Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustments, 43937-43941 [2016-15947]

Download as PDF ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 129 / Wednesday, July 6, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Federal Register notice concerning environmental, civil rights, and other applicable Federal state, and local law; (vi) Obtaining disbursement of loan funds according to this section and the annual Federal Register notice within 5 years. Any loan funds not disbursed within that time will be deobligated and become unavailable for disbursement. (2) Agency responsibilities. (i) Based on the information presented by the Relender and any additional information that may be requested by the Agency, the Agency will determine the eligibility of the applicant and project under this subpart. (ii) The Agency will notify the relender of its determination and any administrative review or appeal rights for Agency decisions made under this subpart. Programmatic decisions based on clear and objective statutory or regulatory requirements are not appealable; however, such decisions are reviewable for appealability by the National Appeals Division (NAD). The applicant and re-lender may appeal any Agency decision that directly and adversely impacts them. For an adverse decision that impacts the applicant, the re-lender and applicant must jointly execute a written request for appeal for an alleged adverse decision made by the Agency. An adverse decision that only impacts the re-lender may be appealed by the re-lender only. A decision by a re-lender adverse to the interest of an applicant or borrower is not a decision by the Agency, whether or not concurred in by the Agency. Appeals will be conducted by USDA NAD and will be handled in accordance with 7 CFR part 11. (iii) For approved eligible borrowers and projects, the Agency will confirm that all environmental requirements as specified in this subpart and 7 CFR part 1970 have been met and that the Relender has provided adequate security for its loan, before the Agency will disburse funds to the Re-lender; (iv) The Agency will service each relender’s loan in accordance with 7 CFR part 1951, subpart E. The Agency may suspend further disbursements, and pursue any other available and appropriate remedies, if any of the relender loans become troubled, delinquent, or otherwise in default status, or if the re-lender is not meeting the terms of its Relender’s Agreement. Dated: June 29, 2016. Lisa Mensah, Under Secretary, Rural Development. Dated: June 29, 2016. Alexis Taylor, Deputy Under Secretary, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. [FR Doc. 2016–16005 Filed 7–5–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–XV–P 12:09 Jul 05, 2016 Jkt 238001 of 1990 (1990 Adjustment Act),2 requires the head of each federal agency to issue an ‘‘interim final rule’’ by July 1, 2016 adjusting for inflation each ‘‘civil monetary penalty’’ provided by law within the agency’s jurisdiction. The agency must then update each such civil monetary penalty on an annual basis every January 15 thereafter.3 II. Discussion DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Parts 250 and 385 [Docket No. RM16–16–000; Order No. 826] Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustments Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy. ACTION: Interim final rule. AGENCY: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is issuing an interim final rule to amend its regulations governing the maximum civil monetary penalties assessable for violations of statutes, rules, and orders within the Commission’s jurisdiction. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended most recently by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, requires the Commission to issue this interim final rule. SUMMARY: Effective Date: This interim final rule is effective July 6, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Todd Hettenbach, Attorney, Office of Enforcement, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502–8794, Todd.Hettenbach@ferc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: Order No. 826 Interim Final Rule 1. In this interim final rule, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is complying with its statutory obligation to amend the civil monetary penalties provided by law for matters within the agency’s jurisdiction. I. Background 2. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (2015 Adjustment Act),1 which further amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act 1 Sec. VerDate Sep<11>2014 43937 PO 00000 701, Public Law 114–74, 129 Stat. 584, 599. Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 3. The 2015 Adjustment Act defines a civil monetary penalty as any penalty, fine, or other sanction that: (A)(i) Is for a specific monetary amount as provided by federal law or (ii) has a maximum amount provided for by federal law; (B) is assessed or enforced by an agency pursuant to federal law; and (C) is assessed or enforced pursuant to an administrative proceeding or a civil action in the federal courts.4 This definition applies to the maximum civil penalties that may be imposed under the Federal Power Act (FPA),5 the Natural Gas Act (NGA),6 the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 (NGPA),7 and the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA).8 4. Under the 2015 Adjustment Act, for the initial adjustment, the first step for such adjustment of a civil monetary penalty for inflation requires determining the percentage by which the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index for all-urban consumers (CPI–U) for October of the preceding year exceeds the CPI–U for October of the year in which the civil monetary penalty was last set or adjusted under a provision of law other than the 1990 and 2015 Adjustment Acts.9 The Office of Management and Budget has instructed agencies to use the CPI–U for 1914 when calculating the inflation multiplier for penalties established or last adjusted prior to 1914.10 Adjustments previously made for inflation pursuant to the 1990 Adjustment Act must be excluded.11 The first adjustment, which is the subject of the present interim final rule, is limited to 150 percent of the civil monetary penalty that was in effect on November 2, 2015.12 2 Public Law 101–410, 104 Stat. 890 (codified as amended at 28 U.S.C. 2461 note). 3 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, at (4). 4 Id. (3). 5 16 U.S.C. 791a et seq. 6 15 U.S.C. 717 et seq. 7 15 U.S.C. 3301 et seq. 8 49 App. U.S.C. 1 et seq. (1988). 9 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, at (5)(b).. 10 See Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, Office of Management and Budget, Implementation of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, 6 (Feb. 24, 2016). 11 Id. (5)(b)(2)(A). 12 Id. (5)(b)(2)(C). E:\FR\FM\06JYR1.SGM 06JYR1 43938 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 129 / Wednesday, July 6, 2016 / Rules and Regulations 5. The second step requires multiplying the CPI–U percentage increase by the applicable November 2, 2015 civil monetary penalty.13 This step results in a base penalty increase amount. 6. The third step requires rounding the base penalty increase amount to the nearest dollar.14 7. Under the 2015 Adjustment Act, an agency is directed to use the civil monetary penalty applicable at the time of assessment of a civil penalty, regardless of the date on which the violation occurred.15 8. The Commission currently has civil monetary penalty authority of up to $1,000,000 per violation, per day under section 316A(b) of the FPA.16 This civil monetary penalty applies to violations of provisions of Part II of the FPA and to violations of rules and orders promulgated pursuant to Part II of the FPA. Congress increased this Civil Monetary Penalty in 2005 from $10,000 to $1,000,000, and it expanded the scope of conduct to which the penalty applies. The Commission has not adjusted this civil monetary penalty for inflation. Inflation during the relevant period was 19.397 percent 17—the percentage by which the CPI–U for October of the prior year (October 2015, for which the CPI–U=237.838) exceeds the CPI–U for October of the year in which the Civil Monetary Penalty was last set or adjusted (October 2005, for which the CPI–U=199.2). The resulting civil monetary penalty is $1,193,970.18 9. The Commission currently has civil monetary penalty authority of $11,000 per violation, per day under section 31(c) of the FPA.19 This civil monetary penalty applies to licensees, permittees, and exemptees who: (a) Violate or fail or refuse to comply with any rule or regulation issued under Part I of the FPA; (b) violate or fail or refuse to comply with any term or condition of a 13 Id. (5)(a). 