[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 22 (Friday, February 3, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 9136-9138]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-02326]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

30 CFR Part 250

[Docket ID: BSEE-2017-0001; 17XE1700DX EX1SF0000.DAQ000 EEEE50000]
RIN 1014-AA34


Civil Penalty Inflation Adjustment

AGENCY: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This final rule adjusts the level of the maximum civil 
monetary penalty contained in the Bureau of Safety and Environmental 
Enforcement (BSEE) regulations pursuant to the Outer Continental Shelf 
Lands Act (OCSLA), the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act 
Improvements Act of 2015, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
guidance. The civil penalty inflation adjustment using a 1.01636 
multiplier accounts for one year of inflation spanning from October 
2015 to October 2016.

DATES: This rule is effective on February 3, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert Fisher, Acting Chief Safety and 
Enforcement Division, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, 
(202) 208-3955 or by email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background and Legal Authority
II. Calculation of Adjustments
III. Procedural Requirements
    A. Regulatory Planning and Review (E.O. 12866 and 13563)
    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act
    C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act
    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
    E. Takings (E.O. 12630)
    F. Federalism (E.O. 13132)
    G. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)
    H. Consultation with Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175 and Departmental 
Policy)
    I. Paperwork Reduction Act
    J. National Environmental Policy Act
    K. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

I. Background and Legal Authority

    The OCSLA, at 43 U.S.C. 1350(b)(1), directs the Secretary of the 
Interior to adjust the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount at least once 
every three years to reflect any increase in the Consumer Price Index 
to account for inflation. On November 2, 2015, the President signed 
into law the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act 
Improvements Act of 2015 (Sec. 701 of Pub. L. 114-74) (FCPIA of 2015). 
The FCPIA of 2015 requires Federal agencies to adjust the level of 
civil monetary penalties with an initial ``catch-up'' adjustment 
through rulemaking, if warranted, and then to make subsequent annual 
adjustments for inflation. Agencies are required to publish the annual 
inflation adjustments in the Federal Register by no later than January 
15, 2017, and by no later than January 15 each subsequent year. The 
purpose of these adjustments is to maintain the deterrent effect of 
civil penalties and to further the policy goals of the underlying 
statutes.
    BSEE last updated civil penalty amounts in BSEE regulations through 
RIN 1014-AA30 [81 FR 41801] effective July 28, 2016. Consistent with 
OMB guidance, BSEE's interim final rule (IFR) implemented the catch-up 
adjustments required by the FCPIA of 2015, through October 2015. No 
public comments were received on the IFR, and BSEE published the final 
rule on November 17, 2016 [81 FR 80994].
    The OMB Memorandum M-17-11 (Implementation of the 2017 annual 
adjustment pursuant to the FCPIA of 2015; https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/2017/m-17-11_0.pdf) explains agency 
responsibilities for: Identifying applicable penalties and performing 
the annual adjustment; publishing in the Federal Register; finalizing 
2016 interim final rules; applying adjusted penalty levels; and 
performing agency oversight of inflation adjustments.
    BSEE is promulgating this 2017 inflation adjustment for civil 
penalties as a final rule pursuant to the provisions of the FCPIA of 
2015 and OMB guidance. A proposed rule is not required because the 
FCPIA of 2015 states that agencies shall adjust civil monetary 
penalties ``notwithstanding Section 553 of the Administrative Procedure 
Act.'' (FCPIA of 2015 at Sec.  4(b)(2)). Accordingly, Congress 
expressly exempted the annual inflation adjustments implemented 
pursuant to the FCPIA of 2015 from the pre-promulgation notice and 
comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 
allowing them to be published as a final rule. This interpretation of 
the statute is confirmed by OMB Memorandum M-17-11. (OMB Memorandum M-
17-11 at 3 (``This means that the public procedure the APA generally 
requires--notice, an opportunity for comment, and a delay in effective 
date--is not required for agencies to issue regulations implementing 
the annual adjustment.'')).

II. Calculation of Adjustments

    Under the FCPIA of 2015 and the guidance provided in OMB Memorandum 
M-17-11, BSEE has identified the applicable civil monetary penalty and 
calculated the necessary inflation adjustment. The previous OCSLA civil 
penalty inflation adjustment accounted for inflation through October 
2015. The required annual civil penalty inflation adjustment 
promulgated through this rule accounts for inflation through October 
2016.
    Annual inflation adjustments are based on the percent change 
between the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for 
the October preceding the date of the adjustment, and the prior year's 
October CPI-U. Consistent with the guidance in OMB Memorandum M-17-11, 
BSEE divided the October 2016 CPI-U by the October 2015 CPI-U to 
calculate the multiplying factor. In this case, October 2016 CPI-U 
(241.729)/October 2015 CPI-U (237.838) = 1.01636.
    For 2017, OCSLA and the FCPIA of 2015 require that BSEE adjust the 
OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount. To accomplish this, BSEE multiplied 
the existing OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount ($42,017) by the 
multiplying factor ($42,017 x 1.01636 = $42,704.40). The FCPIA of 2015 
requires that the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount be rounded to the 
nearest $1.00 at the end of the calculation process. Accordingly, the 
adjusted OCSLA maximum civil penalty is $42,704.
    Pursuant to the FCPIA of 2015, the increase in the OCSLA maximum 
civil penalty amount applies to civil penalties assessed after the date 
the increase takes effect, even when the associated violation(s) 
predates such increase. Consistent with the provisions of OCSLA and the 
FCPIA of 2015, this rule adjusts the following maximum civil monetary 
penalty per day per violation:

[[Page 9137]]



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                                                                      Current                        Adjusted
            CFR citation              Description of the penalty      maximum       Multiplier        maximum
                                                                      penalty                         penalty
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30 CFR 250.1403....................  Failure to comply per-day,          $42,017         1.01636         $42,704
                                      per-violation.
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III. Procedural Requirements

A. Regulatory Planning and Review (E.O. 12866 and 13563)

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the OMB Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs will review all significant rules. 
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that 
this rule is not significant. (See OMB Memorandum M-17-11 at 3).
    E.O. 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for 
improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote 
predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most 
innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. 
E.O. 13563 directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that 
reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the 
public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent 
with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563 further emphasizes that 
regulations must be based on the best available science and that the 
rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open 
exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent 
with these requirements, to the extent permitted by statute.

B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires an agency to prepare 
a regulatory flexibility analysis for all rules unless the agency 
certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on 
a substantial number of small entities. The RFA applies only to rules 
for which an agency is required to first publish a proposed rule. (See 
5 U.S.C. 603(a) and 604(a)). The FCPIA of 2015 expressly exempts these 
annual inflation adjustments from the requirement to publish a proposed 
rule for notice and comment. (See FCPIA of 2015 at Sec.  4(b)(2); OMB 
Memorandum M-17-11 at 3). Thus, the RFA does not apply to this 
rulemaking.

C. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:
    (1) Does not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million 
or more.
    (2) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for 
consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government 
agencies, or geographic regions.
    (3) Does 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.

D. 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. Therefore, a 
statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

E. Takings (E.O. 12630)

    This rule does not affect a taking of private property or otherwise 
have takings implications under E.O. 12630. Therefore, a takings 
implication assessment is not required.

F. Federalism (E.O. 13132)

    Under the criteria in section 1 of E.O. 13132, this rule does not 
have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a 
federalism summary impact statement. Therefore, a federalism summary 
impact statement is not required.

G. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

    This rule complies with the requirements of E.O. 12988. 
Specifically, this rule:
    (1) 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
    (2) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all 
regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal 
standards.

H. Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175 and Departmental Policy)

    The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its 
government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes through a 
commitment to consultation with Indian tribes and recognition of their 
right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this 
rule under the Department of the Interior's consultation policy, under 
Departmental Manual Part 512 Chapters 4 and 5, and under the criteria 
in E.O. 13175. We have determined that it has no substantial direct 
effects on Federally-recognized Indian tribes or Alaska Native Claims 
Settlement Act (ANCSA) Corporations, and that consultation under the 
Department of the Interior's tribal and ANCSA consultation policies is 
not required.

I. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and 
a submission to the OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 
3501 et seq.) is not required. We may not conduct or sponsor, and you 
are not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it 
displays a currently valid OMB control number.

J. 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 (NEPA) is not 
required because the rule is covered by a categorical exclusion (see 43 
CFR 46.210(i)). This rule is excluded from the requirement to prepare a 
detailed statement because it is a regulation of an administrative 
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 NEPA.

K. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

    This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition 
in E.O. 13211. Therefore, a Statement of Energy Effects is not 
required.

List of Subjects in 30 CFR Part 250

    Administrative practice and procedure, Continental shelf, 
Environmental impact statements, Environmental protection, Government 
contracts, Incorporation by reference, Investigations, Oil and gas 
exploration, Penalties, Pipelines, Continental Shelf--mineral 
resources, Continental Shelf--

[[Page 9138]]

rights-of-way, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur.

    For the reasons given in the preamble, the Bureau of Safety and 
Environmental Enforcement amends Title 30, Chapter II, Subchapter B, 
Part 250 Code of Federal Regulations as follows.

PART 250--OIL AND GAS AND SULFUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER 
CONTINENTAL SHELF

0
1. The authority citation for part 250 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 30 U.S.C. 1751, 31 U.S.C. 9701, 33 U.S.C. 
1321(j)(1)(C), 43 U.S.C. 1334.


0
2. Revise Sec.  250.1403 to read as follows:


Sec.  250.1403   What is the maximum civil penalty?

    The maximum civil penalty is $42,704 per day per violation.

Richard T. Cardinale,
Acting Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management.
[FR Doc. 2017-02326 Filed 2-2-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P