USEPA Increases Civil Penalties

USEPA Increases Civil Penalties

On July 1, 2016, the USEPA published its interim final rule that adjusts the statutory civil monetary penalty amounts. See 81 Fed. Reg. 43091. The rule was developed after passage of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act. That legislation establishes the formula for inflation adjustments.

The rule translates the original statutory civil penalty amounts to today’s dollars (with rounding to the nearest dollar). While the USEPA has no discretion to vary the amount of the adjustments, the decision to impose penalties is still discretionary under the USEPA various civil penalty policies. The penalty policies have a matrix that considers such things as the seriousness of the violation, good faith efforts to comply, economic benefit and ability to pay.

The rule implementing the adjustments to the civil penalties became effective on August 1, 2016.

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