14 Id. 15 Id. (6). U.S.C. 825o–1(b). 17 See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI–U): U.S. City Average, All Items— Continued, http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf (last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6. 18 The Commission may impose a penalty against a user, owner, or operator of the bulk-power system for a violation of a reliability standard pursuant to FPA section 215(c)(3), 16 U.S.C. 824o(c)(3). The Commission concluded in 2006 that FPA section 316A establishes the limit on such monetary penalties. See Rule Concerning Certification of the Electric Reliability Organization, and Procedures for the Establishment, Approval, and Enforcement of Electric Reliability Standards, Order No. 672, 71 FR 8662, 8711 (Feb. 17, 2006). 19 16 U.S.C. 823b(c); 18 CFR 385.1602(b). ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES 16 16 VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:09 Jul 05, 2016 Jkt 238001 license, permit, or exemption under Part I of the FPA; or (c) violate or fail or refuse to comply with any order issued pursuant to the Commission’s authority to monitor and investigate licenses and permits issued under Part I of the FPA. Congress established this civil monetary penalty at $10,000 in 1986.20 The only time that the Commission adjusted this civil monetary penalty was in 2002, when it increased the civil monetary penalty from $10,000 to $11,000 to account for inflation pursuant to the 1990 Adjustment Act.21 According to the 2015 Adjustment Act, however, the Commission must disregard such increases made pursuant to the 1990 Adjustment Act. Inflation between October 1986 and October 2015 was 115.628 percent—the percentage by which the CPI–U for October of the prior year (October 2015, for which the CPI–U=237.838) exceeds the CPI–U for October of the year in which the civil monetary penalty was last set or adjusted for purposes of the 2015 Adjustment Act (October 1986, for which the CPI–U=110.3).22 The resulting increase rounded to the nearest dollar is $11,563, and the resulting civil monetary penalty is $21,563. 10. Under section 315(a) of the FPA, public utilities or licensees are currently subject to civil forfeiture for any willful failure to: Comply with any order of the Commission; file any report required under the FPA or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to the FPA; submit any information or document required by the Commission in the course of an investigation conducted under the FPA; or to appear at any hearing or investigation in response to a subpoena issued under the FPA.23 Congress established this civil monetary penalty at $1,000 in 1935.24 The only time that the Commission adjusted it was in 2002, when the Commission increased the civil monetary penalty from $1,000 to $1,100 to account for inflation pursuant to the 1990 Adjustment Act.25 The Commission must disregard such increases made pursuant to the 1990 Adjustment Act. 20 Electric Consumers Protection Act of 1986, Section 12(c), Pub. L. 99–495, 100 Stat 1243. 21 Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule, Order No. 692, 67 FR 52410, 52412 (Aug. 12, 2002) (renumbered from Order No. 890). 22 See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI–U): U.S. City Average, All Items— Continued, http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf (last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6. 23 16 U.S.C. 825n(a); 18 CFR 385.1602(c). 24 49 Stat. 803, 861 (codified at 16 U.S.C. 825n(a)). 25 Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule, 67 FR at 52412. PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Inflation during the relevant period was 1,636.044 percent—the percentage by which the CPI–U for October of the prior year (October 2015, for which the CPI–U=237.838) exceeds the CPI–U for October of the year in which the Civil Monetary Penalty was last set or adjusted (October 1935, for which the CPI–U=13.7).26 However, the 2015 Adjustment Act caps civil monetary penalty increases at 150 percent, so the resulting increase is $1,750 and the resulting civil monetary penalty is $2,750. 11. The Commission currently has civil monetary penalty authority of $1,000,000 per violation, per day under section 22 of the NGA.27 This civil monetary penalty applies to violations of the NGA, and to violations of rules, regulations, restrictions, conditions, and orders promulgated pursuant to the NGA. Congress established this civil monetary penalty in 2005, and neither the Commission nor Congress has adjusted it for inflation. Inflation during the relevant period was 19.397 percent—the percentage by which the CPI–U for October of the prior year (October 2015, for which the CPI– U=237.838) exceeds the CPI–U for October of the year in which the civil monetary penalty was last set or adjusted (October 2005, for which the CPI–U=199.2).28 The resulting civil monetary penalty is $1,193,970. 12. The Commission currently has civil monetary penalty authority of $1,000,000 per violation, per day, under section 504(b)(6)(A)(i) of the NGPA.29 This civil monetary penalty applies to violations of any provision of the NGPA and to violations of any rule or order issued under the NGPA, including 18 CFR 358.4, 358.5, 250.16, and 284.13. Congress increased this Civil Monetary Penalty in 2005 from $5,000 to $1,000,000, and the Commission has not adjusted it since. Nor has it made conforming changes to one of its regulations, 18 CFR 250.16(e), to reflect the statutory increase of this civil monetary penalty. Inflation during the relevant period was 19.397 percent—the percentage by which the CPI–U for October of the prior year 26 See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI–U): U.S. City Average, All Items— Continued, http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf (last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6. 27 15 U.S.C. 717t–1. 28 See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI–U): U.S. City Average, All Items— Continued, http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf (last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6. 29 15 U.S.C. 3414(b)(6)(A)(i). E:\FR\FM\06JYR1.SGM 06JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 129 / Wednesday, July 6, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (October 2015, for which the CPI– U=237.838) exceeds the CPI–U for October of the year in which the civil monetary penalty was last set or adjusted (October 2005, for which the CPI–U=199.2).30 The resulting civil monetary penalty is $1,193,970. 13. Under section 6(10) of the ICA, pipeline carriers, receivers, and trustees are currently subject to a civil penalty for failure or refusal to comply with regulations or orders concerning posting and filing rate schedules issued by the Commission under section 6 of the ICA.31 Congress established this civil monetary penalty in 1910 at $500 per offense and $25 per day after the first day,32 and that penalty has not been adjusted since. Inflation during the relevant period was 2,254.832 percent— the percentage by which the CPI–U for October of the prior year (October 2015, for which the CPI–U=237.838) exceeds the CPI–U for October 1914 (for which the CPI–U=10.1).33 However, the 2015 Adjustment Act caps civil monetary penalty increases at 150 percent, so the base penalty increase is $750, and the per day increase is $37.50. The resulting civil monetary penalty is $1250 per offense and $62.50 per day after the first day. 14. Under section 16(8) of the ICA, pipeline carriers, representatives or agents of carriers, receivers, trustees, or agents of the above are currently subject to a civil penalty for knowing or neglectful failure to comply with orders issued by the Commission under sections 3 (prohibiting undue or unreasonable preferences, advantages, discrimination, or disadvantages), 13 (concerning Commission investigations and power to set aside, after full hearing, any ‘‘rate, fare, charge, classification, regulation, or practice caus[ing] any undue or reasonable advantage, preference, or prejudice . . . .’’), or 15 (empowering the Commission, after full hearing, to set aside any rate, fare, or charge that ‘‘is or will be unjust or unreasonable or unjustly discriminatory or unduly preferential or prejudicial, or otherwise in violation of any provisions of [the ICA]’’).34 Congress initially established this civil monetary penalty in 1910 at $5,000 per offense, per day,35 and it has not been adjusted since. Inflation during the relevant period was 2,254.832 percent—percentage by which the CPI– U for October of the prior year (October 2015, for which the CPI–U=237.838) exceeds the CPI–U for October 1914 (for which the CPI–U=10.1).36 However, the 2015 Adjustment Act caps civil monetary penalty increases