[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 63 (Wednesday, April 2, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 18444-18448]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-07101]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement

30 CFR Parts 723, 724, 845, and 846

RIN 1029-AC67
[Docket ID: OSM-2013-0003; S1D1S SS08011000 SX066A00067F 134S180110; 
S2D2S SS08011000 SX066A00 33F 13XS501520]


Civil Monetary Penalties

AGENCY: Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This rule adjusts the penalty amount of certain civil monetary 
penalties authorized by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act 
of 1977 (SMCRA). The rule implements SMCRA and the Federal Civil 
Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, which requires that civil 
monetary penalties be adjusted for inflation at least once every four 
years.

DATES: Effective Date: May 2, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adrienne Alsop, Office of Surface 
Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, South Interior Building MS-203, 
1951 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20240; Telephone (202) 
208-2818. Email: aalsop@osmre.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background
    A. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990
    B. Method of Calculation
    C. Example of a Calculation
    D. Civil Monetary Penalties Affected by This Adjustment
    E. Effect of the Rule in Federal Program States and on Indian 
Lands
    F. Effect of the Rule on Approved State Programs
II. Procedural Matters and Required Determinations

I. Background

A. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990

    In an effort to maintain the deterrent effect of civil monetary 
penalties (CMPs) and promote compliance with the law, the Federal Civil 
Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (Inflation Adjustment Act), 
as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, requires 
Federal agencies to regularly adjust CMPs for inflation. 28 U.S.C. 
2461, note. The Inflation Adjustment Act, as amended, requires each 
agency to make an initial inflation adjustment for all applicable CMPs, 
and to make subsequent adjustments at least once every four years 
thereafter. We, the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and 
Enforcement (OSMRE), have adjusted the CMPs authorized by SMCRA on four 
previous occasions: November 28, 1997 (62 FR 63274), November 21, 2001 
(66 FR 58644), November 22, 2005 (70 FR 70698), and July 15, 2009 (74 
FR 34490). As required by the Inflation Adjustment Act, we are again 
adjusting our CMPs according to the formula set forth in the law.
    Under the Inflation Adjustment Act, the amount of the adjustment 
for a CMP is determined by increasing the CMP by the amount of the 
cost-of-living adjustment. The cost-of-living adjustment is defined as 
the percentage of each CMP by which the Consumer Price Index for the 
month of June of the calendar year preceding the adjustment exceeds the 
Consumer Price Index for

[[Page 18445]]

the month of June of the calendar year in which the amount of the CMP 
was last set or adjusted. The Inflation Adjustment Act defines the 
Consumer Price Index as the ``Consumer Price Index for all-urban 
consumers [the CPI-U] published by the Department of Labor.'' See 28 
U.S.C. 2461, note. The Inflation Adjustment Act specifies that any 
resulting increases in a CMP must be rounded according to a stated 
rounding formula. Id. The increased CMPs apply only to violations that 
occur after the date the increase takes effect. Id.

B. Method of Calculation

    Because these adjustments will be effective before December 31, 
2014, we are calculating the CMP increases based on the CPI-U inflation 
factor for the month of June 2013, which is 233.504. Because of the 
rounding formula contained in the Inflation Adjustment Act, we did not 
adjust all CMPs in 2001, 2005, or 2009. Therefore, we are using four 
different multipliers to calculate the current CMP adjustments.
    First, for the CMPs that were last adjusted in 1997, we are using a 
multiplier of 1.4567 (45.67 percent increase). We arrived at this 
multiplier by dividing the CPI-U for June 2013 (233.504) by the CPI-U 
for June 1997 (160.3).
    Second, for the CMPs that were last adjusted in 2001, we are using 
a multiplier of 1.3118 (a 31.18 percent increase). We arrived at this 
multiplier by dividing the CPI-U for June 2013 (233.504) by the CPI-U 
for June 2001 (178.0).
    Third, for the CMPs that were last adjusted in 2005, we are using a 
multiplier of 1.2005 (a 20.05 percent increase). We arrived at this 
multiplier by dividing the CPI-U for June 2013 (233.504) by the CPI-U 
for June 2005 (194.5).
    Fourth, for the CMPs that were last adjusted in 2009, we are using 
a multiplier of 1.0826 (a 8.26 percent increase). We arrived at this 
multiplier by dividing the CPI-U for June 2013 (233.504) by the CPI-U 
for June 2009 (215.693).
    Any potential increase under these adjustments is subject to the 
rounding formula set forth in section 5(a) of the Inflation Adjustment 
Act. Under the formula, any increase must be rounded to the nearest:
    (1) multiple of $10 in the case of penalties less than or equal to 
$100;
    (2) multiple of $100 in the case of penalties greater than $100 but 
less than or equal to $1,000;
    (3) multiple of $1,000 in the case of penalties greater than $1,000 
but less than or equal to $10,000;
    (4) multiple of $5,000 in the case of penalties greater than 
$10,000 but less than or equal to $100,000;
    (5) multiple of $10,000 in the case of penalties greater than 
$100,000 but less than or equal to $200,000; and
    (6) multiple of $25,000 in the case of penalties greater than 
$200,000.
    See 28 U.S.C. 2461, note.

