(1) No person shall operate or maintain a public water system without first obtaining a permit to operate such system from the director. No fee shall be charged for the issuance of such permit.
(2) The director shall inspect public water systems and report findings to the owner, publish a list of those systems not in compliance, and promote the training of operators. The director may deny or revoke a permit, issue administrative orders scheduling action to be taken, take emergency action as provided in section 71-5304.01, and seek a temporary or permanent injunction or such other legal process as is deemed necessary to obtain compliance with the Nebraska Safe Drinking Water Act.
(3) A permit may be denied or revoked for noncompliance with the act, the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated under the act, or the terms of a variance or exemption issued pursuant to section 71-5310.
(4) Any person shall be granted, upon request, an opportunity for a hearing before the department under the Administrative Procedure Act prior to the denial or revocation of a permit. The denial or revocation may be appealed, and the appeal shall be in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.