at 150 percent, so the resulting increase is $7,500 and the resulting civil monetary penalty is $12,500 per day. 15. Under section 19a(k) of the ICA, pipeline carriers, receivers of pipeline carriers, and operating trustees are currently subject to a civil penalty for their failure to comply with Commission’s requirements to provide information, or to provide access, in connection with the Commission’s valuation of a pipeline carrier’s property under section 19(a) of the ICA.37 Congress established this civil monetary penalty in 1913 at $500 per offense, per day,38 and it has not been adjusted since. Inflation during the relevant period was 2,254.832 percent— percentage by which the CPI–U for October of the prior year (October 2015, for which the CPI–U=237.838) exceeds the CPI–U for October 1914 (for which the CPI–U=10.1).39 However, the 2015 Adjustment Act caps civil monetary penalty increases at 150 percent, so the resulting increase is $750 and the resulting civil monetary penalty is $1,250 per offense, per day. 16. Under section 20(7)(a) of the ICA, pipeline carriers and their lessors are currently subject to a civil penalty for their failure to keep or submit certain accounts, records, or memoranda required by the Commission under authority granted in section 20 of the ICA.40 Congress last adjusted this civil monetary penalty in 1940 at $500 per offense, per day,41 and it has not been adjusted since. Inflation during the relevant period was 1,598.843 percent— percentage by which the CPI–U for October of the prior year (October 2015, for which the CPI–U=237.838) exceeds the CPI–U for October of the year in which the civil monetary penalty was last set or adjusted (October 1940, for which the CPI–U=14).42 However, the 2015 Adjustment Act caps civil monetary penalty increases at 150 percent, so the resulting increase is $750 and the resulting civil monetary penalty is $1,250 per offense, per day. 17. The preceding adjustments are reflected in the following table: Source Existing maximum civil monetary penalty 16 U.S.C. 825o–1(b), Sec. 316A of the Federal Power Act. 16 U.S.C. 823b(c), Sec. 31(c) of the Federal Power Act. ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES 43939 $1,000,000 per violation, per day .................... $1,193,970 per violation, per day. $11,000 per violation, per day ......................... $21,563 per violation, per day. 30 See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI–U): U.S. City Average, All Items— Continued, at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf (last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6. The Office of Management and Budget has instructed agencies to use the CPI–U for 1914 when calculating the inflation multiplier for penalties established or last adjusted prior to 1914. See Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6. 31 49 App. U.S.C. 6(10) (1988). 32 36 Stat. 539, 548 (codified at 49 App. U.S.C. 6(10) (1988). 33 See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI–U): U.S. City Average, All Items— Continued, at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf (last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, Office of Management and Budget, Implementation of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements VerDate Sep<11>2014 12:09 Jul 05, 2016 Jkt 238001 Act of 2015, 6 (Feb. 24, 2016). The Office of Management and Budget has instructed agencies to use the CPI–U for 1914 when calculating the inflation multiplier for penalties established or last adjusted prior to 1914. See Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6. 34 49 App. U.S.C. 16(8) (1988). 35 36 Stat. 539, 554 (codified at 49 App. U.S.C. 16(8) (1988)). 36 See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI–U): U.S. City Average, All Items— Continued, at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf (last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6. The Office of Management and Budget has instructed agencies to use the CPI–U for 1914 when calculating the inflation multiplier for penalties established or last adjusted prior to 1914. See Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6. 37 49 App. U.S.C. 19a(k) (1988). PO 00000 Frm 00013 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 New adjusted civil monetary penalty 38 37 Stat. 701, 703 (codified at 49 App. U.S.C. 19a(k) (1988)). 39 See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI–U): U.S. City Average, All Items— Continued, at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf (last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6. The Office of Management and Budget has instructed agencies to use the CPI–U for 1914 when calculating the inflation multiplier for penalties established or last adjusted prior to 1914. See Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6. 40 49 App. U.S.C. 20(7)(a) (1988). 41 54 Stat. 916, 918 (codified at 49 App. U.S.C. 20(7)(a) (1988)). 42 See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI–U): U.S. City Average, All Items— Continued, at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf (last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6. E:\FR\FM\06JYR1.SGM 06JYR1 43940 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 129 / Wednesday, July 6, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Source Existing maximum civil monetary penalty 16 U.S.C. 825n(a), Sec. 315(a) of the Federal Power Act. 15 U.S.C. 717t–1, Sec. 22 of the Natural Gas Act. 15 U.S.C. 3414(b)(6)(A)(i), Sec. 504(b)(6)(A)(i) of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978. 49 App. U.S.C. 6(10) (1988), Sec. 6(10) of the Interstate Commerce Act. 49 App. U.S.C. 16(8) (1988), Sec. 16(8) of the Interstate Commerce Act. 49 App. U.S.C. 19a(k) (1988), Sec. 19a(k) of the Interstate Commerce Act. 49 App. U.S.C. 20(7)(a) (1988), Sec. 20(7)(a) of the Interstate Commerce Act. $ 1,100 per violation ........................................ $2,750 per violation. $1,000,000 per violation, per day .................... $1,193,970 per violation, per day. $1,000,000 per violation, per day .................... $1,193,970 per violation, per day. $500 per offense and $25 per day after the first day. $5,000 per violation, per day ........................... $1,250 per offense and $62.50 per day after the first day. $12,500 per violation, per day. $500 per offense, per day ............................... $1,250 per offense, per day. $500 per offense, per day ............................... $1,250 per offense, per day. III. Administrative Findings 18. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, a final rule may be issued without prior public notice and comment if the agency finds that notice and comment are impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.43 The Commission finds that prior notice and comment for this rulemaking would be impractical, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest. The Commission is required by law to adopt an interim final rule adjusting its civil monetary penalties for inflation. Moreover, the formula for the civil monetary penalty adjustment is prescribed by Congress and is not subject to the Commission’s discretion. Because the Commission is required by law to undertake these inflation adjustments, and because the Commission lacks discretion with respect to the method and amount of the adjustments, prior notice and comment would be impractical, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest. ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES IV. Regulatory Flexibility Statement 19. The Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, requires agencies to certify that rules promulgated under their authority will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses.44 The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act apply only to rules promulgated following notice and comment.45 The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act do not apply to this rulemaking because the Commission is issuing this interim final rule without notice and comment. V. Paperwork Reduction Act 20. This rule does not require the collection of information. The Commission is therefore not required to submit this rule for review to the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.46 VI. Document Availability 21. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and print the contents of this document via the Internet through the Commission’s Home Page (http:// www.ferc.gov) and in the Commission’s Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426. 22. From the Commission’s Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number (excluding the last three digits) in the docket number field. 23. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission’s Web site during normal business hours from the Commission’s Online Support at 202– 502–6652 (toll free at 1–866–208–3676) or email at ferconlinesupport@ferc.gov, or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502–8371, TTY (202) 502–8659, public.referenceroom@ferc.gov. 18 CFR Part 250 Natural gas, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. 18 CFR Part 385 Administrative practice and procedure, Electric power, Penalties, Pipelines, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. By the Commission. Issued: June 29, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary. In consideration of the foregoing, the Commission amends parts 250 and 385, Chapter I, Title 18, Code of Federal Regulations as follows: PART 250—FORMS 24. For the same reasons the Commission has determined that public notice and comment are unnecessary, impractical, and contrary to the public interest, the Commission finds good cause to adopt an effective date that is less than 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act,47 and therefore, the Authority: 15 U.S.C. 717–717w, 3301– 3432; 42 U.S.C. 7101–7352; 28 U.S.C. 2461 note. 46 44 47 5 Jkt 238001 List of Subjects ■ U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B). 44 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq. 45 5 U.S.C. 603, 604. 12:09 Jul 05, 2016 regulation is effective upon publication in the Federal Register. 25. The Commission has determined, with the concurrence of the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of the Office of Management and Budget, that this rule is not a ‘‘major rule’’ as defined in section 351 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This Final Rule is being submitted to the Senate, House, and Government Accountability Office. VII. Effective Date and Congressional Notification 43 5 VerDate Sep<11>2014 New adjusted civil monetary penalty PO 00000 U.S.C. 3507(d). U.S.C. 553(d)(3). Frm 00014 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 1. The authority citation for part 250 is revised to read as follows: 2. Amend § 250.16 by revising paragraph (e)(1) to read as follows: ■ § 250.16 Format of compliance plan transportation services and affiliate transactions. * * * * * (e) Penalty for failure to comply. (1) Any person who transports gas for others pursuant to Subparts B or G of E:\FR\FM\06JYR1.SGM 06JYR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 129 / Wednesday, July 6, 2016 / Rules and Regulations Part 284 of this chapter and who knowingly violates the requirements of §§ 358.4 and 358.5, § 250.16, or § 284.13 of this chapter will be subject, pursuant to sections 311(c), 501, and 504(b)(6) of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, to a civil penalty, which the Commission may assess, of not more than $1,193,970 for any one violation. * * * * * PART 385—RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE 3. The authority citation for part 385 is revised to read as follows: ■ (e) 15 U.S.C. 717t–1, Natural Gas Act: $1,193,970 per day. (f) 49 App. U.S.C. 6(10) (1988), Interstate Commerce Act: $1,250 per offense and $62.50 per day after the first day. (g) 49 App. U.S.C. 16(8) (1988), Interstate Commerce Act: $12,500 per day. (h) 49 App. U.S.C. 19a(k) (1988), Interstate Commerce Act: $1,250 per day. (i) 49 App. U.S.C. 20(7)(a) (1988), Interstate Commerce Act: $1,250 per day. [FR Doc. 2016–15947 Filed 7–5–16; 8:45 am] Authority: 5 U.S.C. 551–557; 15 U.S.C. 717–717z, 3301–3432; 16 U.S.C. 791a–825v, 2601–2645; 28 U.S.C. 2461; 31 U.S.C. 3701, 9701; 42 U.S.C. 7101–7352, 16441, 16451– 16463; 49 U.S.C. 60502; 49 App. U.S.C. 1–85 (1988); 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (1990); 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (2015). BILLING CODE 6717–01–P 4. Revise § 385.1504(a) to read as follows: 25 CFR Part 575 ■ § 385.1504 1504). Scope and purpose (Rule ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES § 385.1602 Civil penalties, as adjusted (Rule 1602). The current inflation-adjusted civil monetary penalties provided by law within the jurisdiction of the Commission are: (a) 15 U.S.C. 3414(b)(6)(A)(i), Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978: $1,193,970 per day. (b) 16 U.S.C. 823b(c), Federal Power Act: $21,563 per day. (c) 16 U.S.C. 825n(a), Federal Power Act: $2,750. (d) 16 U.S.C. 825o–1(b), Federal Power Act: $1,193,970 per day. 12:09 Jul 05, 2016 Jkt 238001 National Indian Gaming Commission. ACTION: Interim final rule. AGENCY: The purpose of this subpart is to make inflation adjustments to the civil monetary penalties provided by law within the jurisdiction of the Commission. These penalties shall be subject to review and adjustment as necessary at least every year in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. ■ 6. Revise § 385.1602 to read as follows: VerDate Sep<11>2014 National Indian Gaming Commission Civil Penalty Inflation Adjustment Maximum civil penalty (Rule (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the Commission may assess a civil penalty of up to $21,563 for each day that the violation continues. * * * * * ■ 5. Revise § 385.1601 to read as follows: § 385.1601 1601). DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR In compliance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance, this rule adjusts the level of the civil monetary penalty, contained in the National Indian Gaming Commission’s (NIGC or Commission) regulation, with an initial ‘‘catch-up’’ adjustment. DATES: This interim final rule will have an effective date of August 1, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact Armando J. Acosta, Senior Attorney, Office of General Counsel, National Indian Gaming Commission, at (202) 632–7003; fax (202) 632–7066 (not toll-free numbers). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Background On November 2, 2015, the President signed into law the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Sec. 701 of Pub. L. 114–74) (the Act). The Act requires federal agencies to adjust the level of civil monetary penalties with an initial ‘‘catch-up’’ adjustment through an interim final rulemaking and then make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation. A civil monetary penalty is any assessment with a dollar amount that is levied for a violation of a federal civil statute or regulation, and is assessed or enforceable through a civil action in federal court or an administrative proceeding. PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 43941 II. Calculation of Adjustment The OMB issued guidance on calculating the catch-up adjustment. See February 24, 2016, Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, from Shaun Donovan, Director, Office of Management and Budget, Subject: Implementation of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. Under this guidance, the Commission has identified one applicable civil monetary penalty and calculated the catch-up adjustment. This rule adjusts the level of the civil monetary penalty contained in 25 CFR 575.4 (‘‘The Chairman may assess a civil fine, not to exceed $25,000 per violation, against a tribe, management contractor, or individual operating Indian gaming for each notice of violation . . .’’). The OMB provided to agencies a table of multipliers to adjust the penalty level based on the year that the penalty was established or last adjusted by statute or regulation. The multiplier for 1988 (when the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was enacted) is 1.97869 ($25,000 × 1.97869 = $49,467). III. Regulatory Matters Regulatory Planning and Review This interim final rule is not a significant rule and OMB has reviewed this rule under Executive Order 12866. This rule provides an initial catch-up adjustment of penalties to account for inflation. (1) This rule will not have an effect of $100 million or more on the economy or will not adversely affect, in a material way, the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or state, local, or tribal governments or communities. (2) This rule will not create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency. (3) This rule does not involve entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights or obligations of recipients. (4) This regulatory change does not raise novel legal or policy issues. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Commission certifies that this document will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) because the rule makes adjustments for inflation. E:\FR\FM\06JYR1.SGM 06JYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 129 (Wednesday, July 6, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 43937-43941]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-15947]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