C. Example of a Calculation

    The following example illustrates the inflation adjustment 
calculation based on a CMP that was last adjusted in 2009. Generally, 
OSMRE assigns points to a violation as described in 30 CFR 845.13. The 
CMP owed is based on the number of points received. For example, under 
our existing regulations in 30 CFR 845.14, a violation totaling 70 
points would amount to a $7,500 CMP.
    To adjust this amount, using the formula above, we multiply $7,500 
by the inflation factor of 1.0826, resulting in a raw inflation amount 
of $8,119.50. Because the Inflation Adjustment Act requires us to round 
any increase in the CMP amount, we must then calculate the difference 
in the raw inflation amount and the existing penalty. So, we subtract 
the current penalty amount ($7,500.00) from the raw inflation 
adjustment ($8,119.50), which results in an increase of $619.50.
    The rounding formula in section 5(a) of the Inflation Adjustment 
Act specifies that if the penalty is greater than $1,000 but less than 
$10,000, the increase must be rounded to the nearest multiple of 
$1,000. Because the difference of $619.50 (noted above) is greater than 
$500.00 (half of $1,000), we will round the increase up to $1,000.00. 
Therefore, the existing penalty will increase to $8,500.00.
    For those CMPs that were last adjusted in 1997, 2001 or 2005, the 
method of calculation would be the same, but the multiplier would be 
either 1.4567, 1.3118 or 1.2005, respectively, instead of 1.0826. When 
the regulations in 30 CFR 845.14 were issued in 1982 (47 FR 35640), the 
amount of the civil penalty that was assessed increased by $20.00 with 
each additional point that was assessed from 2 through 25, and the 
penalty increased by $100.00 with each additional point that was 
assessed from 26 through 70. For example, an assessment of 47 points 
resulted in a penalty of $2,700.00, and an assessment of 48 points 
resulted in an assessment of $2,800.00. Because of the rounding formula 
required by the Inflation Adjustment Act, the difference in the penalty 
amount for each additional point is no longer consistent in many 
instances.

D. Civil Monetary Penalties Affected By This Adjustment

    Section 518 of SMCRA, 30 U.S.C. 1268, authorizes the Secretary of 
the Interior to assess CMPs for violations of SMCRA. OSMRE's 
regulations implementing the CMP provisions of section 518 are located 
in 30 CFR parts 723, 724, 845, and 846. We are adjusting CMPs in four 
sections--30 CFR 723.14, 724.14, 845.14, and 846.14. When we review and 
adjust our CMPs in 2018, we will compare the CPI-U for June 2017 with 
the CPI-U for the year in which each CMP was last adjusted.

E. Effect of the Rule in Federal Program States and on Indian Lands

    The increase in civil monetary penalties contained in this rule 
will apply through cross-referencing to the following Federal program 
states: Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, 
North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, and 
Washington. The Federal programs for those States appear at 30 CFR 
parts 903, 905, 910, 912, 921, 922, 933, 937, 939, 941, 942, and 947, 
respectively. The increase in civil monetary penalties also applies 
through cross-referencing to Indian lands under the Federal program for 
Indian lands as provided for in 30 CFR 750.18.

