Pipeline Safety: Inflation Adjustment of Maximum Civil Penalties, 19325-19328 [2017-08530]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 80 / Thursday, April 27, 2017 / Rules and Regulations attractive when these services are interoperable than when they are not interoperable. These benefits outweigh any burdens associated with compliance. Moreover, because all of the VRS providers participated in the discussions associated with the development of the standards, the Bureau believes that these standards are acceptable to all VRS providers, including small entities. Further, to minimize any adverse impact on VRS providers, the Bureau adopted an alternative that narrows the scope of application of the technical standard for the interface between provider networks and user equipment and software, so that it governs only the interface between a provider’s network and user equipment that employs designated open-source user software, rather than all user equipment and software. Lastly, document DA 17–76 allows extended implementation periods to ensure that providers have sufficient time to implement the standards. Ordering Clauses Pursuant to sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(j), 225 and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(j), 225, 303(r), and the authority delegated by the Commission in Structure and Practices of the Video Relay Service Program et al., Report and Order, published at 78 FR 40582, July 5, 2013, document DA 17–76 is adopted, and part 64 of the Commission’s rules is amended. The Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of document DA 17–76, including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 64 Incorporation by reference, Individuals with disabilities, Telecommunications relay services, Video relay services. Federal Communications Commission. Karen Peltz Strauss, Deputy Bureau Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. nlaroche on DSK30NT082PROD with RULES For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 part 64 as follows: PART 64—MISCELLANEOUS RULES RELATING TO COMMON CARRIERS 1. The authority citation for part 64 is revised to read as follows: ■ Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 225, 254(k); 403(b)(2)(B), (c), 715, Pub. L. 104–104, 110 VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:36 Apr 26, 2017 Jkt 241001 Stat. 56. Interpret or apply 47 U.S.C. 201, 218, 222, 225, 226, 227, 228, 254(k), 616, 620, and the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. 112–96, unless otherwise noted. 2. Amend § 64.621 by: a. In paragraph (a)(1), removing the first instance of ‘‘VRS’’ and adding in its place ‘‘Video Relay Service (VRS)’’; ■ b. Revising paragraph (a)(3); and ■ c. Adding paragraphs (b) and (c) to read as follows: ■ ■ § 64.621 Interoperability and portability. (a) * * * (3) Beginning no later than April 27, 2018, all VRS providers must ensure that their VRS access technologies and their video communication service platforms are interoperable with the VRS Access Technology Reference Platform, including for point-to-point calls, in accordance with the Interoperability Profile for Relay User Equipment (RUE Profile). No VRS provider shall be compensated for minutes of use involving their VRS access technologies or video communication service platforms that are not interoperable with the VRS Access Technology Reference Platform. * * * * * (b) Technical standards for interoperability and portability. (1) Beginning no later than August 25, 2017, VRS providers shall ensure that their provision of VRS and video communications, including their access technology, meets the requirements of the VRS Provider Interoperability Profile. (2) Beginning no later than October 24, 2017, VRS providers shall provide a standard xCard export interface to enable users to import their lists of contacts in xCard XML format, in accordance with IETF RFC 6351. (c) Incorporation by reference. The standards required in this section are incorporated by reference into this section with the approval of the Director of the Federal Register under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. All approved material is available for inspection at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th Street, SW., Reference Information Center, Room CY–A257, Washington, DC 20554, (202) 418–0270, and is available from the sources indicated below. It is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202–741–6030 or go to http:// www.archives.gov/federal_register/ code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_ locations.htm. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 19325 (1) FCC (on behalf of SIP Forum), 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554, (888) 225–5322 (voice), (844) 432–2275 (videophone), (888) 835–5322 (TTY). (i) VRS US Providers Profile TWG– 6.1, the US VRS Provider Interoperability Profile, September 23, 2015. https://www.fcc.gov/files/sipforum-vrs-us-providers-profile-twg-6-1. (ii) [Reserved] (2) The following standards are available from the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Secretariat, 5177 Brandin Court, Fremont, CA 94538, 510–492–4080. (i) The Interoperability Profile for Relay User Equipment, draft-vrs-ruedispatch-00, July 20, 2016 https:// datatracker.ietf.org/doc/draft-vrs-ruedispatch/. (ii) Request for Comments (RFC) 6351, xCard: vCard XML Representation (August 2011) https://tools.ietf.org/ html/rfc6351. [FR Doc. 2017–08488 Filed 4–26–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 190 [Docket No. PHMSA–2016–0010; Amdt. No. 190–17] RIN–2137–AF16 Pipeline Safety: Inflation Adjustment of Maximum Civil Penalties Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is revising references in its regulations to the maximum civil penalties for violations of Federal pipeline safety laws, or any PHMSA regulations or orders issued thereunder. Under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which further amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, Federal agencies are required to adjust their civil monetary penalties effective January 15, 2017, and annually thereafter, to account for changes in inflation. PHMSA finds good cause to amend the regulations related to civil penalties without notice or opportunity for public comment. Advance public notice is SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\27APR1.SGM 27APR1 19326 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 80 / Thursday, April 27, 2017 / Rules and Regulations F. Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Order 13272, and DOT Procedures and Policies G. Paperwork Reduction Act H. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 I. Environmental Assessment J. Executive Order 13609 and International Trade Analysis K. Privacy Act L. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) M. Executive Order 13609 and International Trade Analysis unnecessary for the reasons described in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. The effective date of this final rule is April 27, 2017. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ahuva Battams, Attorney-Advisor, Pipeline Safety Division, Office of Chief Counsel, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, by telephone at 202–366–4400 or email at ahuva.battams@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Civil Penalty Amendments II. Justification for the Final Rule III. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices A. Statutory/Legal Authority for This Rulemaking B. Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulatory Policies and Procedures C. Executive Order 13132 D. Executive Order 13175 E. Executive Order 13211 On June 30, 2016, PHMSA published an interim final rule, (81 FR 42564) in the Federal Register. Under the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2015 (the 2015 Act), Public Law 114–74, and consistent with the process outlined in the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies: ‘‘Implementation of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015,’’ M–16–06 (OMB Memorandum M–16–06), the CFR citation Current maximum civil penalty Revised maximum civil penalty 49 U.S.C. 60101 et seq., and any regulation or order issued thereunder. 49 CFR 190.223(a) ........... 49 U.S.C. 60103; 49 U.S.C. 60111. 49 CFR 190.223(c) ............ $205,638 for each violation for each day the violation continues, with a maximum penalty not to exceed $2,056,380 for a related series of violations. A penalty not to exceed $75,123 which may be in addition to other penalties under 40 U.S.C. 60101, et seq. 49 U.S.C. 60129 .................. nlaroche on DSK30NT082PROD with RULES Violated statute I. Civil Penalty Amendments interim final rule stated that PHMSA is revising references in its regulations to the maximum civil penalties for violations of Federal pipeline safety laws, or any PHMSA regulations or orders issued thereunder. Pursuant to the 2015 Act, and consistent with the process outlined in the OMB memorandum titled ‘‘Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies: Implementation of the 2017 annual adjustment pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015,’’ M–17–11 (OMB Memorandum M–17–11), PHMSA is again revising references in these regulations to the maximum civil penalties for violations. Based on the cost-of-living adjustment multiplier for 2017, derived from the Consumer Price Index (CPI–U) for the month of October 2016 (not seasonally adjusted), a multiplier of 1.01636 was used to calculate updated maximum civil penalty amounts. The revised penalties are as follows: 49 CFR 190.223(d) ........... $209,002 for each violation for each day the violation continues, with a maximum penalty not to exceed $2,090,022 for a related series of violations. An administrative civil penalty not to exceed $76,352, which may be in addition to other penalties assessed under 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq. A penalty not to exceed $1,214. The 2015 Act only applies to prospective penalties and does not retrospectively change any civil penalties previously assessed or enforced. Further, under the 2015 Act, PHMSA is required to publish annual inflation adjustments for each penalty levied under 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq., in the Federal Register no later than January 15 of each year. The 2015 Act does not alter PHMSA’s existing authority to assess penalties levied for violations under 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq. Additionally, if future penalties or penalty adjustments are enacted by statute or regulation, PHMSA will not adjust these penalties for inflation in the first year after the penalties are in effect. PHMSA will apply new annual penalty levels to any penalties assessed on or after the date these new penalty levels take effect. II. Justification for Final Rule PHMSA is proceeding directly to a final rule without providing a notice of proposed rulemaking or an opportunity VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:36 Apr 26, 2017 Jkt 241001 A penalty not to exceed $1,194 .............. for public comment. This action is permitted, in part, because the 2015 Act directs PHMSA to adjust the civil monetary penalties in accordance with the schedule provided in the 2015 Act, notwithstanding the notice and public comment procedures in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). However, PHMSA also notes that the APA authorizes agencies to forego providing the opportunity for prior public notice and comment if an agency finds good cause that notice and public procedure are ‘‘impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest’’ (5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B)). In this instance, public comment is unnecessary because by making these technical amendments, PHMSA is not exercising discretion in a way that could be informed by public comment. PHMSA is required under the 2015 Act and directed by the OMB Guidance to publish this final rule by January 15, 2017, with the penalty levels stated herein slated to take effect on that date. Further, PHMSA is mandated by the PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 2015 Act and directed by the OMB Guidance to adjust the penalty levels pursuant to the specific procedures also stated herein. Any public comments received through notice and public procedure would therefore not affect PHMSA’s obligation to comply with the 2015 Act, nor would they affect the methods used by PHMSA to adjust the penalty levels. III. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices A. Statutory/Legal Authority for This Rulemaking This final rule is published under the authority of the 2015 Act, as well 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq. These statutes provide PHMSA with the authority to levy civil penalties for violations of Federal pipeline safety laws. The 2015 Act requires penalties levied by Federal agencies pursuant to these laws to be adjusted. Beginning in January 2017, the 2015 Act requires such penalties to be adjusted on an annual basis no later than January 15 of each year. E:\FR\FM\27APR1.SGM 27APR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 80 / Thursday, April 27, 2017 / Rules and Regulations B. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, and Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulatory Policies and Procedures This final rule has been evaluated in accordance with existing DOT policies and procedures and determined to be non-significant under Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735 (October 4, 1993), and Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, 76 FR 3821 (January 21, 2011). Consistent with guidance in OMB Memorandum M–17–11, this final rule is considered to be a non-significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. Further, this final rule is not significant under the regulatory policies and procedures of the DOT because it is limited to a ministerial act in which the agency has no discretion and where the economic impact of the final rule is minimal (44 FR 11034). Accordingly, preparation of a regulatory evaluation is not warranted. This final rule imposes no new costs upon persons conducting operations in compliance with Federal pipeline statutes and regulations. Those operators not in compliance with these statues and regulations may experience an increased cost based on the penalties levied against them for non-compliance; however, this is an avoidable, variable cost and thus is not considered in any evaluation of the significance of this regulatory action. The amendments in this final rule could provide a deterrent effect that could potentially lead to safety benefits; however, PHMSA does not expect such benefits to be significant. Overall, it is anticipated that costs and benefits from this final rule would be minimal in real dollars. nlaroche on DSK30NT082PROD with RULES C. Executive Order 13132 PHMSA has analyzed this final rule according to Executive Order 13132 on Federalism, 64 FR 43255 (August 10, 1999). The final rule does not have a substantial direct effect on the States, the relationship between the national government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The final rule neither imposes substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments nor preempts state law governing intrastate pipelines. Therefore, the consultation and funding requirements of Executive Order 13132 do not apply. D. Executive Order 13175 This final rule has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:36 Apr 26, 2017 Jkt 241001 13175 on consultation and coordination with Indian tribal governments, 65 FR 67249 (November 9, 2000). Because the final rule does not have tribal implications, does not impose substantial direct compliance costs, and is required by statute, the funding and consultation requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply. E. Executive Order 13211 This final rule is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations that Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use, 66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001). It is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on supply, distribution, or energy use. Further, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within OMB has not designated this final rule as a significant energy action. F. Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Order 13272, and DOT Procedures and Policies The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601–611, requires each agency to analyze proposed regulations and assess their impact on small businesses and other small entities to determine whether this final rule is expected to have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. The provisions of this final rule may apply specifically to all businesses using pipelines to transport hazardous liquids, gas, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) in interstate commerce. Therefore, PHMSA certifies this final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. G. Paperwork Reduction Act This final rule imposes no new requirements for recordkeeping or reporting. H. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 This final rule does not impose unfunded mandates under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, Public Law 104–4. It does not result in costs of $100 million or more (adjusted for inflation) in any year for either State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector, and is the least burdensome alternative that achieves the objective of the final rule. I. Environmental Assessment The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the consequences of major Federal PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 19327 actions and prepare a detailed statement on actions significantly affecting the quality of the human environment (42 U.S.C. 4321–4375). When developing potential regulatory requirements, PHMSA evaluates those requirements to consider the environmental impact of these amendments. Specifically, PHMSA evaluates the risk of release and resulting environmental impact; the risk to human safety, including any risk to first responders; if the proposed regulation would be carried out in a defined geographic area; and the resources, especially in environmentally sensitive areas, that could be impacted by any proposed regulations. This final rule would