On January 06, 2023 (88 FR 986), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a Final Rule in the Federal Register (FR) to adjust the level of the maximum and minimum statutory civil monetary penalty amounts under the statutes the EPA administers. This action is mandated by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended through the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (“the 2015 Act”). The 2015 Act prescribes a formula for annually adjusting the statutory maximum and minimum amount of civil monetary penalties to reflect inflation, maintain the deterrent effect of statutory civil monetary penalties, and promote compliance with the law. The rule does not establish specific civil monetary penalty amounts the EPA may seek in particular cases, as appropriate given the facts of particular cases and applicable agency penalty policies. The EPA’s civil penalty policies, which guide enforcement personnel on how to exercise the EPA’s discretion within statutory penalty authorities, take into account a number of fact-specific considerations, e.g., the seriousness of the violation, the violator’s good faith efforts to comply, any economic benefit gained by the violator as a result of its noncompliance, and the violator’s ability to pay. This final rule is effective January 6, 2023.
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