18 CFR Parts 250 and 385

[Docket No. RM16-16-000; Order No. 826]


Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustments

AGENCY: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

ACTION: Interim final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is 
issuing an interim final rule to amend its regulations governing the 
maximum civil monetary penalties assessable for violations of statutes, 
rules, and orders within the Commission's jurisdiction. The Federal 
Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended most 
recently by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act 
Improvements Act of 2015, requires the Commission to issue this interim 
final rule.

DATES: Effective Date: This interim final rule is effective July 6, 
2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Todd Hettenbach, Attorney, Office of 
Enforcement, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street 
NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8794, Todd.Hettenbach@ferc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Order No. 826

Interim Final Rule

    1. In this interim final rule, the Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission (Commission) is complying with its statutory obligation to 
amend the civil monetary penalties provided by law for matters within 
the agency's jurisdiction.

I. Background

    2. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act 
Improvements Act of 2015 (2015 Adjustment Act),\1\ which further 
amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 
(1990 Adjustment Act),\2\ requires the head of each federal agency to 
issue an ``interim final rule'' by July 1, 2016 adjusting for inflation 
each ``civil monetary penalty'' provided by law within the agency's 
jurisdiction. The agency must then update each such civil monetary 
penalty on an annual basis every January 15 thereafter.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Sec. 701, Public Law 114-74, 129 Stat. 584, 599.
    \2\ Public Law 101-410, 104 Stat. 890 (codified as amended at 28 
U.S.C. 2461 note).
    \3\ 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, at (4).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Discussion

    3. The 2015 Adjustment Act defines a civil monetary penalty as any 
penalty, fine, or other sanction that: (A)(i) Is for a specific 
monetary amount as provided by federal law or (ii) has a maximum amount 
provided for by federal law; (B) is assessed or enforced by an agency 
pursuant to federal law; and (C) is assessed or enforced pursuant to an 
administrative proceeding or a civil action in the federal courts.\4\ 
This definition applies to the maximum civil penalties that may be 
imposed under the Federal Power Act (FPA),\5\ the Natural Gas Act 
(NGA),\6\ the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978 (NGPA),\7\ and the 
Interstate Commerce Act (ICA).\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Id. (3).
    \5\ 16 U.S.C. 791a et seq.
    \6\ 15 U.S.C. 717 et seq.
    \7\ 15 U.S.C. 3301 et seq.
    \8\ 49 App. U.S.C. 1 et seq. (1988).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    4. Under the 2015 Adjustment Act, for the initial adjustment, the 
first step for such adjustment of a civil monetary penalty for 
inflation requires determining the percentage by which the U.S. 
Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index for all-urban consumers 
(CPI-U) for October of the preceding year exceeds the CPI-U for October 
of the year in which the civil monetary penalty was last set or 
adjusted under a provision of law other than the 1990 and 2015 
Adjustment Acts.\9\ The Office of Management and Budget has instructed 
agencies to use the CPI-U for 1914 when calculating the inflation 
multiplier for penalties established or last adjusted prior to 
1914.\10\ Adjustments previously made for inflation pursuant to the 
1990 Adjustment Act must be excluded.\11\ The first adjustment, which 
is the subject of the present interim final rule, is limited to 150 
percent of the civil monetary penalty that was in effect on November 2, 
2015.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \9\ 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, at (5)(b)..
    \10\ See Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, Office of Management and 
Budget, Implementation of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation 
Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, 6 (Feb. 24, 2016).
    \11\ Id. (5)(b)(2)(A).
    \12\ Id. (5)(b)(2)(C).

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

[[Page 43938]]