be generally applicable to pipeline operators, and would not be carried out in a defined geographic area. The adjusted, increased civil penalties listed in this final rule may act as a deterrent to those violating Federal pipeline safety laws, or any PHMSA regulations or orders issued thereunder. This may result in a positive environmental impact as a result of increased compliance with Federal pipeline safety laws and any PHMSA regulations or orders issued thereunder. Based on the above discussion, PHMSA concludes there are no significant environmental impacts associated with this final rule. J. Executive Order 13609 and International Trade Analysis Under Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation, agencies must consider whether the impacts associated with significant variations between domestic and international regulatory approaches are unnecessary or may impair the ability of American business to export and compete internationally, 77 FR 26413 (May 4, 2012). In meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues, international regulatory cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as protective as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements. Similarly, the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96–39), as amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103–465), prohibits Federal agencies from establishing any standards or engaging in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign commerce of the United States. For purposes of these requirements, Federal agencies may participate in the establishment of E:\FR\FM\27APR1.SGM 27APR1 19328 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 80 / Thursday, April 27, 2017 / Rules and Regulations international standards so long as the standards have a legitimate domestic objective—such as providing for safety—and do not operate to exclude imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, using them as the basis for U.S. standards. PHMSA participates in the establishment of international standards in order to protect the safety of the American public, and we have assessed the effects of this final rule to ensure that it does not cause unnecessary obstacles to foreign trade. Accordingly, this final rule is consistent with Executive Order 13609 and PHMSA’s obligations. K. Privacy Act Anyone is able to search the electronic form of written communications and comments received into our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the document (or signing the document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT’s complete Privacy Act Statement, published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19476), in the Federal Register at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR2000-04-11/pdf/00-8505.pdf. nlaroche on DSK30NT082PROD with RULES L. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) A regulation identifier number (RIN) is assigned to each regulatory action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in the spring and fall of each VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:36 Apr 26, 2017 Jkt 241001 year. The RIN contained in the heading of this document can be used to crossreference this action in the Unified Agenda. ■ M. Executive Order 13609 and International Trade Analysis Sections 3 and 4 of Executive Order 13609 direct an agency to conduct a regulatory analysis and ensure that a proposed rule does not cause unnecessary obstacles to foreign trade. This requirement applies if a rule constitutes a significant regulatory action, or if a regulatory evaluation must be prepared for the rule. This interim final rule is not a significant regulatory action, but a regulatory action under Section 3(e) of Executive Order 12866. PHMSA is not required under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 to submit a regulatory analysis. (a) Any person found to have violated a provision of 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq., or any regulations or orders issued thereunder, is subject to an administrative civil penalty not to exceed $209,002 for each violation for each day the violation continues, with a maximum administrative civil penalty not to exceed $2,090,022 for any related series of violations. * * * * * (c) Any person found to have violated any standard or order under 49 U.S.C. 60103 is subject to an administrative civil penalty not to exceed $76,352, which may be in addition to other penalties to which such person may be subject under paragraph (a) of this section. (d) Any person who is determined to have violated any standard or order under 49 U.S.C. 60129 is subject to an administrative civil penalty not to exceed $1,214, which may be in addition to other penalties to which such person may be subject under paragraph (a) of this section. * * * * * List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 190 Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties, Pipeline safety. Accordingly, the interim rule amending 49 CFR part 190 which was published at 81 FR 42564 on June 30, 2016, is adopted as a final rule with the following changes: PART 190—PIPELINE SAFETY ENFORCEMENT AND REGULATORY PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 190 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(b); 49 U.S.C. 60101 et seq.; 49 CFR 1.97; Pub. L. 114–74, section 701; Pub. L. No: 112–90, section 2; Pub. L. 101–410, sections 4–6. PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 2. In § 190.223 paragraphs (a), (c), and (d) are revised to read as follows: § 190.223 Maximum penalties. Issued in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2017, under authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.97. Howard W. McMillan, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2017–08530 Filed 4–26–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–60–P E:\FR\FM\27APR1.SGM 27APR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 80 (Thursday, April 27, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 19325-19328]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-08530]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 190

