[Federal Register Volume 63, Number 115 (Tuesday, June 16, 1998)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 32761-32762]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 98-15951]


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NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

45 CFR Part 672


Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978, Civil Monetary Penalties

AGENCY: National Science Foundation.


[[Page 32762]]


ACTION: Final rule with a request for comments.

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SUMMARY: The National Science Foundation (NSF) is revising its 
inflation adjustments of civil monetary penalties that may be imposed 
for inadvertent and deliberate violations of the Antarctic Conservation 
Act of 1978 because a procedural error prevented the original 
adjustments from taking effect.

DATES: This rule is effective July 16, 1998.
    Comments, however, are welcome at any time and will be considered 
in making future revisions.

ADDRESSES: All comments should be addressed to: John Chester, Assistant 
General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Room 1265, National 
Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Chester on (703) 306-1060 (voice) 
and (703) 306-0149 (facsimile)--those are not toll-free numbers--or by 
electronic mail as jchester@nsf.gov through INTERNET.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation 
Adjustment Act of 1990 (104 Stat. 890; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note) as amended 
by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (section 31001(s)(1) of 
the Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996, 
Pub. L. 104-134, approved 4/26/96) directs each Federal agency to 
adjust, by regulation, each civil monetary penalty provided by law 
within the jurisdiction of that agency to compensate for the effects of 
inflation. The only civil monetary penalties within the jurisdiction of 
the National Science Foundation are those imposed for violations of the 
Antarctic Conservation Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2401 et seq.). On 
November 20, 1996 NSF published an amendment to its rules governing 
enforcement of that law adding a new section setting out the penalties 
for inadvertent and deliberate violations and adjusting those penalties 
for inflation as provided in the Debt Collection Improvement Act. 
Unfortunately, NSF did not submit that amendment to the Congress and 
Comptroller General as required by section 801(a) of title 5 of the 
United States Code and therefore it did not take effect. This rule, 
which will be submitted to Congress and GAO as soon as it is published, 
replaces the 1996 one.
    Because section 31001(s)(2) of the Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions 
and Appropriations Act of 1996 provides that the first adjustment of a 
civil monetary penalty made pursuant to its amendment to the Debt 
Collection Improvement Act ``may not exceed 10 percent of such 
penalty'', the Foundation is adjusting these penalties in two steps: a 
10 percent increase effective on August 1, 1998 and an increase to the 
full amount called for in the amended Debt Collection Improvement Act 
on August 1, 1999. The latter adjustment takes into account inflation 
through June 1997, rather than June 1995 as in the 1996 adjustment. 
Future adjustments will be made at least once every four years as 
called for in the amended Debt Collection Improvement Act.
    Because this action merely makes adjustments required by statute, 
public comments were not solicited prior to its issuance.

Required determinations

Executive Order 12612--Federalism

    This final rule will not have a substantial effect on the States, 
on the relationship between the national government and the states, or 
the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels 
of government. Thus, in accordance with Executive Order 12612, 
preparation of a Federalism assessment is not warranted.

Executive Order 12866--Regulatory Planning and Review

    I have determined, under the criteria set forth in Executive Order 
12866, that this rule is not a significant regulatory action requiring 
review by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Executive Order 12988--Civil Justice Reform

    I have reviewed this rule in light of section 3 of Executive Order 
12988 and certify for the National Science Foundation that this rule 
meets the applicable standards provided in section 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of 
that order.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify, pursuant to the requirements of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, that this final rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    There are no new information collection requirements in this final 
rule.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This final rule will not result in the expenditure, in the 
aggregate, of $100,000,000 or more in any one year and therefore 
preparation of a statement is not required by section 202(a) Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act of 1995 [2 U.S.C. 1532(a)].

List of Subjects in 45 CFR Part 672

    Administrative practice and procedure, Antarctica.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble and under the authority of 
28 U.S.C. 2461 note, 45 CFR Part 672 is amended as follows:

PART 672--ENFORCEMENT AND HEARING PROCEDURES; TOURISM GUIDELINES

    1. The authority citation for Part 672 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 16 U.S.C. 2401 et seq., 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

    2. Revise Sec. 672.24 to read as follows:


Sec. 672.24  Maximum civil monetary penalties for unintentional and 
intentional violations.

    (a) For violations occurring before August 1, 1998, the maximum 
civil penalty that may be assessed under Sec. Sec. 672.20(b) and 
672.23(a) is set by the statute at $5,000 for unintentional violations 
and $10,000 for intentional violations.
    (b) For violations occurring between August 1, 1998 and July 31, 
1999, the maximum civil penalty is adjusted under authority of the 
Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (28 U.S.C. 
2461 note) as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 
(Pub. L. 104-134) to $5,500 for unintentional violations and $11,000 
for intentional violations.
    (c) For violations occurring after July 31, 1999, the maximum civil 
penalty is adjusted under authority of the Federal Civil Penalties 
Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (28 U.S.C. 2461 note) as amended by 
the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-134) to 
$12,000 for unintentional violations and $25,000 for intentional 
violations.

    Dated: June 11, 1998.
Lawrence Rudolph,
General Counsel, National Science Foundation.
[FR Doc. 98-15951 Filed 6-15-98; 8:45 am]
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