The Enforcement Unit is responsible for managing any litigation by the various Units of the Bureau of Environmental Protection. Legal proceedings take two forms - Formal Hearings and Stipulated Agreements. Penalties may be assessed if the existence of violations is substantiated during this adjudication process.
As the name implies the format for a formal hearing is more structured and regulated by the New York State Administrative Law. It is an administrative tool used to gain compliance with State and local Sanitary Codes enforced by the Department. Formal hearings are scheduled for those cases that require a written record of the proceedings and are presided over by a hearing officer designated by the Commissioner.
Stipulation Hearing vs Formal Hearing
In a Stipulated Agreement both parties agree to the resolution of Sanitary Code violations. The Commissioner issues an Order and the matter is resolved without an additional adversarial proceeding.
Violators of the Suffolk County Sanitary Code are subject to the imposition of a civil penalty not exceeding $2,000 for each violation. Each day or part of the day the violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.
Based on the testimony provided during the hearing process the hearing officer will make his/her recommendations to the Commissioner. The Commissioner then issues a Decision and Order. In all cases a follow-up inspection is conducted by a representative of the Department to check compliance to the order. Failure to comply may result in additional charges and/or an order to cease and desist.