Newsletter Signup

OSHA, EPA Increase Civil Monetary Penalties

Monday, January 15, 2018

The US Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have published annual civil monetary penalty adjustments. The adjustments are mandated by 2015 revisions to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act, which requires federal agencies to make annual inflation adjustments to federal statutory civil penalty amounts. Before the revisions to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act, the EPA and other agencies only adjusted penalty levels for inflation once every several years. Starting in 2017, however, the federal agencies must adjust their penalty amounts annually.

For the EPA, this will be the second civil penalty increase in six months. In July, the agency published a Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule, which served as a catch-up Rule that substantially raised the fines under EPA programs like the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, RCRA, EPCRA, CERCLA, and more.

While the new penalty adjustments are not as significant as the original catch-up adjustments, it is important to know the potential amount of fines in order to accurately evaluate compliance risks.

Below are some examples of the new civil penalty adjustments:

EPA Adjustments

  • RCRA Hazardous Waste: from $70,117 to $71,264 per day, per violation
  • Clean Water Act (CWA): From $51,570 to $52,414 per day, per violation
  • Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA): From $53,907 to $54,789 per day, per violation
  • Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA): from $37,500 to $38,114 per day, per violation¬†
  • CERCLA and EPCRA: from $53,907 to $54,789 per day, per violation
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA): from $18,750 to $19,057 per day, per violation

The EPA's civil penalty adjustments apply to violations that occurred after November 2, 2015 and for which penalties are assessed on or after January 15, 2017.

OSHA Adjustments

  • Willful and repeat violations: $129,336 per violation
  • Serious, other-than-serious, and posting requirements: $12,934 per violation
  • Failure to correct violation: $12,934 for each day the condition continues

For more information, see the Final Rules in the Federal Register (EPA adjustments; OSHA adjustments), an EPA Memorandum, or the OSHA Penalties web page.

To find out more about this topic, click here.
Articles
denotes original PSARA content