2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 5 - WATER RESOURCES
ARTICLE 5 - RIVERS AND RIVER BASINS
PART 6 - PROTECTION OF METROPOLITAN RIVERS
§ 12-5-452 - Cease and desist orders; injunctions; land-disturbing activities as nuisances; penalty; jurisdiction of actions
. Cease and desist orders; injunctions; land-disturbing activities as nuisances; penalty; jurisdiction of actions
(a) If a governing authority determines that any person is violating any provision of this part, any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this part, or the terms and conditions of any certificate issued under this part, the appropriate governing authority shall employ any one or any combination of any or all of the following enforcement methods:
(1) The appropriate governing authority may issue a cease and desist order specifying the provision of this part or the rule or the term or condition of a certificate violated and requiring the person so ordered to cease and desist from such activity and to take corrective action within a reasonable period of time as prescribed in the order. Such corrective action may include, but shall not be limited to, requiring that the affected portion of the stream corridor be returned to its condition prior to the violation insofar as practical. Any such order shall become final unless the person named therein requests in writing a hearing before the governing authority no later than 30 days after the issuance of such order. On the basis of such hearing, the governing authority shall be authorized to continue such order in effect, to revoke the order, or to modify it;
(2) Whenever the appropriate governing authority finds that an emergency exists requiring immediate action to protect the watercourse and the public interest, the governing authority may issue an emergency cease and desist order, effective immediately, reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as it deems necessary to meet the emergency. Any person against whom such order is directed shall comply therewith immediately but, on application to the governing authority, shall be afforded a hearing within five business days. On the basis of such hearing the governing authority shall be authorized to continue such order in effect, to revoke the order, or to modify it;
(3) The appropriate governing authority may seek injunctive relief pursuant to subsection (b) of this Code section; or
(4) The governing authority shall be authorized to delegate to a responsible official thereof the authority to issue the orders set forth in this subsection.
(b) Any land-disturbing activity in violation of this part, any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this part, or any certificate issued pursuant to this part shall be a public nuisance; and the creation and maintenance thereof may be enjoined and abated upon an action being filed by the commission, any political subdivision affected, the director, or any person.
(c) Any person who violates this part or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this part, any certificate issued pursuant to this part, or any final cease and desist order or emergency order issued pursuant to this part may be fined a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 for each acre or part thereof on which such violation occurs. Each day on which such violation exists is a separate offense.
(d) The superior court having jurisdiction over an action brought pursuant to this Code section shall have the authority to require that the land within the stream corridor be restored to its original condition prior to the unauthorized land-disturbing activity, if possible and if environmentally appropriate. If such restoration is ordered by the court and not carried out within the time limits set forth in a final court order, the governing authority shall be authorized to carry out total or partial restoration within the stream corridor, and the person or persons responsible for the unauthorized land-disturbing activities shall be liable for the amount expended upon restoration. Such amount shall be recoverable by the governing authority in an action against such person or persons.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer