2008 Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule Promulgated


Source: US EPA
Related Topics: Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Clean Water Act EPCRA

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency promulgated the 2008 Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule ("Rule" or "Penalty Inflation Rule"), to be effective January 12, 2009. The Federal Register Notice can be viewed at

Table 1 of 40 CFR Part 19.4 at pages 75345-46 displays the originally enacted statutory penalty amounts, the newly adjusted amounts, as well as the inflation adjusted amounts for each period beginning with the 1996 Penalty Inflation Rule. Pursuant to Section 6 of the Debt Collection Improvement Act (DCIA), the new inflation adjusted statutory penalties apply to violations that occur after the effective date of the Rule ( i.e., after January 12, 2009).

Highlights of the Rule include the following:

  1. To the extent that the current statutory maximum civil penalties are 32,500, the new inflation adjusted statutory maximum penalties will be 37,500.
  2. Those statutory maximum penalties that are currently 11,000 and were not adjusted in the 2004 rule due to the DCIA's rounding provisions will increase to 16,000 (e.g., SDWA; certain maximum penalty amounts under the CWA, EPCRA and RCRA; the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992).
  3. The administrative penalty caps under the CWA, SDWA and CAA have increased as follows:
    - CWA Section 309(g)(2)(A) from 32,500 to $37,500
    - CWA Section 309(g)(2)(B) from $157,500 to $177,500
    - CWA Section 311(b)(6)(B)(i) from $32,500 to $37,500
    - CWA Section 311(b)(6)(B)(ii) from $157,500 to $177,500
    - SDWA Section 1423(c)(1) and (c)(2) from $157,500 to $177,500
    - CAA Section 113(d)(1) from $270,000 to $295,000
    - CAA Section 205(c)(1) from $270,000 to $295,000

Amendments to EPA's Civil Penalty Policies to Implement the 2008 Penalty Inflation Rule: To implement the Rule, OECA will be issuing a guidance memorandum within the next week or so that will amend EPA's civil penalty policies to increase the initial gravity-based penalty amounts by 9.83 percent for violations that occur after January 12, 2009. That guidance will be effective the same date as the Rule.

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