[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 12 (Thursday, January 18, 2018)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 2538-2540]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-00920]



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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

30 CFR Part 250

[Docket ID: BSEE-2018-0001; 189E1700D2 ET1SF0000.PSB000 EEEE500000]
RIN 1014-AA36


Oil and Gas and Sulfur Operations on the Outer Continental 
Shelf--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 1.02041 
multiplier, accounts for one year of inflation spanning October 2016 to 
October 2017.

DATES: This rule is effective on January 18, 2018.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Mehaffey, Safety and 
Enforcement Division, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, 
(202) 208-3955 or by email: regs@bsee.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background and Legal Authority
II. Calculation of Adjustments
III. Procedural Requirements
    A. Regulatory Planning and Review (E.O. 12866, 13563, and 13771)
    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 (Secretary) to adjust the OCSLA maximum civil penalty amount 
at least once every three years to reflect any increase in the Consumer 
Price Index (CPI) to account for inflation. On November 2, 2015, the 
Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 
2015 (Sec. 701 of Pub. L. 114-74) (FCPIA of 2015) became law. The FCPIA 
of 2015 required 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 were required to publish the first annual inflation 
adjustments in the Federal Register by no later than January 15, 2017, 
and must publish recurring annual inflation adjustments 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 
a final rule (RIN 1014-AA34; 82 FR 9136), published and effective on 
February 3, 2017. Consistent with OMB guidance, BSEE's final rule (FR) 
implemented the adjustments required by the FCPIA of 2015 through 
October 2016.
    The OMB Memorandum M-18-03 (Implementation of the 2018 annual 
adjustment pursuant to the FCPIA of 2015; [https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/M-18-03.pdf]) explains agency 
responsibilities for: Identifying applicable penalties and performing 
the annual adjustment; publishing revisions to regulations to implement 
the adjustment in the Federal Register; applying adjusted penalty 
levels; and performing agency oversight of inflation adjustments.
    BSEE is promulgating this 2018 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 section 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-18-03. (OMB Memorandum M-
18-03 at 4, ``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-18-03, 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 
2016. The required annual civil penalty inflation adjustment 
promulgated through this rule accounts for inflation through October 
2017.
    Annual inflation adjustments are based on the percentage 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-18-03, 
BSEE divided the October 2017 CPI-U by the October 2016 CPI-U to 
calculate the multiplying factor. In this case, October 2017 CPI-U 
(246.663)/October 2016 CPI-U (241.729) = 1.02041. OMB Memorandum M-18-
03 confirms that this is the proper multiplier. (OMB Memorandum M-18-03 
at 1 and n.4.).
    For 2018, 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 ($42,704) by the 
multiplying factor ($42,704 x 1.02041 = $43,575.59). The FCPIA of 2015 
requires that the resulting amount be rounded to the nearest $1.00 at 
the end of the calculation process. Accordingly, the adjusted OCSLA 
maximum civil penalty is $43,576.
    The adjusted penalty levels take effect immediately upon 
publication of this rule. 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:

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                                                                      Current                        Adjusted
             CFR citation                  Description of the         maximum       Multiplier        maximum
                                                 penalty              penalty                         penalty
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
30 CFR 250.1403.......................  Failure to comply per-           $42,704         1.02041         $43,576
                                         day, per-violation.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. Procedural Requirements

A. Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 
13771)

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the OMB Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs will review all significant rules. 
The OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has 
determined that this rule is not significant. (See OMB Memorandum M-18-
03 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.
    E.O. 13771 of January 30, 2017, directs Federal agencies to reduce 
the regulatory burden on regulated entities and control regulatory 
costs. E.O. 13771, however, applies only to significant regulatory 
actions, as defined in Section 3(f) of E.O. 12866. OIRA has determined 
that agency regulations exclusively implementing the annual adjustment 
are not significant regulatory actions under E.O. 12866, provided they 
are consistent with OMB Memorandum M-18-03 (See OMB Memorandum M-18-03 
at 4); thus, E.O. 13771 does not apply to this rulemaking.

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 section 4(b)(2); OMB 
Memorandum M-18-03 at 4). 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; and
    (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 effect 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, as a regulation of an administrative nature, this 
rule is covered by a categorical exclusion (see 43 CFR 46.210(i)). 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. Therefore, a detailed statement under NEPA 
is not required.

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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, 
Continental Shelf--mineral resources, Continental Shelf--rights-of-way, 
Environmental impact statements, Environmental protection, Government 
contracts, Investigations, Oil and gas exploration, Penalties, 
Pipelines, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Sulfur.

Joseph R. Balash,
Assistant Secretary--Land and Minerals Management, U.S. Department of 
the Interior.

    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 30 CFR 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 $43,576 per day per violation.

[FR Doc. 2018-00920 Filed 1-17-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4310-VH-P