824.13 Initial decision.§ 824.13 Initial decision.
(a) The Hearing Officer shall issue an initial decision as soon as practicable after the hearing. The initial decision shall contain findings of fact and conclusions regarding all material issues of law, as well as reasons therefor. If the Hearing Officer determines that a violation has occurred and that a civil penalty is appropriate, the initial decision shall set forth the amount of the civil penalty based on:
(1) The nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation or violations;
(2) The violator's ability to pay;
(3) The effect of the civil penalty on the person's ability to do business;
(4) Any history of prior violations;
(5) The degree of culpability; and
(6) Such other matters as justice may require.
(b) The Hearing Officer shall serve all parties with the initial decision by certified mail, return receipt requested. The initial decision shall include notice that it constitutes a final order of DOE 30 days after the filing of the initial decision unless the Secretary files a Notice of Review. If the Secretary files a notice of Notice of Review, he shall file a final order as soon as practicable after completing his review. The Secretary, at his discretion, may order additional proceedings, remand the matter, or modify the amount of the civil penalty assessed in the initial decision. DOE shall notify the person of the Secretary's action under this paragraph in writing by certified mail, return receipt requested. The person against whom the civil penalty is assessed by the final order shall pay the full amount of the civil penalty assessed in the final order within thirty days (30) unless otherwise agreed by the Director.