Civil Penalties; 2021 Inflation Adjustments for Civil Monetary Penalties

Citation86 FR 15427
CourtFish And Wildlife Service
Publication Date23 Mar 2021
Record Number2021-05779
Federal Register, Volume 86 Issue 54 (Tuesday, March 23, 2021)
[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 54 (Tuesday, March 23, 2021)]
                [Rules and Regulations]
                [Pages 15427-15428]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2021-05779]
                [[Page 15427]]
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                DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
                Fish and Wildlife Service
                50 CFR Part 11
                [Docket No. FWS-HQ-LE-2020-0139; FF09L00200-FX-LE12200900000]
                RIN 1018-BF11
                Civil Penalties; 2021 Inflation Adjustments for Civil Monetary
                Penalties
                AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
                ACTION: Final rule.
                -----------------------------------------------------------------------
                SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service or we) is issuing
                this final rule, in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties
                Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment
                Act) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance, to adjust for
                inflation the statutory civil monetary penalties that may be assessed
                for violations of Service-administered statutes and their implementing
                regulations. We are required to adjust civil monetary penalties
                annually for inflation according to a formula specified in the
                Inflation Adjustment Act. This rule replaces the previously issued
                amounts with the updated amounts after using the 2021 inflation
                adjustment multiplier provided in the OMB guidance.
                DATES: This rule is effective March 23, 2021.
                ADDRESSES: This rule may be found on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-HQ-LE-2020-0139.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Victoria Owens, Special Agent in
                Charge, Branch of Investigations, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
                Office of Law Enforcement, (703) 358-1949.
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                Background
                 The regulations in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations at
                50 CFR part 11 provide uniform rules and procedures for the assessment
                of civil penalties resulting from violations of certain laws and
                regulations enforced by the Service.
                 The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements
                Act of 2015 (sec. 701 of Pub. L. 114-74) (Inflation Adjustment Act)
                required Federal agencies to adjust the level of civil monetary
                penalties with an initial ``catch up'' adjustment through rulemaking
                and then make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation. The purpose
                of these adjustments is to maintain the deterrent effect of civil
                penalties and to further the policy goals of the underlying statutes.
                 Under section 4 of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment
                Act of 1990, 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, as amended by the Inflation
                Adjustment Act, each Federal agency is required to issue regulations
                adjusting for inflation the statutory civil monetary penalties (civil
                penalties) that can be imposed under the laws administered by that
                agency. The Inflation Adjustment Act provided that the initial ``catch
                up adjustment'' take effect no later than August 1, 2016, followed by
                subsequent adjustments to be made no later than January 15 every year
                thereafter. This final rule adjusts the civil penalty amounts that may
                be imposed pursuant to each statutory provision beginning on the date
                specified above in DATES.
                 On June 28, 2016, the Service published in the Federal Register an
                interim rule that revised 50 CFR part 11 (81 FR 41862) to carry out the
                Inflation Adjustment Act. The Service subsequently published a final
                rule to that interim rule on December 23, 2016 (81 FR 94274). The
                Service published final rules in 2017, 2018, and 2019, further
                adjusting the civil penalty amounts in 50 CFR 11.33 per OMB guidance
                (82 FR 6307, January 19, 2017; 83 FR 5950, February 12, 2018; and 84 FR
                15525, April 16, 2019). Most recently, we published a final rule on
                February 24, 2020, updating the civil penalty amounts with the 2020
                inflation multiplier (85 FR 10310). This final rule adjusts the civil
                monetary penalty amounts that were listed in the 2020 final rule and
                subsequently codified at 50 CFR 11.33 by using the 2021 inflation
                multiplier provided to all Federal agencies by OMB (see below).
                 OMB issued a memorandum, M-21-10, entitled ``Implementation of
                Penalty Inflation Adjustments for 2021, Pursuant to the Federal Civil
                Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015,'' which
                provides the cost-of-living adjustment multiplier for 2021: 1.01182.
                Therefore, we multiplied each penalty in the table in 50 CFR 11.33 by
                1.01182 to obtain the 2021 annual adjustment. The new amounts are
                reflected in the table in the rule portion of this document and replace
                the current amounts in 50 CFR 11.33.
                Required Determinations
                 In this final rule, we affirm the required determinations we made
                in the June 28, 2016, interim rule (81 FR 41862); for descriptions of
                our actions to ensure compliance with the following statutes and
                Executive orders, see that rule:
                 National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et
                seq.);
                 Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);
                 Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (5
                U.S.C. 804(2));
                 Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);
                 Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.);
                 Executive Orders 12630, 12866, 12988, 13132, 13175, 13211,
                and 13563.
