, his agent, or mine foreman and any independent contractor whose employees were exposed to hazards related to the violation.
C. Upon a finding by the mine inspector of completion of the action required to abate the violation, the Director or the mine inspector shall issue a notice of correction, a copy of which shall be delivered as provided in subsection B.
D. The notice of violation shall be deemed to be the final order of the Department and not subject to review by any court or agency unless, within twenty days following its issuance, the person to whom the notice of violation has been issued appeals its issuance by notifying the Department in writing that he intends to contest its issuance. The Department shall conduct informal conference or consultation proceedings, presided over by the Director, pursuant to § 2.2-4019, unless the person and the Department agree to waive such a conference or proceeding to go directly to a formal hearing. If such a conference or proceeding has been waived, or if it has failed to dispose of the case by consent, the Department shall conduct a formal hearing pursuant to § 2.2-4020. The formal hearing shall be presided over by a hearing officer pursuant to § 2.2-4024, who shall recommend findings and an initial decision, which shall be subject to review and approval by the Director. Any party aggrieved by and claiming unlawfulness of the decision shall be entitled to judicial review pursuant to Article 5 (§ 2.2-4025 et seq.) of the Administrative Process Act.
E. If it shall be finally determined that a notice of violation was not issued in accordance with the provisions of this section, the notice of violation shall be vacated, and the improperly issued notice of violation shall not be used to the detriment of the person or the operator to whom it was issued.
1997, c. 390; 1998, c. 695.