Criteria and Procedures for Assessment of Civil Penalties, 7393-7394 [2015-02399]

Download as PDF 7393 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 80, No. 27 Tuesday, February 10, 2015 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Mine Safety and Health Administration 30 CFR Part 100 [Docket No. MSHA–2014–0009] RIN 1219–AB72 Criteria and Procedures for Assessment of Civil Penalties Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor. ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period; close of record. AGENCY: This document corrects § 100.3(e) in a proposed rule published in the Federal Register on July 31, 2014, regarding criteria and procedures for assessment of civil penalties. This correction also clarifies selected proposed provisions in the preamble to facilitate public understanding and to obtain more useful responses. DATES: Post-hearing comments must be received or postmarked by midnight Eastern Standard Time on March 31, 2015. SUMMARY: Submit comments, informational materials, and requests to speak, identified by RIN 1219–AB72 or Docket No. MSHA–2014–0009, by one of the following methods: • Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments. • Email: zzMSHA-comments@ dol.gov. Include RIN 1219–AB72 or Docket No. MSHA–2014–0009 in the subject line of the message. • Mail: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia 22209–3939. • Hand Delivery or Courier: MSHA, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. Sign in at the receptionist’s desk on the 21st floor. • Fax: 202–693–9441. rljohnson on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS ADDRESSES: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:17 Feb 09, 2015 Jkt 235001 Instructions: All submissions must include ‘‘MSHA’’ and ‘‘RIN 1219– AB72’’ or ‘‘Docket No. MSHA–2014– 0009.’’ Do not include personal information that you do not want publicly disclosed; MSHA will post all comments without change to http:// www.regulations.gov and http:// www.msha.gov/currentcomments.asp, including any personal information provided. Docket: For access to the docket to read comments received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov or http:// www.msha.gov/currentcomments.asp. To read background documents, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Review the docket in person at MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal Holidays. Sign in at the receptionist’s desk on the 21st floor. Email notification: To subscribe to receive an email notification when MSHA publishes rules, program information, instructions, and policy, in the Federal Register, go to http:// www.msha.gov/subscriptions/ subscribe.aspx. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sheila McConnell, Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at mcconnell.sheila.a@dol.gov (email); 202–693–9440 (voice); or 202–693–9441 (facsimile). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background On July 31, 2014, MSHA published a proposed rule (79 FR 44494) to amend its civil penalty regulation to simplify the criteria, which will promote consistency, objectivity, and efficiency in the proposed assessment of civil penalties and facilitate the resolution of enforcement issues. The proposal would place a greater emphasis on the more serious safety and health conditions and provide improved safety and health for miners. This proposed rule involves changes to MSHA’s regular assessment penalty formula, including changes to the citation/order form [MSHA Form 7000–3]. The comment period was scheduled to close on September 29, 2014; however in response to requests from the public for additional time to prepare comments, MSHA extended the PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 comment period until December 3, 2014. On November 7, 2014 (79 FR 66345), MSHA announced two public hearings which were held on December 4, 2014, in Arlington, VA, and on December 9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The posthearing comment period was extended until January 9, 2015. In response to requests from the public, MSHA announced on December 31, 2014 (79 FR 78749) two additional public hearings on the proposed rule. The hearings will be held on February 5, 2015 in Birmingham, Alabama, and on February 12, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The post-hearing comment period and rulemaking record will close on March 31, 2015. II. Request for Comments and Close of Record MSHA clarifies that under the Negligence criterion, MSHA proposed to combine the existing categories of Low, Moderate, and High Negligence into a single category of Negligent. Commenters have expressed concern that violations assessed as High Negligence under the existing rule would be assessed as Reckless Disregard under the proposed rule, resulting in higher penalties. As stated in public hearings to date, MSHA intends that determinations of Low, Moderate, and High Negligence under the existing rule would be placed in the proposed Negligent category and assigned 15 penalty points. ‘‘Negligent’’ would mean that the operator ‘‘knew or should have known of the violative condition or practice.’’ The definitions of Reckless Disregard and No Negligence (‘‘Not Negligent’’ in the proposal) would not change. ‘‘Reckless Disregard’’ would continue to mean conduct exhibiting ‘‘the absence of the slightest degree of care’’ and is distinguishable from the proposed definition of ‘‘Negligent.’’ It is also distinguishable from the existing definition of ‘‘High Negligence,’’ which is that the operator ‘‘knew or should have known of the violative condition or practice, and there are no mitigating circumstances.’’ ‘‘Not Negligent’’ would continue to mean that the operator ‘‘exercised diligence and could not have known of the violative condition or practice.’’ Under the Gravity criterion for Likelihood, MSHA clarifies that the Agency proposes to combine the existing categories of No Likelihood and E:\FR\FM\10FEP1.SGM 10FEP1 7394 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 27 / Tuesday, February 10, 2015 / Proposed Rules Unlikely to a single category of Unlikely. Violations assessed as Unlikely under the existing rule would remain Unlikely under the proposed rule, but would be assigned zero penalty points. The existing categories of Reasonably Likely and Highly Likely would be combined to a single category of Reasonably Likely in the proposed rule and assigned 14 penalty points. MSHA is clarifying that the proposed definition of ‘‘Unlikely’’ should read ‘‘Condition or practice cited has little or no likelihood of causing an injury or illness.’’ MSHA is also clarifying that the proposed definition of ‘‘Reasonably Likely’’ should read ‘‘Condition or practice cited is likely to cause an injury or illness.’’ In addition, the proposed definition of ‘‘Occurred’’ should read ‘‘Condition or practice cited has caused an injury or illness.’’ MSHA also would like to clarify that the Good Faith reduction in penalties would not be affected by a request for pre-assessment conferences on violations. MSHA discussed an alternative in the preamble to the proposed rule of an additional 20 percent reduction in the penalty for Good Faith if the violation is not contested and the penalty is paid before it becomes a final order of the Commission. Under this alternative, only penalties that are either not paid within 30 days or are contested would be ineligible for the additional 20 percent Good Faith penalty reduction. MSHA clarifies that if an assessment grouping includes multiple citations and only one is not paid within 30 days or is contested, the remaining citations would be eligible for the Good Faith penalty reduction. MSHA solicits comments from the mining community on all aspects of the proposed rule. Commenters are requested to be specific in their comments and to provide sufficient detail in your responses to enable proper Agency review and consideration. All comments must be received or postmarked by March 31, 2015. rljohnson on DSK3VPTVN1PROD with PROPOSALS III. Correction In proposed rule FR Doc. 2014–17935, beginning on page 44517 in the issue of July 31, 2014, make the following corrections. PART 100—CRITERIA AND PROCEDURES FOR ASSESSMENT OF CIVIL PENALTIES 1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 30 U.S.C. 815, 820, 957. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:17 Feb 09, 2015 Jkt 235001 2. Amend § 100.3 paragraph (e) by revising the first two sentences in the introductory paragraph, Table XI, and the heading for the first column in Tables XII and XIII to read as follows: ■ DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 § 100.3 Determination of penalty amount; regular assessment. [Docket Number USCG–2014–1019] * RIN 1625–AA00 * * * * (e) Gravity. Gravity is an evaluation of the seriousness of the violation. Gravity is determined by the likelihood of an injury or illness, the severity of the anticipated or occurred injury or illness, and whether or not persons are potentially affected by the condition or practice cited. * * * Safety Zone; Memphis Port Area Multiagency Mass Rescue Operations and Medical Surge Full-Scale Exercise, Lower Mississippi River, Mile Marker, (MM) 745.0 to (MM) 736.0, Memphis, TN Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard is proposing to establish a temporary Safety Zone for all waters of the Lower Mississippi Penalty River, from MM 745.0 to MM 736.0. Likelihood of occurrence points This safety zone is needed to protect persons and vessels from the potential Unlikely: Condition or practice safety hazards associated with a fullcited has little or no likeliscale multiagency mass rescue exercise. hood of causing an injury or illness. ................................... 0 Entry into this zone is prohibited to all vessels, mariners, and persons unless Reasonably Likely: Condition or specifically authorized by the Captain of practice cited is likely to cause an injury or illness ...... 14 the Port (COTP), Lower Mississippi Occurred: Condition or practice River or a designated representative. cited has caused an injury or DATES: Comments and related material illness. ................................... 25 must be received by the Coast Guard on or before February 25, 2015. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments TABLE XII—GRAVITY: SEVERITY identified by docket number using any one of the following methods: Severity of anticipated or Penalty occurred injury or illness points (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. * * * .......................................... * * * (2) Fax: 202–493–2251. * * * .......................................... * * * (3) Mail or Delivery: Docket * * * .......................................... * * * Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, TABLE XIII–GRAVITY: PERSONS 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., POTENTIALLY AFFECTED Washington, DC 20590–0001. Deliveries accepted between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Persons potentially affected by Penalty Monday through Friday, except federal the condition or practice cited points holidays. The telephone number is 202– 366–9329. See the ‘‘Public Participation * * * .......................................... * * * and Request for Comments’’ portion of * * * .......................................... * * * the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for further instructions on * * * * * submitting comments. To avoid Dated: February 3, 2015. duplication, please use only one of Joseph A. Main, these three methods. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If and Health. you have questions on this rule, call or [FR Doc. 2015–02399 Filed 2–9–15; 8:45 am] email LT Tyrone Conner, Sector Lower BILLING CODE 4510–43–P Mississippi River Waterways Management Division, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone (901) 521–4725, email Tyrone.L.Conner@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Cheryl F. Collins, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 TABLE XI—GRAVITY: LIKELIHOOD Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\10FEP1.SGM 10FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 27 (Tuesday, February 10, 2015)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 7393-7394]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-02399]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 27 / Tuesday, February 10, 2015 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 7393]]



DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mine Safety and Health Administration

30 CFR Part 100

[Docket No. MSHA-2014-0009]
RIN 1219-AB72


Criteria and Procedures for Assessment of Civil Penalties

AGENCY: Mine Safety and Health Administration, Labor.

ACTION: Proposed rule; extension of comment period; close of record.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document corrects Sec.  100.3(e) in a proposed rule 
published in the Federal Register on July 31, 2014, regarding criteria 
and procedures for assessment of civil penalties. This correction also 
clarifies selected proposed provisions in the preamble to facilitate 
public understanding and to obtain more useful responses.

DATES: Post-hearing comments must be received or postmarked by midnight 
Eastern Standard Time on March 31, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments, informational materials, and requests to 
speak, identified by RIN 1219-AB72 or Docket No. MSHA-2014-0009, by one 
of the following methods:
     Federal E-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: zzMSHA-comments@dol.gov. Include RIN 1219-AB72 or 
Docket No. MSHA-2014-0009 in the subject line of the message.
     Mail: MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and 
Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia 22209-
3939.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: MSHA, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, 
Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, except Federal holidays. Sign in at the receptionist's 
desk on the 21st floor.
     Fax: 202-693-9441.
    Instructions: All submissions must include ``MSHA'' and ``RIN 1219-
AB72'' or ``Docket No. MSHA-2014-0009.'' Do not include personal 
information that you do not want publicly disclosed; MSHA will post all 
comments without change to http://www.regulations.gov and http://www.msha.gov/currentcomments.asp, including any personal information 
provided.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read comments received, go to 
http://www.regulations.gov or http://www.msha.gov/currentcomments.asp. 
To read background documents, go to http://www.regulations.gov. Review 
the docket in person at MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and 
Variances, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, Virginia, 
between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except Federal 
Holidays. Sign in at the receptionist's desk on the 21st floor.
    Email notification: To subscribe to receive an email notification 
when MSHA publishes rules, program information, instructions, and 
policy, in the Federal Register, go to http://www.msha.gov/subscriptions/subscribe.aspx.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sheila McConnell, Acting Director, 
Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, MSHA, at 
mcconnell.sheila.a@dol.gov (email); 202-693-9440 (voice); or 202-693-
9441 (facsimile).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    On July 31, 2014, MSHA published a proposed rule (79 FR 44494) to 
amend its civil penalty regulation to simplify the criteria, which will 
promote consistency, objectivity, and efficiency in the proposed 
assessment of civil penalties and facilitate the resolution of 
enforcement issues. The proposal would place a greater emphasis on the 
more serious safety and health conditions and provide improved safety 
and health for miners. This proposed rule involves changes to MSHA's 
regular assessment penalty formula, including changes to the citation/
order form [MSHA Form 7000-3]. The comment period was scheduled to 
close on September 29, 2014; however in response to requests from the 
public for additional time to prepare comments, MSHA extended the 
comment period until December 3, 2014.
    On November 7, 2014 (79 FR 66345), MSHA announced two public 
hearings which were held on December 4, 2014, in Arlington, VA, and on 
December 9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The post-hearing comment period 
was extended until January 9, 2015.
    In response to requests from the public, MSHA announced on December 
31, 2014 (79 FR 78749) two additional public hearings on the proposed 
rule. The hearings will be held on February 5, 2015 in Birmingham, 
Alabama, and on February 12, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The post-
hearing comment period and rulemaking record will close on March 31, 
2015.

