[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 10 (Friday, January 14, 2022)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 2353-2355]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2022-00639]


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SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD

49 CFR Part 1022

[Docket No. EP 716 (Sub-No. 7)]


Civil Monetary Penalties--2022 Adjustment

AGENCY: Surface Transportation Board.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Surface Transportation Board (Board) is issuing a final 
rule to implement the annual inflationary adjustment to its civil 
monetary penalties, pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation 
Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.

DATES: This final rule is effective January 14, 2022.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amy Ziehm at (202) 245-0391. 
Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal 
Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements 
Act of 2015 (2015 Act), enacted as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 
2015, Public Law 114-74, sec. 701, 129 Stat. 584, 599-601, requires 
agencies to adjust their civil penalties for inflation annually, 
beginning on July 1, 2016, and no later than January 15 of every year 
thereafter. In accordance with the 2015 Act, annual inflation 
adjustments are to be based on the percent change between the Consumer 
Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for October of the previous 
year and the October CPI-U of the year before that. Penalty level 
adjustments should be rounded to the nearest dollar.

II. Discussion

    The statutory definition of civil monetary penalty covers various 
civil penalty provisions under the Rail (Part A); Motor Carriers, Water 
Carriers, Brokers, and Freight Forwarders (Part B); and Pipeline 
Carriers (Part C) provisions of the Interstate Commerce Act, as 
amended. The Board's civil (and criminal) penalty authority related to 
rail transportation appears at 49 U.S.C. 11901-11908. The Board's 
penalty authority related to motor carriers, water carriers, brokers, 
and freight forwarders appears at 49 U.S.C. 14901-14916. The Board's 
penalty authority related to pipeline carriers appears at 49 U.S.C. 
16101-16106.\1\ The Board has regulations at 49 CFR pt. 1022 that 
codify the method set forth in the 2015 Act for annually adjusting for 
inflation the civil monetary penalties within the Board's jurisdiction.
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    \1\ The Board also has various criminal penalty authority, 
enforceable in a federal criminal court. Congress has not, however, 
authorized federal agencies to adjust statutorily prescribed 
criminal penalty provisions for inflation, and this rule does not 
address those provisions.
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    As set forth in this final rule, the Board is amending 49 CFR part 
1022 to make an annual inflation adjustment to the civil monetary 
penalties in conformance with the requirements of the 2015 Act. The 
adjusted penalties set forth in the rule will apply only to violations 
that occur after the effective date of this regulation.
    In accordance with the 2015 Act, the annual adjustment adopted here 
is calculated by multiplying each current penalty by the cost-of-living 
adjustment factor of 1.06222, which reflects the percentage change 
between the October 2021 CPI-U (276.589) and the October 2020 CPI-U 
(260.388). The table at the end of this decision shows the statutory 
citation for each civil penalty, a description of the provision, the 
adjusted statutory civil penalty level for 2021, and the adjusted 
statutory civil penalty level for 2022.

III. Final Rule

    The final rule set forth at the end of this decision is being 
issued without notice and comment pursuant to the rulemaking provision 
of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), which 
does not require that process ``when the agency for good cause finds'' 
that public notice and comment are ``unnecessary.'' Here, Congress has 
mandated that the agency make an annual inflation adjustment to its 
civil monetary penalties. The Board has no discretion to set 
alternative levels of adjusted civil monetary penalties, because the 
amount of the inflation adjustment must be calculated in accordance 
with the statutory formula. Given the absence of discretion, the Board 
has determined that there is good cause to promulgate this rule without 
soliciting public comment and to make this regulation effective 
immediately upon publication.

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Statement

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), as amended by the Small 
Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, 
generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility 
analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment rulemaking 
requirements, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
Because the Board has determined that notice and comment are not 
required under the APA for this rulemaking, the requirements of the RFA 
do not apply.

V. Congressional Review Act

    Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801-808, the 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has designated this rule 
as a non-major rule, as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

VI. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule does not contain a new or amended information 
collection requirement subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 
44 U.S.C. 3501-3521.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 1022

    Administrative practice and procedures, Brokers, Civil penalties, 
Freight forwarders, Motor carriers, Pipeline carriers, Rail carriers, 
Water carriers.

    It is ordered:
    1. The Board amends its rules as set forth in this decision. Notice 
of the final rule will be published in the Federal Register.
    2. This decision is effective on its date of publication in the 
Federal Register.

    Decided: January 10, 2022.

    By the Board, Board Members Fuchs, Hedlund, Oberman, Primus, and 
Schultz.
Stefan Rice,
Clearance Clerk.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, part 1022 of title 49, 
chapter X, of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 1022--CIVIL MONETARY PENALTY INFLATION ADJUSTMENT

0
1. Revise the authority citation for part 1022 to read as follows:


[[Page 2354]]


    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 551-557; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note; 49 U.S.C. 
11901, 14901, 14903, 14904, 14905, 14906, 14907, 14908, 14910, 
14915, 14916, 16101, 16103.


0
2. Revise Sec.  1022.4(b) to read as follows:


Sec.  1022.4  Cost-of-living adjustments of civil monetary penalties.

* * * * *
    (b) The cost-of-living adjustment required by the statute results 
in the following adjustments to the civil monetary penalties within the 
jurisdiction of the Board:

                                            Table 1 to Paragraph (b)
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                                                                              2021-- penalty    2022-- adjusted
                                               Civil monetary penalty             amount         penalty amount
           U.S. code citation                        description           -------------------------------------
                                                                             EP 716_6 (2021)    EP 716_7 (2022)
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                                                  Rail Carrier
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49 U.S.C. 11901(a)......................  Unless otherwise specified,                  $8,224             $8,736
                                           maximum penalty for each
                                           knowing violation under this
                                           part, and for each day.
49 U.S.C. 11901(b)......................  For each violation under Sec.                   823                874
                                           11124(a)(2) or (b).
49 U.S.C. 11901(b)......................  For each day violation continues                 42                 45
49 U.S.C. 11901(c)......................  Maximum penalty for each knowing              8,224              8,736
                                           violation under Sec.  Sec.
                                           10901-10906.
49 U.S.C. 11901(d)......................  For each violation under Sec.               164-823            174-874
                                           Sec.   11123 or 11124(a)(1).
49 U.S.C. 11901(d)......................  For each day violation continues                 82                 87
49 U.S.C. 11901(e)(1), (4)..............  For each violation under Sec.                   823                874
                                           Sec.   11141-11145, for each
                                           day.
49 U.S.C. 11901(e)(2), (4)..............  For each violation under Sec.                   164                174
                                           11144(b)(1), for each day.
49 U.S.C. 11901(e)(3)-(4)...............  For each violation of reporting                 164                174
                                           requirements, for each day.
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                                             Motor and Water Carrier
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49 U.S.C. 14901(a)......................  Minimum penalty for each                      1,125              1,195
                                           violation and for each day.
49 U.S.C. 14901(a)......................  For each violation under Sec.                11,257             11,957
                                           Sec.   13901 or 13902(c).
49 U.S.C. 14901(a)......................  For each violation related to                28,142             29,893
                                           transportation of passengers.
49 U.S.C. 14901(b)......................  For each violation of the             22,514-45,027      23,915-47,829
                                           hazardous waste rules under
                                           Sec.   3001 of the Solid Waste
                                           Disposal Act.
49 U.S.C. 14901(d)(1)...................  Minimum penalty for each                      1,644              1,746
                                           violation of household good
                                           regulations, and for each day.
49 U.S.C. 14901(d)(2)...................  Minimum penalty for each                     16,450             17,473
                                           instance of transportation of
                                           household goods if broker
                                           provides estimate without
                                           carrier agreement.
49 U.S.C. 14901(d)(3)...................  Minimum penalty for each                     41,120             43,678
                                           instance of transportation of
                                           household goods without being
                                           registered.
49 U.S.C. 14901(e)......................  Minimum penalty for each                      3,289              3,494
                                           violation of a transportation
                                           rule.
49 U.S.C. 14901(e)......................  Minimum penalty for each                      8,224              8,736
                                           additional violation.
49 U.S.C. 14903(a)......................  Maximum penalty for undercharge             164,490            174,724
                                           or overcharge of tariff rate,
                                           for each violation.
49 U.S.C. 14904(a)......................  For first violation, rebates at                 329                349
                                           less than the rate in effect.
49 U.S.C. 14904(a)......................  For all subsequent violations...                412                438
49 U.S.C. 14904(b)(1)...................  Maximum penalty for first                       823                874
                                           violation for undercharges by
                                           freight forwarders.
49 U.S.C. 14904(b)(1)...................  Maximum penalty for subsequent                3,289              3,494
                                           violations.
49 U.S.C. 14904(b)(2)...................  Maximum penalty for other first                 823                874
                                           violations under Sec.   13702.
49 U.S.C. 14904(b)(2)...................  Maximum penalty for subsequent                3,289              3,494
                                           violations.
49 U.S.C. 14905(a)......................  Maximum penalty for each knowing             16,450             17,473
                                           violation of Sec.   14103(a),
                                           and knowingly authorizing,
                                           consenting to, or permitting a
                                           violation of Sec.   14103(a) or
                                           (b).
49 U.S.C. 14906.........................  Minimum penalty for first                     2,252              2,392
                                           attempt to evade regulation.
49 U.S.C. 14906.........................  Minimum amount for each                       5,628              5,978
                                           subsequent attempt to evade
                                           regulation.
49 U.S.C. 14907.........................  Maximum penalty for                           8,224              8,736
                                           recordkeeping/reporting
                                           violations.
49 U.S.C. 14908(a)(2)...................  Maximum penalty for violation of              3,289              3,494
                                           Sec.   14908(a)(1).
49 U.S.C. 14910.........................  When another civil penalty is                   823                874
                                           not specified under this part,
                                           for each violation, for each
                                           day.
49 U.S.C. 14915(a)(1)-(2)...............  Minimum penalty for holding a                13,072             13,885
                                           household goods shipment
                                           hostage, for each day.
49 U.S.C. 14916(c)(1)...................  Maximum penalty for each knowing             11,257             11,957
                                           violation under Sec.   14916(a)
                                           for unlawful brokerage
                                           activities.
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                                                Pipeline Carrier
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49 U.S.C. 16101(a)......................  Maximum penalty for violation of              8,224              8,736
                                           this part, for each day.
49 U.S.C. 16101(b)(1), (4)..............  For each recordkeeping violation                823                874
                                           under Sec.   15722, each day.
49 U.S.C. 16101(b)(2), (4)..............  For each inspection violation                   164                174
                                           liable under Sec.   15722, each
                                           day.
49 U.S.C. 16101(b)(3)-(4)...............  For each reporting violation                    164                174
                                           under Sec.   15723, each day.
49 U.S.C. 16103(a)......................  Maximum penalty for improper                  1,644              1,746
                                           disclosure of information.
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[[Page 2355]]

[FR Doc. 2022-00639 Filed 1-13-22; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4915-01-P