(a) The several district courts of the United States are vested with jurisdiction specifically to enforce, and to prevent and restrain any person from violating, any plan or regulation made or issued under this chapter. The facts relating to any civil action that may be brought under this subsection shall be referred to the Attorney General for appropriate action, except that nothing in this chapter shall be construed as requiring the Secretary to refer to the Attorney General violations of this chapter whenever the Secretary believes that the administration and enforcement of the plan or regulation would be adequately served by administrative action under subsection (b) or suitable written notice or warning to any person committing the violations.
(b)(1) Any person who violates any provision of any plan or regulation issued by the Secretary under this chapter, or who fails or refuses to pay, collect, or remit any assessment or fee required of the person thereunder, may be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000 for each violation. Each violation shall be a separate offense. In addition to or in lieu of such civil penalty, the Secretary may issue an order requiring the person to cease and desist from continuing the violation. No penalty shall be assessed nor cease and desist order issued unless the person is given notice and opportunity for a hearing before the Secretary with respect to the violation. The order of the Secretary assessing a penalty or imposing a cease and desist order shall be final and conclusive unless the person affected by the order files an appeal from the Secretary's order with the appropriate United States court of appeals.
(2) Any person against whom a violation is found and a civil penalty assessed or cease and desist order issued under paragraph (1) may obtain review in the court of appeals of the United States for the circuit in which such person resides or carries on business or in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by filing a notice of appeal in such court within thirty days after the date of the order and by simultaneously sending a copy of the notice by certified mail to the Secretary. The Secretary shall promptly file in such court a certified copy of the record on which the violation was found. The findings of the Secretary shall be set aside only if found to be unsupported by substantial evidence.
(3) Any person who fails to obey a cease and desist order after it has become final and unappealable, or after the appropriate court of appeals has entered a final judgment in favor of the Secretary, shall be subject to a civil penalty assessed by the Secretary, after opportunity for a hearing and for judicial review under the procedures specified in paragraphs (1) and (2), of not more than $500 for each offense. Each day during which the failure continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
(4) If any person fails to pay an assessment of a civil penalty after it has become a final and unappealable order, or after the appropriate court of appeals has entered final judgment in favor of the Secretary, the Secretary shall refer the matter to the Attorney General for recovery of the amount assessed in any appropriate district court of the United States. In such action, the validity and appropriateness of the final order imposing the civil penalty shall not be subject to review.
(Pub. L. 99–198, title XVI, §1651, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1627.)