[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 127 (Wednesday, July 2, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 37704-37705]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-15579]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 13

[FRL-9910-13-OCFO]


Administrative Wage Garnishment

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to amend 
EPA's claims collection standards to include administrative wage 
garnishment. This rule amends the EPA's debt collection regulations to 
implement the administrative wage garnishment (AWG) provisions of the 
Debt Collection Act of 1982, as amended by the Debt Collection 
Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA). The proposed rule will allow the EPA to 
garnish non-Federal wages to collect delinquent non-tax debts owed the 
United States without first obtaining a court order. In the Rules and 
Regulations section of this Federal Register we are approving an 
amendment to EPA's regulations on claims collection standards by using 
administrative wage garnishment as a direct final rule without a prior 
proposed rule. If we receive no adverse comment, the direct final rule 
will go into effect and we will not take further action on this 
proposed rule.

DATES: Written comments must be received by August 1, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments by one of the following methods:
    1. Email: jones.anita@epa.gov.
    2. Fax: (202) 565-2585.
    3. Mail: OCFO-2014-0001; FRL-9910-13-OCFO, FPPS c/o Anita Jones, 
OCFO/OFM/FPPS, Mailcode 2733R, Environmental Protection Agency, 1300 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.
    Comments may be submitted electronically by following the detailed 
instructions in the ADDRESSES section of the direct final rule located 
in the rules section of this Federal Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FPPS c/o Anita Jones, OCFO/OFM/FPPS, 
Mailcode 2733R, Environmental Protection Agency, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. 
NW., Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 564-4969; fax 
number: (202) 565-2585; email address: jones.anita@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    This proposed rule implements the administrative wage garnishment 
provisions in section 31001(o) of the Debt Collection Improvement Act 
of the 1996 (DCIA), Public Law 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321-358, codified as 
31 U.S.C. 3720D. Under the administrative wage garnishment provisions 
of the DCIA, Federal agencies may garnish administratively up to 15 
percent of the disposal pay of a debtor to satisfy a delinquent non-tax 
debt owed to the United States. Prior to the enactment of the DCIA, 
Federal agencies were required to obtain a court judgment before 
garnishing non-Federal wages. Section 31001(o) of the DCIA preempts 
State laws that prohibit wage garnishment or otherwise govern wage 
garnishment procedures.
    As authorized by the DCIA, a Federal agency collecting a delinquent 
non-tax debt may garnish a delinquent debtor's wages in accordance with 
regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the Treasury. The Bureau of 
Fiscal Services, a bureau of the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), 
is responsible for promulgating the regulations implementing this and 
other debt collection tools established by the DCIA. The Bureau of 
Fiscal Services published its final rule at 63 FR 25136, May 6 1998, 
(Treasury Final Rule) and published technical amendments at 64 FR 
22906, 22908, April 28, 1999 and 66 FR 51867, 51868, October 11, 2001. 
The Treasury Final Rule, as amended, is published in Sec.  285.11 of 
title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Pursuant to 31 CFR 285.11 
(f), Federal agencies must either prescribe regulations for the conduct 
of AWG hearings consistent with the procedural requirements set forth 
in the Treasury Final Rule or adopt Sec.  285.11 without change by 
reference.

Basic Provisions

    In accordance with the requirements of the DCIA and the 
implementing regulations at 31 CFR 285.11, the EPA is adopting the 
provisions of 31 CFR 285.11concerning administrative wage garnishment, 
including the hearing procedures described in 31 CFR 285.11(f).

Use of the Direct Final Rule

    This document proposes to take action on amending EPA's regulations 
on claims collection standards by using administrative wage 
garnishment. We have published a direct final rule amending EPA's 
regulations on claims collection standards by using administrative wage 
garnishment in the ``Rules and Regulations'' section of today's Federal 
Register because we view this as a noncontroversial action and 
anticipate no adverse comment. We have explained our reasons for this

[[Page 37705]]

action in the preamble to the direct final rule.
    If we receive no adverse comment, we will not take further action 
on this proposed rule. If we receive adverse comment, we will withdraw 
the direct final rule and it will not take effect. We would address all 
public comments in any subsequent final rule based on this proposed 
rule.
    We do not intend to institute a second comment period on this 
action. Any parties interested in commenting must do so at this time. 
For further information, please see the information provided in the 
ADDRESSES section of this document.

    Dated: June 23, 2014.
Jeanne Conklin,
Acting Director, Office of Financial Management.
[FR Doc. 2014-15579 Filed 7-1-14; 8:45 am]
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