    5. The second step requires multiplying the CPI-U percentage 
increase by the applicable November 2, 2015 civil monetary penalty.\13\ 
This step results in a base penalty increase amount.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ Id. (5)(a).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    6. The third step requires rounding the base penalty increase 
amount to the nearest dollar.\14\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    7. Under the 2015 Adjustment Act, an agency is directed to use the 
civil monetary penalty applicable at the time of assessment of a civil 
penalty, regardless of the date on which the violation occurred.\15\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ Id. (6).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    8. The Commission currently has civil monetary penalty authority of 
up to $1,000,000 per violation, per day under section 316A(b) of the 
FPA.\16\ This civil monetary penalty applies to violations of 
provisions of Part II of the FPA and to violations of rules and orders 
promulgated pursuant to Part II of the FPA. Congress increased this 
Civil Monetary Penalty in 2005 from $10,000 to $1,000,000, and it 
expanded the scope of conduct to which the penalty applies. The 
Commission has not adjusted this civil monetary penalty for inflation. 
Inflation during the relevant period was 19.397 percent \17\--the 
percentage by which the CPI-U for October of the prior year (October 
2015, for which the CPI-U=237.838) exceeds the CPI-U for October of the 
year in which the Civil Monetary Penalty was last set or adjusted 
(October 2005, for which the CPI-U=199.2). The resulting civil monetary 
penalty is $1,193,970.\18\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ 16 U.S.C. 825o-1(b).
    \17\ See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical 
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. City 
Average, All Items--Continued, http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf 
(last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from Shaun 
Donovan, at 6.
    \18\ The Commission may impose a penalty against a user, owner, 
or operator of the bulk-power system for a violation of a 
reliability standard pursuant to FPA section 215(c)(3), 16 U.S.C. 
824o(c)(3). The Commission concluded in 2006 that FPA section 316A 
establishes the limit on such monetary penalties. See Rule 
Concerning Certification of the Electric Reliability Organization, 
and Procedures for the Establishment, Approval, and Enforcement of 
Electric Reliability Standards, Order No. 672, 71 FR 8662, 8711 
(Feb. 17, 2006).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    9. The Commission currently has civil monetary penalty authority of 
$11,000 per violation, per day under section 31(c) of the FPA.\19\ This 
civil monetary penalty applies to licensees, permittees, and exemptees 
who: (a) Violate or fail or refuse to comply with any rule or 
regulation issued under Part I of the FPA; (b) violate or fail or 
refuse to comply with any term or condition of a license, permit, or 
exemption under Part I of the FPA; or (c) violate or fail or refuse to 
comply with any order issued pursuant to the Commission's authority to 
monitor and investigate licenses and permits issued under Part I of the 
FPA. Congress established this civil monetary penalty at $10,000 in 
1986.\20\ The only time that the Commission adjusted this civil 
monetary penalty was in 2002, when it increased the civil monetary 
penalty from $10,000 to $11,000 to account for inflation pursuant to 
the 1990 Adjustment Act.\21\ According to the 2015 Adjustment Act, 
however, the Commission must disregard such increases made pursuant to 
the 1990 Adjustment Act. Inflation between October 1986 and October 
2015 was 115.628 percent--the percentage by which the CPI-U for October 
of the prior year (October 2015, for which the CPI-U=237.838) exceeds 
the CPI-U for October of the year in which the civil monetary penalty 
was last set or adjusted for purposes of the 2015 Adjustment Act 
(October 1986, for which the CPI-U=110.3).\22\ The resulting increase 
rounded to the nearest dollar is $11,563, and the resulting civil 
monetary penalty is $21,563.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ 16 U.S.C. 823b(c); 18 CFR 385.1602(b).
    \20\ Electric Consumers Protection Act of 1986, Section 12(c), 
Pub. L. 99-495, 100 Stat 1243.
    \21\ Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule, Order No. 
692, 67 FR 52410, 52412 (Aug. 12, 2002) (renumbered from Order No. 
890).
    \22\ See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical 
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. City 
Average, All Items--Continued, http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf 
(last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from Shaun 
Donovan, at 6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    10. Under section 315(a) of the FPA, public utilities or licensees 
are currently subject to civil forfeiture for any willful failure to: 
Comply with any order of the Commission; file any report required under 
the FPA or any rule or regulation promulgated pursuant to the FPA; 
submit any information or document required by the Commission in the 
course of an investigation conducted under the FPA; or to appear at any 
hearing or investigation in response to a subpoena issued under the 
FPA.\23\ Congress established this civil monetary penalty at $1,000 in 
1935.\24\ The only time that the Commission adjusted it was in 2002, 
when the Commission increased the civil monetary penalty from $1,000 to 
$1,100 to account for inflation pursuant to the 1990 Adjustment 
Act.\25\ The Commission must disregard such increases made pursuant to 
the 1990 Adjustment Act. Inflation during the relevant period was 
1,636.044 percent--the percentage by which the CPI-U for October of the 
prior year (October 2015, for which the CPI-U=237.838) exceeds the CPI-
U for October of the year in which the Civil Monetary Penalty was last 
set or adjusted (October 1935, for which the CPI-U=13.7).\26\ However, 
the 2015 Adjustment Act caps civil monetary penalty increases at 150 
percent, so the resulting increase is $1,750 and the resulting civil 
monetary penalty is $2,750.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ 16 U.S.C. 825n(a); 18 CFR 385.1602(c).
    \24\ 49 Stat. 803, 861 (codified at 16 U.S.C. 825n(a)).
    \25\ Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment Rule, 67 FR at 
52412.
    \26\ See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical 
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. City 
Average, All Items--Continued, http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf 
(last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from Shaun 
Donovan, at 6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    11. The Commission currently has civil monetary penalty authority 
of $1,000,000 per violation, per day under section 22 of the NGA.\27\ 
This civil monetary penalty applies to violations of the NGA, and to 
violations of rules, regulations, restrictions, conditions, and orders 
promulgated pursuant to the NGA. Congress established this civil 
monetary penalty in 2005, and neither the Commission nor Congress has 
adjusted it for inflation. Inflation during the relevant period was 
19.397 percent--the percentage by which the CPI-U for October of the 
prior year (October 2015, for which the CPI-U=237.838) exceeds the CPI-
U for October of the year in which the civil monetary penalty was last 
set or adjusted (October 2005, for which the CPI-U=199.2).\28\ The 
resulting civil monetary penalty is $1,193,970.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ 15 U.S.C. 717t-1.
    \28\ See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical 
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. City 
Average, All Items--Continued, http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf 
(last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from Shaun 
Donovan, at 6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    12. The Commission currently has civil monetary penalty authority 
of $1,000,000 per violation, per day, under section 504(b)(6)(A)(i) of 
the NGPA.\29\ This civil monetary penalty applies to violations of any 
provision of the NGPA and to violations of any rule or order issued 
under the NGPA, including 18 CFR 358.4, 358.5, 250.16, and 284.13. 
Congress increased this Civil Monetary Penalty in 2005 from $5,000 to 
$1,000,000, and the Commission has not adjusted it since. Nor has it 
made conforming changes to one of its regulations, 18 CFR 250.16(e), to 
reflect the statutory increase of this civil monetary penalty. 
Inflation during the relevant period was 19.397 percent--the percentage 
by which the CPI-U for October of the prior year

[[Page 43939]]

