(1) Whenever the department has reason to believe that a violation of Title 80, chapter 7, part 9, MCA, or any adopted rule thereunder has occurred, it may initiate a civil penalty action pursuant to the Montana Administrative Procedure Act.
(2) Each violation is considered a separate offense and is subject to a separate penalty not to exceed $1,000. A repeat violation is considered a first violation if it occurred three or more years after the previous violation.
(3) The penalty matrix set forth in this rule establishes the basic penalty value for each offense. Factors dealing with the violation may cause the matrix penalty to increase or decrease. Examples of such factors include the person's history of compliance or noncompliance, or the extent of the person's actions to sell material or designate or imply material as being certified when it does not meet state certification requirements.
(4) The below penalty matrix applies to all of the following offenses:
(a) violation of any lawful order, stop sale, use or removal order; or condemnation action;
(b) certification, sale, or advertisement as certified, any noxious weed free material as free from noxious weed within the state, unless material is identified under a department-approved process of certification;
(c) transportation, offer for sale, sale, or use material as noxious weed free, from another state, province, or country, unless the material meets state certification standards or is allowed by an agreement between the department and another government agency;
(d) refusal to pay for any inspection fees or department-approved identification markers;
(e) transportation of certified forage materials in a regulated area without a transportation certificate or identification markers;
(f) falsification or alteration of a transportation certificate or other weed free material identifying markers.