F. Effect of the Rule on Approved State Programs

    Section 518(i) of SMCRA requires that the civil penalty provisions 
of each State program contain penalties which are ``no less stringent 
than'' those set forth in SMCRA. Our regulations specify that each 
State program ``shall contain penalties which are no less stringent 
than those set forth in section 518 of the Act and shall be consistent 
with 30 CFR part 845.'' 30 CFR 840.13(a). In order to implement the 
penalty provisions of section 518(a) of SMCRA, we developed a point 
system for determining the amount of the CMP to assess for a violation 
of our regulations. 44 FR 15461-63 (Mar. 13, 1979). However, in a 1980 
decision on OSMRE's regulations governing CMPs, the U.S. District Court 
for the District of Columbia held that because section 518 of SMCRA 
fails to enumerate a point system for assessing CMPs, we cannot require 
the States to adopt the point system and civil penalty amounts found in 
30 CFR 845.14. In re Permanent Surface Mining Regulation Litigation, 
No. 79-1144, Mem. Op. (D.D.C. Feb. 26, 1980), 14 Env't Rep. Cas. (BNA) 
1083. In response to the

[[Page 18446]]

Secretary's request for clarification, the Court further stated that it 
could not uphold requiring the States to impose penalties as stringent 
as those appearing in 30 CFR 845.15. In re Permanent Surface Mining 
Regulation Litigation, No. 79-1144, Mem. Op. (D.D.C. May 16, 1980), 19 
Env't Rep. Cas. (BNA) 1477. As a result of the litigation, 30 CFR 
840.13(a) was suspended in part on August 4, 1980. 45 FR 51548. 
Consequently, State regulatory programs are not required to mirror all 
of the penalty provisions of our regulations.

II. Procedural Matters and Required Determinations Administrative 
Procedure Act

    This final rule has been issued without prior public notice or 
opportunity for public comment. The Administrative Procedure Act (APA) 
provides an exception to the notice and comment procedures when an 
agency finds there is good cause for dispensing with such procedures on 
the basis that they are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the 
public interest. 5 U.S.C. 553(b). We have determined that under 5 
U.S.C. 553(b), good cause exists for dispensing with the notice of 
proposed rulemaking and public comment procedures for this rule. This 
rulemaking is consistent with the statutory authority and requirements 
set forth in the Inflation Adjustment Act as amended by the Debt 
Collection Improvement Act of 1996. The Inflation Adjustment Act 
requires that we adjust our CMPs once every four years and specifies 
the manner in which the adjustment is to be made. Accordingly, the 
adjustments made are ministerial, technical, and non-discretionary.

Executive Order 12866--Regulatory Planning and Review

    This rule has been reviewed under the provisions of Executive Order 
12866 and is not considered a significant regulatory action. This 
determination is based on the fact that the rule adjusts OSMRE's CMPs 
according to the formula contained in the Inflation Adjustment Act. 
OSMRE has no discretion in making the adjustments. Further, most coal 
mining operations subject to the rule do not engage in prohibited 
activities and practices and, as a result, we believe that the 
aggregate economic impact of these revised regulations will be minimal, 
affecting only those who may engage in prohibited behavior in violation 
of SMCRA.
    Our civil penalty data for Fiscal Years 2009-2013 indicates that 
over a five-year period, we collected an average of approximately 
$345,903 annually for all violations. If we assume that the average 
annual collection remains constant at $345,903, and we adjusted that 
collection figure for inflation using the largest inflation factor 
contained in this rule (45.67 percent), the CMPs collected annually 
under the new penalty amounts would result in an annual increase of 
approximately $157,974 for a total CMP collection of $503,877 annually. 
Because the majority of the increases are based on lower inflation 
factors (8.26 percent or 20.05 percent) the actual annual increase will 
be even less. Consequently, the annual increase in CMPs that we might 
reasonably expect to collect under the revised dollar amounts contained 
in this rule is substantially less than the $100 million annual 
threshold contained in Executive Order 12866 for an economically 
significant rule. Based on the above data, we have determined that:
    a. The rule will not have an annual effect of $100 million or more 
on the economy, nor will it adversely affect in a material way the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or Tribal governments or 
communities.
    b. The rule will not create a serious inconsistency or otherwise 
interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency.
    c. The rule will not alter the budgetary effects of entitlements, 
grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights or obligations of 
their recipients.
    d. The rule does not raise novel legal or policy issues.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Department of the Interior certifies that this revision will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). 
As discussed above, the aggregate economic impact of this rulemaking on 
small business entities should be minimal, and affects only those who 
violate the provisions of SMCRA.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    For the reasons previously stated, this rule is not considered a 
major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory 
Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:
    1. Will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million.
    2. Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions because the rule does not impose new 
requirements on the coal mining industry or consumers.
    3. Will not have significant adverse effects on competition, 
employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of 
U.S. based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or 
tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per 
year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State, 
local, or tribal governments or the private sector. As previously 
discussed, the annual increase in CMPs that we might reasonably expect 
to collect under the revised dollar amounts contained in this rule is 
substantially less than the $100 million annual threshold. A statement 
containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
(2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

