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Now in Effect – 2024 Federal Civil Penalty Inflation Adjustments

Just before New Year’s Eve 2023, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) increased their monetary civil penalties for violating federal regulations to account for inflation. On January 11, 2024, the Department of Labor (DOL), the parent agency of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), followed suit. We have included examples of commonly cited non-compliance issues, tables with several agency acts, violations, and fines, as well as links to the published final rules in the Federal Register below.

 

DOT

The agencies that fall under DOT, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), enforce the hazardous materials transportation regulations found in 49 CFR Subchapter C.

Common non-compliance issues include failure to train employees or providing insufficient training, incorrect or missing information on shipping papers, manifests, or shipper’s declarations, and other unintentional mistakes. If infractions lead to severe or substantial illnesses, injuries, or property damage, the cost increases significantly as seen in the table below. The complete version of the DOT’s regulatory update and penalty amounts can be found in the Final Rule at 88 FR 89551.

Violation

2024

Maximum penalty for hazardous materials violation  (excluding via pipeline)

$99,756

Maximum penalty for hazardous materials violation (excluding via pipeline) that results in death, serious illness, or severe injury to any person  or substantial destruction of property

$232,762

Minimum penalty for hazardous materials training violations

$601

 

EPA

Environmental regulatory non-compliance is assessed federally by the EPA, including anything that falls under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). These are the rules that apply to companies who generate, manage, store, treat, and dispose of hazardous waste.

Civil penalties involving hazardous waste management (listed in the last line of the table below) are typically incurred for incorrect or insufficient inspection and shipping documentation, improper waste container labeling, and for waste that is stored or managed contrary to the regulatory requirements. Many of these penalties may be enforced per violation, per day. For example, if the waste has not been moved off-site within the generator’s required 90- or 180- day time limit, a fine may be assessed for each container of waste, and for every day each of those containers remains onsite.

Violation

2024

Clean Air Act (CAA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)

$121,275

Clean Water Act (CWA)

$66,712

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) a.k.a. Superfund, Emergency Planning and Community Right–To–Know Act (EPCRA), and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)

$69,733

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)

$24,255

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

$48,512

RCRA Hazardous Waste Management

$90,702

 This information and more can be found in the EPA Final Rule published here: 88 FR 89309.

 

 OSHA

A few of the simplest rules to comply with (also some of the easiest for inspectors to catch us violating) include posting OSHA required information and recordkeeping. From the Top 10 OSHA violations for 2023, the general industry standards that were most commonly cited last year were those relating to hazard communication, powered industrial trucks, the control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), respiratory protection, and machinery and machine guarding.

OSHA’s 2024 penalty updates can be found in the Final Rule: 89 FR 1810, including those listed here.

Violation

Minimum Penalty

Maximum Penalty

Willful

$11,524

$161,323

Repeated

N/A

$161,323

Serious

N/A

$16,131

Other-than-serious

N/A

$16,131

Posting requirement

N/A

$16,131

Failure to abate

N/A

$16,131 per day

 

For help meeting your DOT, RCRA, and OSHA training needs, please visit the Safety Partners Training and Professional Development page. If you have questions or need more information, we can help – Contact us!

This blog was written by Kim E. Folger, Safety Partners’ Training and Development Manager

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