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Compliance & Enforcement Unit

Home page of the DEQ Office of Oil, Gas, and Minerals. Other Divisions and Departments may have their own compliance and enforcement units. 

   The compliance and enforcement process is usually a progressive sequence of actions taken to achieve or compel compliance with environmental statutes and rules.  Although the compliance and enforcement process is generally progressive, OGS may select any type of enforcement action at any place in the process as the facts and circumstances warrant, in conjunction with the authority provided by the applicable statutes and regulations.
   There are three kinds of enforcement action:
 

1. Administrative
An administrative enforcement action is accomplished in one of two ways.   An Administrative Consent Order  may be obtained from an Administrative Law Judge by holding an administrative hearing in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act , or  a voluntary Administrative Consent Agreement or may be obtained.  

1. Administrative Consent Orders
An Administrative Consent Order is a unilateral judgment made by the Supervisor of Wells or by an administrative law judge.  Evidence is heard during the administrative hearings process.  If the party is not willing to enter into a voluntary administrative agreement and compliance has not been achieved, a unilateral decision is made in the form of an Administrative Consent Order.  The judgment orders the party to come into compliance.  Failure to comply with an administrative Consent Order can result in a criminal enforcement or civil enforcement action. 

 2. Administrative Consent Agreements
An Administrative Consent Agreement is a voluntary legally enforceable document that binds the DEQ and another person or legal entity for the purpose of resolving the alleged violation(s) of laws or regulations administered by the DEQ.  An Administrative Consent Agreement usually contains provisions requiring the person to correct the violation, take steps to ensure that the violation is not repeated, remedy environmental damage and/or pay a monetary compensatory damage amount, or pay a penalty to deter future noncompliance.   

 2. Civil
A civil enforcement action is accomplished through a civil court action that is initiated by the Department of the Attorney General (DAG).  Civil enforcement actions may include civil penalties and injunctive relief.  In a civil enforcement action, the goal is to obtain a Judicial Order requiring compliance to be achieved.   The DAG will typically request maximum statutory penalties in all cases.  However, the judge makes the final decision regarding the amount of any civil penalties that are imposed. 

3. Criminal
A criminal enforcement action is conducted through the Office of Criminal Investigation (OCI).  If OGS believes that there was criminal intent, then OGS may seek a criminal enforcement action.  A criminal enforcement action can result in a misdemeanor or felony conviction that may be punishable by jail time or monetary penalties.  A criminal law judge hears the evidence and renders a decision.  The judge is also responsible for sentencing. 

Laws & Rules -  download (except Part 201) 

  Part 615: Supervisor of Wells 

  Part 625: Supervisor of Mineral Wells 

  Part 201 : Environmental Remediation 

  Part 631: Mine Reclamation 

  Part 632 : Nonferrous Metallic Mineral Mining 

  Part 637: Sand Dune Mining 

 

Online Services 

  Michigan Online Oil & Gas Info System 

  EPA Compliance & Enforcement 

  EPA Criminal Investigations 

  Office of Criminal Investigation 

 

Procedures & Policies - download Supervisor's Instrustions 

  Supervisor's Instruction 1-1994:
 Certification of Casing and Sealing of Surface Casing 
  Supervisor's Instruction 1-1997: 
Disposal of Produced Gas from Oil and Gas Field Operations 
  Supervisor's Instruction 1-2001:
Nuisance Odor Standard for Hydrogen Sulfide at Wells and Surface Facilities 
  Supervisor's Instruction 1-2002: 
Removal or Abandonment of Flow Lines and Facility Piping 

  Supervisor's Instruction 1-2004: 
Conditions for Approval of Temporarily Abandoned Status for Oil and Gas Wells 

  Supervisor's Instruction 1-2005:
(Mineral Wells) Containment and Disposal of Drilling Mud and Cuttings from Test Wells  (where metallic sulfide minerals may be present)
 

  Supervisor's Instruction 1-2006:
Notification of Surface Owners of Spills and Releases
 

 

Information 

  Compliance and Enforcement Fact Sheet 

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