[Docket No. PHMSA-2016-0010; Amdt. No. 190-17]
RIN-2137-AF16


Pipeline Safety: Inflation Adjustment of Maximum Civil Penalties

AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 
Department of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 
(PHMSA) is revising references in its regulations to the maximum civil 
penalties for violations of Federal pipeline safety laws, or any PHMSA 
regulations or orders issued thereunder. Under the Federal Civil 
Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which 
further amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 
1990, Federal agencies are required to adjust their civil monetary 
penalties effective January 15, 2017, and annually thereafter, to 
account for changes in inflation.
    PHMSA finds good cause to amend the regulations related to civil 
penalties without notice or opportunity for public comment. Advance 
public notice is

[[Page 19326]]

unnecessary for the reasons described in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION 
section.

DATES: The effective date of this final rule is April 27, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ahuva Battams, Attorney-Advisor, 
Pipeline Safety Division, Office of Chief Counsel, the Pipeline and 
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, by telephone at 202-366-4400 
or email at ahuva.battams@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Civil Penalty Amendments
II. Justification for the Final Rule
III. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices
    A. Statutory/Legal Authority for This Rulemaking
    B. Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, and Department 
of Transportation (DOT) Regulatory Policies and Procedures
    C. Executive Order 13132
    D. Executive Order 13175
    E. Executive Order 13211
    F. Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Order 13272, and DOT 
Procedures and Policies
    G. Paperwork Reduction Act
    H. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
    I. Environmental Assessment
    J. Executive Order 13609 and International Trade Analysis
    K. Privacy Act
    L. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)
    M. Executive Order 13609 and International Trade Analysis