(October 2015, for which the CPI-U=237.838) exceeds the CPI-U for 
October of the year in which the civil monetary penalty was last set or 
adjusted (October 2005, for which the CPI-U=199.2).\30\ The resulting 
civil monetary penalty is $1,193,970.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ 15 U.S.C. 3414(b)(6)(A)(i).
    \30\ See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical 
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. City 
Average, All Items--Continued, at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf (last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from 
Shaun Donovan, at 6. The Office of Management and Budget has 
instructed agencies to use the CPI-U for 1914 when calculating the 
inflation multiplier for penalties established or last adjusted 
prior to 1914. See Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    13. Under section 6(10) of the ICA, pipeline carriers, receivers, 
and trustees are currently subject to a civil penalty for failure or 
refusal to comply with regulations or orders concerning posting and 
filing rate schedules issued by the Commission under section 6 of the 
ICA.\31\ Congress established this civil monetary penalty in 1910 at 
$500 per offense and $25 per day after the first day,\32\ and that 
penalty has not been adjusted since. Inflation during the relevant 
period was 2,254.832 percent--the percentage by which the CPI-U for 
October of the prior year (October 2015, for which the CPI-U=237.838) 
exceeds the CPI-U for October 1914 (for which the CPI-U=10.1).\33\ 
However, the 2015 Adjustment Act caps civil monetary penalty increases 
at 150 percent, so the base penalty increase is $750, and the per day 
increase is $37.50. The resulting civil monetary penalty is $1250 per 
offense and $62.50 per day after the first day.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ 49 App. U.S.C. 6(10) (1988).
    \32\ 36 Stat. 539, 548 (codified at 49 App. U.S.C. 6(10) (1988).
    \33\ See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical 
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. City 
Average, All Items--Continued, at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf (last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from 
Shaun Donovan, Office of Management and Budget, Implementation of 
the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements 
Act of 2015, 6 (Feb. 24, 2016). The Office of Management and Budget 
has instructed agencies to use the CPI-U for 1914 when calculating 
the inflation multiplier for penalties established or last adjusted 
prior to 1914. See Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    14. Under section 16(8) of the ICA, pipeline carriers, 
representatives or agents of carriers, receivers, trustees, or agents 
of the above are currently subject to a civil penalty for knowing or 
neglectful failure to comply with orders issued by the Commission under 
sections 3 (prohibiting undue or unreasonable preferences, advantages, 
discrimination, or disadvantages), 13 (concerning Commission 
investigations and power to set aside, after full hearing, any ``rate, 
fare, charge, classification, regulation, or practice caus[ing] any 
undue or reasonable advantage, preference, or prejudice . . . .''), or 
15 (empowering the Commission, after full hearing, to set aside any 
rate, fare, or charge that ``is or will be unjust or unreasonable or 
unjustly discriminatory or unduly preferential or prejudicial, or 
otherwise in violation of any provisions of [the ICA]'').\34\ Congress 
initially established this civil monetary penalty in 1910 at $5,000 per 
offense, per day,\35\ and it has not been adjusted since. Inflation 
during the relevant period was 2,254.832 percent--percentage by which 
the CPI-U for October of the prior year (October 2015, for which the 
CPI-U=237.838) exceeds the CPI-U for October 1914 (for which the CPI-
U=10.1).\36\ However, the 2015 Adjustment Act caps civil monetary 
penalty increases at 150 percent, so the resulting increase is $7,500 
and the resulting civil monetary penalty is $12,500 per day.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ 49 App. U.S.C. 16(8) (1988).
    \35\ 36 Stat. 539, 554 (codified at 49 App. U.S.C. 16(8) 
(1988)).
    \36\ See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical 
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. City 
Average, All Items--Continued, at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf (last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from 
Shaun Donovan, at 6. The Office of Management and Budget has 
instructed agencies to use the CPI-U for 1914 when calculating the 
inflation multiplier for penalties established or last adjusted 
prior to 1914. See Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    15. Under section 19a(k) of the ICA, pipeline carriers, receivers 
of pipeline carriers, and operating trustees are currently subject to a 
civil penalty for their failure to comply with Commission's 
requirements to provide information, or to provide access, in 
connection with the Commission's valuation of a pipeline carrier's 
property under section 19(a) of the ICA.\37\ Congress established this 
civil monetary penalty in 1913 at $500 per offense, per day,\38\ and it 
has not been adjusted since. Inflation during the relevant period was 
2,254.832 percent--percentage by which the CPI-U for October of the 
prior year (October 2015, for which the CPI-U=237.838) exceeds the CPI-
U for October 1914 (for which the CPI-U=10.1).\39\ However, the 2015 
Adjustment Act caps civil monetary penalty increases at 150 percent, so 
the resulting increase is $750 and the resulting civil monetary penalty 
is $1,250 per offense, per day.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ 49 App. U.S.C. 19a(k) (1988).
    \38\ 37 Stat. 701, 703 (codified at 49 App. U.S.C. 19a(k) 
(1988)).
    \39\ See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical 
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. City 
Average, All Items--Continued, at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf (last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from 
Shaun Donovan, at 6. The Office of Management and Budget has 
instructed agencies to use the CPI-U for 1914 when calculating the 
inflation multiplier for penalties established or last adjusted 
prior to 1914. See Memorandum from Shaun Donovan, at 6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    16. Under section 20(7)(a) of the ICA, pipeline carriers and their 
lessors are currently subject to a civil penalty for their failure to 
keep or submit certain accounts, records, or memoranda required by the 
Commission under authority granted in section 20 of the ICA.\40\ 
Congress last adjusted this civil monetary penalty in 1940 at $500 per 
offense, per day,\41\ and it has not been adjusted since. Inflation 
during the relevant period was 1,598.843 percent--percentage by which 
the CPI-U for October of the prior year (October 2015, for which the 
CPI-U=237.838) exceeds the CPI-U for October of the year in which the 
civil monetary penalty was last set or adjusted (October 1940, for 
which the CPI-U=14).\42\ However, the 2015 Adjustment Act caps civil 
monetary penalty increases at 150 percent, so the resulting increase is 
$750 and the resulting civil monetary penalty is $1,250 per offense, 
per day.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ 49 App. U.S.C. 20(7)(a) (1988).
    \41\ 54 Stat. 916, 918 (codified at 49 App. U.S.C. 20(7)(a) 
(1988)).
    \42\ See Bureau of Labor Statistics, Table 24. Historical 
Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. City 
Average, All Items--Continued, at http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpid1602.pdf (last visited March 22, 2016); see also Memorandum from 
Shaun Donovan, at 6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    17. The preceding adjustments are reflected in the following table:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                Existing maximum
           Source                civil  monetary     New adjusted civil
                                     penalty          monetary penalty
------------------------------------------------------------------------
16 U.S.C. 825o-1(b), Sec.     $1,000,000 per        $1,193,970 per
 316A of the Federal Power     violation, per day.   violation, per day.
 Act.
16 U.S.C. 823b(c), Sec.       $11,000 per           $21,563 per
 31(c) of the Federal Power    violation, per day.   violation, per day.
 Act.