II. Request for Comments and Close of Record

    MSHA clarifies that under the Negligence criterion, MSHA proposed 
to combine the existing categories of Low, Moderate, and High 
Negligence into a single category of Negligent. Commenters have 
expressed concern that violations assessed as High Negligence under the 
existing rule would be assessed as Reckless Disregard under the 
proposed rule, resulting in higher penalties. As stated in public 
hearings to date, MSHA intends that determinations of Low, Moderate, 
and High Negligence under the existing rule would be placed in the 
proposed Negligent category and assigned 15 penalty points. 
``Negligent'' would mean that the operator ``knew or should have known 
of the violative condition or practice.'' The definitions of Reckless 
Disregard and No Negligence (``Not Negligent'' in the proposal) would 
not change. ``Reckless Disregard'' would continue to mean conduct 
exhibiting ``the absence of the slightest degree of care'' and is 
distinguishable from the proposed definition of ``Negligent.'' It is 
also distinguishable from the existing definition of ``High 
Negligence,'' which is that the operator ``knew or should have known of 
the violative condition or practice, and there are no mitigating 
circumstances.'' ``Not Negligent'' would continue to mean that the 
operator ``exercised diligence and could not have known of the 
violative condition or practice.''
    Under the Gravity criterion for Likelihood, MSHA clarifies that the 
Agency proposes to combine the existing categories of No Likelihood and

[[Page 7394]]

Unlikely to a single category of Unlikely. Violations assessed as 
Unlikely under the existing rule would remain Unlikely under the 
proposed rule, but would be assigned zero penalty points. The existing 
categories of Reasonably Likely and Highly Likely would be combined to 
a single category of Reasonably Likely in the proposed rule and 
assigned 14 penalty points.
    MSHA is clarifying that the proposed definition of ``Unlikely'' 
should read ``Condition or practice cited has little or no likelihood 
of causing an injury or illness.'' MSHA is also clarifying that the 
proposed definition of ``Reasonably Likely'' should read ``Condition or 
practice cited is likely to cause an injury or illness.'' In addition, 
the proposed definition of ``Occurred'' should read ``Condition or 
practice cited has caused an injury or illness.''
    MSHA also would like to clarify that the Good Faith reduction in 
penalties would not be affected by a request for pre-assessment 
conferences on violations. MSHA discussed an alternative in the 
preamble to the proposed rule of an additional 20 percent reduction in 
the penalty for Good Faith if the violation is not contested and the 
penalty is paid before it becomes a final order of the Commission. 
Under this alternative, only penalties that are either not paid within 
30 days or are contested would be ineligible for the additional 20 
percent Good Faith penalty reduction. MSHA clarifies that if an 
assessment grouping includes multiple citations and only one is not 
paid within 30 days or is contested, the remaining citations would be 
eligible for the Good Faith penalty reduction.
    MSHA solicits comments from the mining community on all aspects of 
the proposed rule. Commenters are requested to be specific in their 
comments and to provide sufficient detail in your responses to enable 
proper Agency review and consideration. All comments must be received 
or postmarked by March 31, 2015.

III. Correction

    In proposed rule FR Doc. 2014-17935, beginning on page 44517 in the 
issue of July 31, 2014, make the following corrections.

PART 100--CRITERIA AND PROCEDURES FOR ASSESSMENT OF CIVIL PENALTIES

0
1. The authority citation for part 100 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 30 U.S.C. 815, 820, 957.

0
2. Amend Sec.  100.3 paragraph (e) by revising the first two sentences 
in the introductory paragraph, Table XI, and the heading for the first 
column in Tables XII and XIII to read as follows:


Sec.  100.3  Determination of penalty amount; regular assessment.

* * * * *
    (e) Gravity. Gravity is an evaluation of the seriousness of the 
violation. Gravity is determined by the likelihood of an injury or 
illness, the severity of the anticipated or occurred injury or illness, 
and whether or not persons are potentially affected by the condition or 
practice cited. * * *

                      Table XI--Gravity: Likelihood
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Penalty
                  Likelihood of occurrence                      points
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Unlikely: Condition or practice cited has little or no                 0
 likelihood of causing an injury or illness................
Reasonably Likely: Condition or practice cited is likely to           14
 cause an injury or illness................................
Occurred: Condition or practice cited has caused an injury            25
 or illness................................................
------------------------------------------------------------------------


                      Table XII--Gravity: Severity
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Penalty
  Severity of anticipated or  occurred injury or illness       points
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* * *.....................................................        * * *
* * *.....................................................        * * *
* * *.....................................................        * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------


            Table XIII-Gravity: Persons Potentially Affected
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Persons potentially affected by the condition or practice     Penalty
                           cited                               points
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* * *.....................................................        * * *
* * *.....................................................        * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *

    Dated: February 3, 2015.
Joseph A. Main,
Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health.
[FR Doc. 2015-02399 Filed 2-9-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-43-P