I. Civil Penalty Amendments

    On June 30, 2016, PHMSA published an interim final rule, (81 FR 
42564) in the Federal Register. Under the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory 
Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2015 (the 2015 Act), Public Law 114-
74, and consistent with the process outlined in the Office of 
Management and Budget's (OMB) Memorandum for the Heads of Executive 
Departments and Agencies: ``Implementation of the Federal Civil 
Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015,'' M-16-06 
(OMB Memorandum M-16-06), the interim final rule stated that PHMSA is 
revising references in its regulations to the maximum civil penalties 
for violations of Federal pipeline safety laws, or any PHMSA 
regulations or orders issued thereunder.
    Pursuant to the 2015 Act, and consistent with the process outlined 
in the OMB memorandum titled ``Memorandum for the Heads of Executive 
Departments and Agencies: Implementation of the 2017 annual adjustment 
pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act 
Improvements Act of 2015,'' M-17-11 (OMB Memorandum M-17-11), PHMSA is 
again revising references in these regulations to the maximum civil 
penalties for violations. Based on the cost-of-living adjustment 
multiplier for 2017, derived from the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) for 
the month of October 2016 (not seasonally adjusted), a multiplier of 
1.01636 was used to calculate updated maximum civil penalty amounts.
    The revised penalties are as follows:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 Current maximum civil    Revised maximum civil
           Violated statute                  CFR citation               penalty                  penalty
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
49 U.S.C. 60101 et seq., and any       49 CFR 190.223(a)......  $205,638 for each        $209,002 for each
 regulation or order issued                                      violation for each day   violation for each day
 thereunder.                                                     the violation            the violation
                                                                 continues, with a        continues, with a
                                                                 maximum penalty not to   maximum penalty not to
                                                                 exceed $2,056,380 for    exceed $2,090,022 for
                                                                 a related series of      a related series of
                                                                 violations.              violations.
49 U.S.C. 60103; 49 U.S.C. 60111.....  49 CFR 190.223(c)......  A penalty not to exceed  An administrative civil
                                                                 $75,123 which may be     penalty not to exceed
                                                                 in addition to other     $76,352, which may be
                                                                 penalties under 40       in addition to other
                                                                 U.S.C. 60101, et seq.    penalties assessed
                                                                                          under 49 U.S.C. 60101,
                                                                                          et seq.
49 U.S.C. 60129......................  49 CFR 190.223(d)......  A penalty not to exceed  A penalty not to exceed
                                                                 $1,194.                  $1,214.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The 2015 Act only applies to prospective penalties and does not 
retrospectively change any civil penalties previously assessed or 
enforced. Further, under the 2015 Act, PHMSA is required to publish 
annual inflation adjustments for each penalty levied under 49 U.S.C. 
60101, et seq., in the Federal Register no later than January 15 of 
each year.
    The 2015 Act does not alter PHMSA's existing authority to assess 
penalties levied for violations under 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq. 
Additionally, if future penalties or penalty adjustments are enacted by 
statute or regulation, PHMSA will not adjust these penalties for 
inflation in the first year after the penalties are in effect. PHMSA 
will apply new annual penalty levels to any penalties assessed on or 
after the date these new penalty levels take effect.

II. Justification for Final Rule

    PHMSA is proceeding directly to a final rule without providing a 
notice of proposed rulemaking or an opportunity for public comment. 
This action is permitted, in part, because the 2015 Act directs PHMSA 
to adjust the civil monetary penalties in accordance with the schedule 
provided in the 2015 Act, notwithstanding the notice and public comment 
procedures in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). However, PHMSA 
also notes that the APA authorizes agencies to forego providing the 
opportunity for prior public notice and comment if an agency finds good 
cause that notice and public procedure are ``impracticable, 
unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest'' (5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(3)(B)). In this instance, public comment is unnecessary because 
by making these technical amendments, PHMSA is not exercising 
discretion in a way that could be informed by public comment. PHMSA is 
required under the 2015 Act and directed by the OMB Guidance to publish 
this final rule by January 15, 2017, with the penalty levels stated 
herein slated to take effect on that date. Further, PHMSA is mandated 
by the 2015 Act and directed by the OMB Guidance to adjust the penalty 
levels pursuant to the specific procedures also stated herein. Any 
public comments received through notice and public procedure would 
therefore not affect PHMSA's obligation to comply with the 2015 Act, 
nor would they affect the methods used by PHMSA to adjust the penalty 
levels.

III. Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

A. Statutory/Legal Authority for This Rulemaking

    This final rule is published under the authority of the 2015 Act, 
as well 49 U.S.C. 60101, et seq. These statutes provide PHMSA with the 
authority to levy civil penalties for violations of Federal pipeline 
safety laws. The 2015 Act requires penalties levied by Federal agencies 
pursuant to these laws to be adjusted. Beginning in January 2017, the 
2015 Act requires such penalties to be adjusted on an annual basis no 
later than January 15 of each year.

