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MSHA raises civil penalty assessments for inflation
January 2, 2013

Effective January 28, 2013, MSHA is revising its civil penalty assessment amounts to adjust for inflation. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 requires the Agency to adjust civil penalties for inflation at least once every four years. Revised penalties apply to citations and orders issued on or after the effective date of this rule.MSHA last adjusted its civil penalties for inflation in 2008.

The Inflation Adjustment Act only requires that the cost-of-living adjustment and rounding formula be applied to penalties that were statutorily established by Congress. The Mine Act contains eight statutory penalties. Consequently, MSHA applied the formula to its statutory civil penalties in 30 CFR Part 100 and is adjusting the maximum penalty for failure to provide timely notification to the Secretary under section 103(j) of the Mine Act, in Sec. 100.4(c), from $60,000 to $65,000. In addition, MSHA is increasing the maximum penalty for flagrant violations under Section 110(b)(2) of the Mine Act, in Sec. 100.5(e), from $220,000 to $242,000.

Applying the formula to the remaining statutory civil penalties, regarding the maximum civil penalty for regular assessments in Sec. 100.3(a)(1), the two minimum penalties for unwarrantable failure violations in Sec. 100.4(a) and (b), the minimum penalty for failure to timely report accidents in Sec. 100.4(c), maximum daily penalty in Sec. 100.5(c), and the maximum smoking penalty in Sec. 100.5(d), did not result in inflation adjustments because the increases under the inflation adjustment formula were rounded to zero pursuant to the Inflation Adjustment Act's rounding rules.
 

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