Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, any person who knowingly violates any provision of section 6302 of this title shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $100 for each violation. Such penalties shall be assessed by the Commission, except that penalties for violations of section 6302(a)(3) of this title which relate to requirements prescribed by the Secretary, violations of section 6302(a)(4) of this title which relate to requests of the Secretary under section 6296(b)(2) of this title, or violations of paragraph (5), (6), (7), or (8) of section 6302(a) of this title shall be assessed by the Secretary. Civil penalties assessed under this part may be compromised by the agency or officer authorized to assess the penalty, taking into account the nature and degree of the violation and the impact of the penalty upon a particular respondent. Each violation of paragraph (1), (2), (5), (6), (7), or (8) of section 6302(a) of this title shall constitute a separate violation with respect to each covered product, and each day of violation of section 6302(a)(3) or (4) of this title shall constitute a separate violation.
As used in subsection (a) of this section, the term "knowingly" means (1) the having of actual knowledge, or (2) the presumed having of knowledge deemed to be possessed by a reasonable man who acts in the circumstances, including knowledge obtainable upon the exercise of due care.
It shall be an unfair or deceptive act or practice in or affecting commerce (within the meaning of section 45(a)(1) of title 15) for any person to violate section 6293(c) of this title, except to the extent that such violation is prohibited under the provisions of section 6302(a)(1) of this title, in which case such provisions shall apply.
(1) Before issuing an order assessing a civil penalty against any person under this section, the Secretary shall provide to such person notice of the proposed penalty. Such notice shall inform such person of his opportunity to elect in writing within 30 days after the date of receipt of such notice to have the procedures of paragraph (3) (in lieu of those of paragraph (2)) apply with respect to such assessment.
(2)(A) Unless an election is made within 30 calendar days after receipt of notice under paragraph (1) to have paragraph (3) apply with respect to such penalty, the Secretary shall assess the penalty, by order, after a determination of violation has been made on the record after an opportunity for an agency hearing pursuant to section 554 of title 5 before an administrative law judge appointed under section 3105 of such title 5. Such assessment order shall include the administrative law judge's findings and the basis for such assessment.
(B) Any person against whom a penalty is assessed under this paragraph may, within 60 calendar days after the date of the order of the Secretary assessing such penalty, institute an action in the United States court of appeals for the appropriate judicial circuit for judicial review of such order in accordance with chapter 7 of title 5. The court shall have jurisdiction to enter a judgment affirming, modifying, or setting aside in whole or in part, the order of the Secretary, or the court may remand the proceeding to the Secretary for such further action as the court may direct.
(3)(A) In the case of any civil penalty with respect to which the procedures of this paragraph have been elected, the Secretary shall promptly assess such penalty, by order, after the date of the receipt of the notice under paragraph (1) of the proposed penalty.
(B) If the civil penalty has not been paid within 60 calendar days after the assessment order has been made under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall institute an action in the appropriate district court of the United States for an order affirming the assessment of the civil penalty. The court shall have authority to review de novo the law and the facts involved, and shall have jurisdiction to enter a judgment enforcing, modifying, and enforcing as so modified, or setting aside in whole or in part, such assessment.
(C) Any election to have this paragraph apply may not be revoked except with the consent of the Secretary.
(4) If any person fails to pay an assessment of a civil penalty after it has become a final and unappealable order under paragraph (2), or after the appropriate district court has entered final judgment in favor of the Secretary under paragraph (3), the Secretary shall institute an action to recover the amount of such penalty in any appropriate district court of the United States. In such action, the validity and appropriateness of such final assessment order or judgment shall not be subject to review.
(5)(A) Notwithstanding the provisions of title 28 or section 7192(c) of this title, the Secretary shall be represented by the general counsel of the Department of Energy (or any attorney or attorneys within the Department of Energy designated by the Secretary) who shall supervise, conduct, and argue any civil litigation to which paragraph (3) of this subsection applies (including any related collection action under paragraph (4)) in a court of the United States or in any other court, except the Supreme Court. However, the Secretary or the general counsel shall consult with the Attorney General concerning such litigation, and the Attorney General shall provide, on request, such assistance in the conduct of such litigation as may be appropriate.
(B) Subject to the provisions of section 7192(c) of this title, the Secretary shall be represented by the Attorney General, or the Solicitor General, as appropriate, in actions under this subsection, except to the extent provided in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.
(C) Section 7172(d) of this title shall not apply with respect to the functions of the Secretary under this subsection.
(6) For purposes of applying the preceding provisions of this subsection in the case of the assessment of a penalty by the Commission for a violation of paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 6302 of this title, references in such provisions to "Secretary" and "Department of Energy" shall be considered to be references to the "Commission".
(Pub. L. 94–163, title III, §333, Dec. 22, 1975, 89 Stat. 929; Pub. L. 95–619, title IV, §§423, 425(e), title VI, §691(b)(2), Nov. 9, 1978, 92 Stat. 3262, 3266, 3288; Pub. L. 100–12, §11(b)(6), Mar. 17, 1987, 101 Stat. 125; Pub. L. 114–11, title II, §201(3), Apr. 30, 2015, 129 Stat. 189.)
2015—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 114–11 substituted "paragraph (5), (6), (7), or (8) of section 6302(a)" for "section 6302(a)(5)" and "paragraph (1), (2), (5), (6), (7), or (8) of section 6302(a)" for "paragraph (1), (2), or (5) of section 6302(a)".
1987—Pub. L. 100–12 inserted headings for subsecs. (a) to (d).
1978—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–619, §§425(e)(1), 691(b)(2), substituted "Secretary" for "Administrator", meaning Administrator of the Federal Energy Administration, wherever appearing, and "subsection (c) of this section" for "subsection (b) of this section".
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 95–619, §425(e)(2), substituted "section 6293(c) of this title" for "section 6293(d)(2) of this title" and inserted provision making an exception from the unfair or deceptive act or practice rule.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 95–619, §423, added subsec. (d).