[[Page 19327]]

B. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563, and Department of Transportation 
(DOT) Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    This final rule has been evaluated in accordance with existing DOT 
policies and procedures and determined to be non-significant under 
Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, 58 FR 51735 
(October 4, 1993), and Executive Order 13563, Improving Regulation and 
Regulatory Review, 76 FR 3821 (January 21, 2011). Consistent with 
guidance in OMB Memorandum M-17-11, this final rule is considered to be 
a non-significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. 
Further, this final rule is not significant under the regulatory 
policies and procedures of the DOT because it is limited to a 
ministerial act in which the agency has no discretion and where the 
economic impact of the final rule is minimal (44 FR 11034). 
Accordingly, preparation of a regulatory evaluation is not warranted.
    This final rule imposes no new costs upon persons conducting 
operations in compliance with Federal pipeline statutes and 
regulations. Those operators not in compliance with these statues and 
regulations may experience an increased cost based on the penalties 
levied against them for non-compliance; however, this is an avoidable, 
variable cost and thus is not considered in any evaluation of the 
significance of this regulatory action. The amendments in this final 
rule could provide a deterrent effect that could potentially lead to 
safety benefits; however, PHMSA does not expect such benefits to be 
significant. Overall, it is anticipated that costs and benefits from 
this final rule would be minimal in real dollars.

C. Executive Order 13132

    PHMSA has analyzed this final rule according to Executive Order 
13132 on Federalism, 64 FR 43255 (August 10, 1999). The final rule does 
not have a substantial direct effect on the States, the relationship 
between the national government and the States, or the distribution of 
power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. The 
final rule neither imposes substantial direct compliance costs on State 
and local governments nor preempts state law governing intrastate 
pipelines. Therefore, the consultation and funding requirements of 
Executive Order 13132 do not apply.

D. Executive Order 13175

    This final rule has been analyzed in accordance with the principles 
and criteria contained in Executive Order 13175 on consultation and 
coordination with Indian tribal governments, 65 FR 67249 (November 9, 
2000). Because the final rule does not have tribal implications, does 
not impose substantial direct compliance costs, and is required by 
statute, the funding and consultation requirements of Executive Order 
13175 do not apply.

E. Executive Order 13211

    This final rule is not a ``significant energy action'' under 
Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations that 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use, 66 FR 28355 
(May 22, 2001). It is not likely to have a significant adverse effect 
on supply, distribution, or energy use. Further, the Office of 
Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within OMB has not designated 
this final rule as a significant energy action.

F. Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Order 13272, and DOT 
Procedures and Policies

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-611, requires each 
agency to analyze proposed regulations and assess their impact on small 
businesses and other small entities to determine whether this final 
rule is expected to have a significant impact on a substantial number 
of small entities. The provisions of this final rule may apply 
specifically to all businesses using pipelines to transport hazardous 
liquids, gas, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) in interstate commerce. 
Therefore, PHMSA certifies this final rule would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

G. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule imposes no new requirements for recordkeeping or 
reporting.

H. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This final rule does not impose unfunded mandates under the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, Public Law 104-4. It does not 
result in costs of $100 million or more (adjusted for inflation) in any 
year for either State, local, or tribal governments, in the aggregate, 
or to the private sector, and is the least burdensome alternative that 
achieves the objective of the final rule.

I. Environmental Assessment

    The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended, 
requires Federal agencies to consider the consequences of major Federal 
actions and prepare a detailed statement on actions significantly 
affecting the quality of the human environment (42 U.S.C. 4321-4375). 
When developing potential regulatory requirements, PHMSA evaluates 
those requirements to consider the environmental impact of these 
amendments. Specifically, PHMSA evaluates the risk of release and 
resulting environmental impact; the risk to human safety, including any 
risk to first responders; if the proposed regulation would be carried 
out in a defined geographic area; and the resources, especially in 
environmentally sensitive areas, that could be impacted by any proposed 
regulations.
    This final rule would be generally applicable to pipeline 
operators, and would not be carried out in a defined geographic area. 
The adjusted, increased civil penalties listed in this final rule may 
act as a deterrent to those violating Federal pipeline safety laws, or 
any PHMSA regulations or orders issued thereunder. This may result in a 
positive environmental impact as a result of increased compliance with 
Federal pipeline safety laws and any PHMSA regulations or orders issued 
thereunder. Based on the above discussion, PHMSA concludes there are no 
significant environmental impacts associated with this final rule.