                Administrative Procedure Act
                 As stated above, under section 4 of the Federal Civil Penalties
                Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, as amended by
                the Inflation Adjustment Act, Public Law 114-74, 129 Stat. 584 (2015),
                each Federal agency is required to issue regulations adjusting for
                inflation the statutory civil monetary penalties that can be imposed
                under the laws administered by that agency. The Inflation Adjustment
                Act provided for an initial ``catch up adjustment'' to take effect no
                later than August 1, 2016, followed by subsequent adjustments to be
                made no later than January 15 every year thereafter. This final rule
                adjusts the civil penalty amounts that may be imposed pursuant to each
                statutory provision beginning on the effective date of this rule. To
                comply with the Inflation Adjustment Act, we are issuing these
                regulations as a final rule.
                 Section 553(b) of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 551 et
                seq.) provides that, when an agency for good cause finds that notice
                and public procedure are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the
                public interest, the agency may issue a rule without providing notice
                and an opportunity for prior public comment. The Service finds that
                providing for public comment before issuing this rule is unnecessary as
                this rulemaking is a nondiscretionary action. The Service is required
                to publish this rule in order to update the civil penalty amounts by
                the specified formula described above. The Service has no discretion to
                vary the amount of the adjustment to reflect any views or suggestions
                provided by commenters. Since this update to the February 24, 2020,
                final rule (85 FR 10310) is merely ministerial, we find that pre-
                publication notice and public comment with respect to the revisions set
                forth in this rule is unnecessary. We also believe that we have good
                cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d) to make this rule effective upon
                publication to meet the statutory deadline imposed by the Inflation
                Adjustment Act.
                [[Page 15428]]
                List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 11
                 Administrative practice and procedure, Exports, Fish, Imports,
                Penalties, Plants, Transportation, Wildlife.
                Regulation Promulgation
                 For the reasons described above, we amend part 11, subchapter B of
                chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations as set forth
                below.
                PART 11--CIVIL PROCEDURES
                0
                1. The authority citation for part 11 continues to read as follows:
                 Authority: 16 U.S.C. 470aa-470mm, 470aaa-470aaa-11, 668-668d,
                1361-1384, 1401-1407, 1531-1544, 3371-3378, 4201-4245, 4901-4916,
                5201-5207, 5301-5306; 18 U.S.C. 42-43; 25 U.S.C. 3001-3013; and Sec.
                107, Pub. L. 114-74, 129 Stat. 599, unless otherwise noted.
                0
                2. Revise the table in Sec. 11.33 to read as follows:
                Sec. 11.33 Adjustments to penalties.
                * * * * *
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                 Maximum civil
                 Law Citation Type of violation monetary
                 penalty
                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                (a) African Elephant Conservation 16 U.S.C. 4224(b).................. Any violation........... $10,832
                 Act.
                (b) Bald and Golden Eagle 16 U.S.C. 668(b)................... Any violation........... 13,685
                 Protection Act.
                (c) Endangered Species Act of 16 U.S.C. 1540(a)(1)............... (1) Knowing violation of 54,157
                 1973. section 1538. 25,995
                 (2) Other knowing 1,368
                 violation.
                 (3) Any other violation.
                (d) Lacey Act Amendments of 1981. 16 U.S.C. 3373(a).................. (1) Violations referred 27,371
                 to in 16 U.S.C. 684
                 3373(a)(1).
                 (2) Violations referred
                 to in 16 U.S.C.
                 3373(a)(2).
                (e) Marine Mammal Protection Act 16 U.S.C. 1375..................... Any violation........... 27,371
                 of 1972.
                (f) Recreational Hunting Safety 16 U.S.C. 5202(b).................. (1) Violation involving 17,416
                 Act of 1994. use of force or 8,708
                 violence or threatened
                 use of force or
                 violence.
                 (2) Any other violation.
                (g) Rhinoceros and Tiger 16 U.S.C. 5305a(b)(2).............. Any violation........... 19,053
                 Conservation Act of 1998.
                (h) Wild Bird Conservation Act... 16 U.S.C. 4912(a)(1)............... (1) Violation of section 45,907
                 4910(a)(1), section 22,034
                 4910(a)(2), or any 919
                 permit issued under
                 section 4911.
                 (2) Violation of section
                 4910(a)(3).
                 (3) Any other violation.
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                Shannon A. Estenoz,
                Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks,
                Exercising the Delegated Authority of the Assistant Secretary for Fish
                and Wildlife and Parks.
                [FR Doc. 2021-05779 Filed 3-22-21; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 4333-15-P