[[Page 43940]]

 
16 U.S.C. 825n(a), Sec.       $ 1,100 per           $2,750 per
 315(a) of the Federal Power   violation.            violation.
 Act.
15 U.S.C. 717t-1, Sec. 22 of  $1,000,000 per        $1,193,970 per
 the Natural Gas Act.          violation, per day.   violation, per day.
15 U.S.C. 3414(b)(6)(A)(i),   $1,000,000 per        $1,193,970 per
 Sec. 504(b)(6)(A)(i) of the   violation, per day.   violation, per day.
 Natural Gas Policy Act of
 1978.
49 App. U.S.C. 6(10) (1988),  $500 per offense and  $1,250 per offense
 Sec. 6(10) of the             $25 per day after     and $62.50 per day
 Interstate Commerce Act.      the first day.        after the first
                                                     day.
49 App. U.S.C. 16(8) (1988),  $5,000 per            $12,500 per
 Sec. 16(8) of the             violation, per day.   violation, per day.
 Interstate Commerce Act.
49 App. U.S.C. 19a(k)         $500 per offense,     $1,250 per offense,
 (1988), Sec. 19a(k) of the    per day.              per day.
 Interstate Commerce Act.
49 App. U.S.C. 20(7)(a)       $500 per offense,     $1,250 per offense,
 (1988), Sec. 20(7)(a) of      per day.              per day.
 the Interstate Commerce Act.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

III. Administrative Findings

    18. Under the Administrative Procedure Act, a final rule may be 
issued without prior public notice and comment if the agency finds that 
notice and comment are impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the 
public interest.\43\ The Commission finds that prior notice and comment 
for this rulemaking would be impractical, unnecessary, and contrary to 
the public interest. The Commission is required by law to adopt an 
interim final rule adjusting its civil monetary penalties for 
inflation. Moreover, the formula for the civil monetary penalty 
adjustment is prescribed by Congress and is not subject to the 
Commission's discretion. Because the Commission is required by law to 
undertake these inflation adjustments, and because the Commission lacks 
discretion with respect to the method and amount of the adjustments, 
prior notice and comment would be impractical, unnecessary, and 
contrary to the public interest.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Statement

    19. The Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, requires agencies 
to certify that rules promulgated under their authority will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
businesses.\44\ The requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act 
apply only to rules promulgated following notice and comment.\45\ The 
requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act do not apply to this 
rulemaking because the Commission is issuing this interim final rule 
without notice and comment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \44\ 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.
    \45\ 5 U.S.C. 603, 604.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

V. Paperwork Reduction Act

    20. This rule does not require the collection of information. The 
Commission is therefore not required to submit this rule for review to 
the Office of Management and Budget pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995.\46\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ 44 U.S.C. 3507(d).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

VI. Document Availability

    21. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the 
Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an 
opportunity to view and print the contents of this document via the 
Internet through the Commission's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and 
in the Commission's Public Reference Room during normal business hours 
(8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, 
Washington, DC 20426.
    22. From the Commission's Home Page on the Internet, this 
information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is 
available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, 
printing, and downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type 
the docket number (excluding the last three digits) in the docket 
number field.
    23. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's 
Web site during normal business hours from the Commission's Online 
Support at 202-502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at 
ferconlinesupport@ferc.gov, or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-
8371, TTY (202) 502-8659, public.referenceroom@ferc.gov.

VII. Effective Date and Congressional Notification

    24. For the same reasons the Commission has determined that public 
notice and comment are unnecessary, impractical, and contrary to the 
public interest, the Commission finds good cause to adopt an effective 
date that is less than 30 days after the date of publication in the 
Federal Register pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act,\47\ and 
therefore, the regulation is effective upon publication in the Federal 
Register.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    25. The Commission has determined, with the concurrence of the 
Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs of 
the Office of Management and Budget, that this rule is not a ``major 
rule'' as defined in section 351 of the Small Business Regulatory 
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. This Final Rule is being submitted to 
the Senate, House, and Government Accountability Office.

List of Subjects

18 CFR Part 250

    Natural gas, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

18 CFR Part 385

    Administrative practice and procedure, Electric power, Penalties, 
Pipelines, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    By the Commission.

    Issued: June 29, 2016.
Kimberly D. Bose,
Secretary.

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Commission amends parts 250 
and 385, Chapter I, Title 18, Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 250--FORMS

0
1. The authority citation for part 250 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 717-717w, 3301-3432; 42 U.S.C. 7101-7352; 
28 U.S.C. 2461 note.


0
2. Amend Sec.  250.16 by revising paragraph (e)(1) to read as follows:


Sec.  250.16  Format of compliance plan transportation services and 
affiliate transactions.

* * * * *
    (e) Penalty for failure to comply. (1) Any person who transports 
gas for others pursuant to Subparts B or G of

[[Page 43941]]

Part 284 of this chapter and who knowingly violates the requirements of 
Sec. Sec.  358.4 and 358.5, Sec.  250.16, or Sec.  284.13 of this 
chapter will be subject, pursuant to sections 311(c), 501, and 
504(b)(6) of the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, to a civil penalty, 
which the Commission may assess, of not more than $1,193,970 for any 
one violation.
* * * * *

PART 385--RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

0
3. The authority citation for part 385 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 551-557; 15 U.S.C. 717-717z, 3301-3432; 16 
U.S.C. 791a-825v, 2601-2645; 28 U.S.C. 2461; 31 U.S.C. 3701, 9701; 
42 U.S.C. 7101-7352, 16441, 16451-16463; 49 U.S.C. 60502; 49 App. 
U.S.C. 1-85 (1988); 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (1990); 28 U.S.C. 2461 note 
(2015).


0
4. Revise Sec.  385.1504(a) to read as follows:


Sec.  385.1504  Maximum civil penalty (Rule 1504).

    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the 
Commission may assess a civil penalty of up to $21,563 for each day 
that the violation continues.
* * * * *

0
5. Revise Sec.  385.1601 to read as follows:


Sec.  385.1601  Scope and purpose (Rule 1601).

    The purpose of this subpart is to make inflation adjustments to the 
civil monetary penalties provided by law within the jurisdiction of the 
Commission. These penalties shall be subject to review and adjustment 
as necessary at least every year in accordance with the Federal Civil 
Penalties Inflation Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil 
Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.

0
6. Revise Sec.  385.1602 to read as follows:


Sec.  385.1602  Civil penalties, as adjusted (Rule 1602).

    The current inflation-adjusted civil monetary penalties provided by 
law within the jurisdiction of the Commission are:
    (a) 15 U.S.C. 3414(b)(6)(A)(i), Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978: 
$1,193,970 per day.
    (b) 16 U.S.C. 823b(c), Federal Power Act: $21,563 per day.
    (c) 16 U.S.C. 825n(a), Federal Power Act: $2,750.
    (d) 16 U.S.C. 825o-1(b), Federal Power Act: $1,193,970 per day.
    (e) 15 U.S.C. 717t-1, Natural Gas Act: $1,193,970 per day.
    (f) 49 App. U.S.C. 6(10) (1988), Interstate Commerce Act: $1,250 
per offense and $62.50 per day after the first day.
    (g) 49 App. U.S.C. 16(8) (1988), Interstate Commerce Act: $12,500 
per day.
    (h) 49 App. U.S.C. 19a(k) (1988), Interstate Commerce Act: $1,250 
per day.
    (i) 49 App. U.S.C. 20(7)(a) (1988), Interstate Commerce Act: $1,250 
per day.

[FR Doc. 2016-15947 Filed 7-5-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P