J. Executive Order 13609 and International Trade Analysis

    Under Executive Order 13609, Promoting International Regulatory 
Cooperation, agencies must consider whether the impacts associated with 
significant variations between domestic and international regulatory 
approaches are unnecessary or may impair the ability of American 
business to export and compete internationally, 77 FR 26413 (May 4, 
2012). In meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, 
security, environmental, and other issues, international regulatory 
cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as protective as 
those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such cooperation. 
International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, eliminate, or 
prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements.
    Similarly, the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as 
amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), 
prohibits Federal agencies from establishing any standards or engaging 
in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign 
commerce of the United States. For purposes of these requirements, 
Federal agencies may participate in the establishment of

[[Page 19328]]

international standards so long as the standards have a legitimate 
domestic objective--such as providing for safety--and do not operate to 
exclude imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires 
consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, using 
them as the basis for U.S. standards.
    PHMSA participates in the establishment of international standards 
in order to protect the safety of the American public, and we have 
assessed the effects of this final rule to ensure that it does not 
cause unnecessary obstacles to foreign trade. Accordingly, this final 
rule is consistent with Executive Order 13609 and PHMSA's obligations.

K. Privacy Act

    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of written 
communications and comments received into our dockets by the name of 
the individual submitting the document (or signing the document, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). 
You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement, published on April 
11, 2000 (65 FR 19476), in the Federal Register at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2000-04-11/pdf/00-8505.pdf.

L. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

    A regulation identifier number (RIN) is assigned to each regulatory 
action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The 
Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in 
the spring and fall of each year. The RIN contained in the heading of 
this document can be used to cross-reference this action in the Unified 
Agenda.

M. Executive Order 13609 and International Trade Analysis

    Sections 3 and 4 of Executive Order 13609 direct an agency to 
conduct a regulatory analysis and ensure that a proposed rule does not 
cause unnecessary obstacles to foreign trade. This requirement applies 
if a rule constitutes a significant regulatory action, or if a 
regulatory evaluation must be prepared for the rule. This interim final 
rule is not a significant regulatory action, but a regulatory action 
under Section 3(e) of Executive Order 12866. PHMSA is not required 
under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 to submit a regulatory analysis.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 190

    Administrative practice and procedure, Penalties, Pipeline safety.

    Accordingly, the interim rule amending 49 CFR part 190 which was 
published at 81 FR 42564 on June 30, 2016, is adopted as a final rule 
with the following changes:

PART 190--PIPELINE SAFETY ENFORCEMENT AND REGULATORY PROCEDURES

0
1. The authority citation for part 190 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(b); 49 U.S.C. 60101 et seq.; 49 CFR 
1.97; Pub. L. 114-74, section 701; Pub. L. No: 112-90, section 2; 
Pub. L. 101-410, sections 4-6.


0
2. In Sec.  190.223 paragraphs (a), (c), and (d) are revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  190.223  Maximum penalties.

    (a) Any person found to have violated a provision of 49 U.S.C. 
60101, et seq., or any regulations or orders issued thereunder, is 
subject to an administrative civil penalty not to exceed $209,002 for 
each violation for each day the violation continues, with a maximum 
administrative civil penalty not to exceed $2,090,022 for any related 
series of violations.
* * * * *
    (c) Any person found to have violated any standard or order under 
49 U.S.C. 60103 is subject to an administrative civil penalty not to 
exceed $76,352, which may be in addition to other penalties to which 
such person may be subject under paragraph (a) of this section.
    (d) Any person who is determined to have violated any standard or 
order under 49 U.S.C. 60129 is subject to an administrative civil 
penalty not to exceed $1,214, which may be in addition to other 
penalties to which such person may be subject under paragraph (a) of 
this section.
* * * * *

    Issued in Washington, DC, on April 24, 2017, under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR 1.97.
Howard W. McMillan,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-08530 Filed 4-26-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-60-P