BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend § 2405, Title 3 of the Delaware Code by deleting present § 2405 in its
entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
" Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter may result in the assessment of a civil penalty. No civil penalty shall be imposed until an administrative hearing is held before the Secretary or his or her designee after due notice has been given to the landowner or person who possesses or has use of the land in accordance with § 10122 of Title 29. Provided, however, a landowner or person who possesses or has the use of that land may enter into a written agreement with the Department of Agriculture specifying terms and conditions of a program for the control and eradication of designated noxious weeds, and so long as all the terms and conditions are being complied with, there is no violation of this chapter as to the land covered by the agreement."
Section 2. Amend § 2406, Title 3 of the Delaware Code by deleting present § 2406 in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"§ 2406. Hearing procedure and appeals.
All hearings which are held to enforce the provisions of this chapter shall be conducted by the Secretary or his or her designee. The landowner or person who possesses or has use of the land shall have the right to appear personally, and to be represented by counsel, and to provide evidence and witnesses in his or her own behalf. The Department shall preserve a full record of the proceeding. A transcript of the record may be purchased by any person interested in such hearing on payment to the Department the cost of preparing such transcript. The Department shall issue a decision in writing to the landowner or person who possesses or has use of the land within 30 days of the conclusion of the hearing. Any individual who feels aggrieved by an action of the Department as a result of an action resulting from a hearing held under this chapter may take an appeal, within 30 days of such action, to the Superior Court, and after full hearing the Court shall make such decree as seems just and proper. Written notice of such appeal, together with the grounds therefor, shall be served upon the Secretary of the Department."
Section 3. Amend § 2407, Title 3 of the Delaware Code by redesignating present §
2407 as § 2408, Title 3 of the Delaware Code and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"§ 2407. Penalties.
(a) Any person who interferes with the Department of Agriculture in the enforcement
of this chapter as determined in an administrative hearing, shall be assessed a civil penalty of no less than $50 nor more than $500 on each count.
(b) Any person who refuses to comply with the provisions of this chapter shall be
assessed a civil penalty of a minimum of $100 or $25 per acre of land upon which noxious weeds have set seed, whichever is greater.
(c) The proceeds of any fines or penalties imposed under this chapter shall be
deposited into an appropriated special fund account in the Department of Agriculture. These funds shall be used to support the noxious weed eradication programs of the Department of Agriculture."