Federal Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain collections of information which require 
approval by the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 3501 et 
seq.

National Environmental Policy Act

    This rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment. A detailed statement 
under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 is not required 
because we have determined the rule is covered by the categorical 
exclusion listed in the Department of the Interior regulations at 43 
CFR 46.210(i). That categorical exclusion covers policies, directives, 
regulations and guidelines that are of an administrative, financial, 
legal, technical, or procedural nature. We have also determined that 
the rule does not involve any of the extraordinary circumstances listed 
in 43 CFR 46.215 that would require further analysis under the National 
Environmental Policy Act.

Executive Order 12988--Civil Justice Reform

    This rule complies with the requirements of Executive Order 12988. 
Specifically, this rule:
    (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all 
regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be 
written to minimize litigation; and
    (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all 
regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal 
standards.

[[Page 18447]]

Executive Order 13211--Regulations That Significantly Affect the 
Supply, Distribution, or Use of Energy

    Executive Order 13211 requires agencies to prepare a Statement of 
Energy Effects for a rule that is (1) considered significant under 
Executive Order 12866, and (2) likely to have a significant adverse 
effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Because this rule 
is not considered significant under Executive Order 12866 and is not 
expected to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy, a Statement of Energy Effects is not 
required.

Executive Order 13175--Consultation and Coordination With Indian Tribal 
Governments

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, we have evaluated the 
potential effects of this rule on Federally recognized Indian Tribes 
and have determined that the proposed revisions would not have 
substantial direct effects on the relationship between the Federal 
Government and Indian Tribes, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian Tribes.

Executive Order 12630--Takings

    Under the criteria in Executive Order 12630, this rule does not 
have significant takings implications; therefore, a takings implication 
assessment is not required. This determination is based on the fact 
that the rule will not have an impact on the use or value of private 
property.

Executive Order 13132--Federalism

    This rule does not have Federalism implications. It will not have 
``substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between 
the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.''

Data Quality Act

    In developing this rule we did not conduct or use a study, 
experiment, or survey requiring peer review under the Data Quality Act 
(Pub. L. 106-554).

List of Subjects

30 CFR Part 723

    Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties, Surface mining, 
Underground mining.

30 CFR Part 724

    Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties, Surface mining, 
Underground mining.

30 CFR Part 845

    Administrative practice and procedure, Law enforcement, Penalties, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Surface mining, Underground 
mining.

30 CFR Part 846

    Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties, Surface mining, 
Underground mining.

    Dated: March 13, 2014.0;
Tommy P. Beaudreau,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management.

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 30 CFR parts 723, 724, 845 
and 846 are amended as follows:

PART 723--CIVIL PENALTIES

0
1. The authority citation for part 723 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 28 U.S.C. 2461, 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq., and 31 U.S.C. 
3701.


0
2. Section 723.14 is amended by revising the table to read as follows:


Sec.  723.14  Determination of amount of penalty.

* * * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           Points                              Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1..........................................................           32
2..........................................................           74
3..........................................................           96
4..........................................................          108
5..........................................................          210
6..........................................................          232
7..........................................................          254
8..........................................................          276
9..........................................................          298
10.........................................................          320
11.........................................................          342
12.........................................................          364
13.........................................................          486
14.........................................................          508
15.........................................................          530
16.........................................................          552
17.........................................................          574
18.........................................................          596
19.........................................................          718
20.........................................................          740
21.........................................................          762
22.........................................................          784
23.........................................................          806
24.........................................................          828
25.........................................................          850
26.........................................................          960
27.........................................................        1,070
28.........................................................        1,080
29.........................................................        1,090
30.........................................................        2,100
31.........................................................        2,210
32.........................................................        2,320
33.........................................................        2,430
34.........................................................        2,540
35.........................................................        2,650
36.........................................................        2,760
37.........................................................        2,870
38.........................................................        2,980
39.........................................................        3,090
40.........................................................        3,200
41.........................................................        3,310
42.........................................................        3,420
43.........................................................        3,530
44.........................................................        3,640
45.........................................................        4,750
46.........................................................        4,860
47.........................................................        4,970
48.........................................................        5,080
49.........................................................        5,190
50.........................................................        5,300
51.........................................................        5,410
52.........................................................        5,520
53.........................................................        5,630
54.........................................................        5,740
55.........................................................        5,850
56.........................................................        5,960
57.........................................................        7,070
58.........................................................        7,180
59.........................................................        7,290
60.........................................................        7,400
61.........................................................        7,510
62.........................................................        7,620
63.........................................................        7,730
64.........................................................        7,840
65.........................................................        7,950
66.........................................................        8,060
67.........................................................        8,170
68.........................................................        8,280
69.........................................................        8,390
70.........................................................        8,500
------------------------------------------------------------------------

PART 724--INDIVIDUAL CIVIL PENALTIES

0
3. The authority citation for part 724 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 28 U.S.C. 2461, 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq., and 31 U.S.C. 
3701.


0
4. Section 724.14 is amended by revising the first sentence of 
paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  724.14  Amount of individual civil penalty.

* * * * *
    (b) The penalty shall not exceed $8,500 for each violation. * * *

PART 845--CIVIL PENALTIES

0
5. The authority citation for part 845 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 28 U.S.C. 2461, 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq., 31 U.S.C. 
3701, Pub. L. 100-202, and Pub. L. 100-446.


0
6. Section 845.14 is amended by revising the table to read as follows:


Sec.  845.14  Determination of amount of penalty.

* * * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                           Points                              Dollars
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1..........................................................           32
2..........................................................           74
3..........................................................           96
4..........................................................          108
5..........................................................          210

[[Page 18448]]

 
6..........................................................          232
7..........................................................          254
8..........................................................          276
9..........................................................          298
10.........................................................          320
11.........................................................          342
12.........................................................          364
13.........................................................          486
14.........................................................          508
15.........................................................          530
16.........................................................          552
17.........................................................          574
18.........................................................          596
19.........................................................          718
20.........................................................          740
21.........................................................          762
22.........................................................          784
23.........................................................          806
24.........................................................          828
25.........................................................          850
26.........................................................          960
27.........................................................        1,070
28.........................................................        1,080
29.........................................................        1,090
30.........................................................        2,100
31.........................................................        2,210
32.........................................................        2,320
33.........................................................        2,430
34.........................................................        2,540
35.........................................................        2,650
36.........................................................        2,760
37.........................................................        2,870
38.........................................................        2,980
39.........................................................        3,090
40.........................................................        3,200
41.........................................................        3,310
42.........................................................        3,420
43.........................................................        3,530
44.........................................................        3,640
45.........................................................        4,750
46.........................................................        4,860
47.........................................................        4,970
48.........................................................        5,080
49.........................................................        5,190
50.........................................................        5,300
51.........................................................        5,410
52.........................................................        5,520
53.........................................................        5,630
54.........................................................        5,740
55.........................................................        5,850
56.........................................................        5,960
57.........................................................        7,070
58.........................................................        7,180
59.........................................................        7,290
60.........................................................        7,400
61.........................................................        7,510
62.........................................................        7,620
63.........................................................        7,730
64.........................................................        7,840
65.........................................................        7,950
66.........................................................        8,060
67.........................................................        8,170
68.........................................................        8,280
69.........................................................        8,390
70.........................................................        8,500
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

PART 846--CIVIL PENALTIES

0
7. The authority citation for part 846 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 28 U.S.C. 2461, 30 U.S.C. 1201 et seq., and 31 U.S.C. 
3701.


0
8. Section 846.14 is amended by revising the first sentence of 
paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  846.14  Amount of individual civil penalty.

* * * * *
    (b) The penalty shall not exceed $8,500 for each violation. * * *

[FR Doc. 2014-07101 Filed 4-1-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-05-P