Onshore Oil and Gas Operations and Coal Trespass-Annual Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustments

CourtLand Management Bureau
Record Number2022-05351
Published date14 March 2022
Federal Register, Volume 87 Issue 49 (Monday, March 14, 2022)
[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 49 (Monday, March 14, 2022)]
                [Rules and Regulations]
                [Pages 14177-14179]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2022-05351]
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                DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
                Bureau of Land Management
                43 CFR Parts 3160 and 9230
                [212.LLHQ310000.L13100000.PP0000]
                RIN 1004-AE85
                Onshore Oil and Gas Operations and Coal Trespass--Annual Civil
                Penalties Inflation Adjustments
                AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.
                ACTION: Final rule.
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                SUMMARY: This final rule adjusts the level of civil monetary penalties
                contained in the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) regulations
                governing onshore oil and gas operations and coal trespass as required
                by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements
                Act of 2015 and consistent with applicable Office of Management and
                Budget (OMB) guidance. The penalty adjustments made by this final rule
                constitute the 2022 annual inflation adjustments, accounting for one
                year of inflation spanning the period from October 2020 through October
                2021.
                DATES: This rule is effective on March 14, 2022.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information regarding the BLM's
                Fluid Minerals Program, please contact Rebecca Good, Deputy Division
                Chief, Fluid Minerals Division, telephone: 307-251-3487; email:
                [email protected]. For information regarding the BLM's Solid Minerals
                Program, please contact Lindsey Curnutt, Division Chief, Solid Minerals
                Division, telephone: 775-824-2910; email: [email protected].
                 For questions relating to regulatory process issues, please contact
                Jennifer Noe, Division of Regulatory Affairs, email: [email protected].
                Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call
                the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339, 24 hours a day, 7
                days a week to contact the above individuals.
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                [[Page 14178]]
                I. Background
                II. Calculation of 2022 Adjustments
                III. Procedural Requirements
                 A. Administrative Procedure Act
                 B. Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and
                13563)
                 C. Regulatory Flexibility Act
                 D. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act
                 E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
                 F. Takings (E.O. 12630)
                 G. Federalism (E.O. 13132)
                 H. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)
                 I. Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175 and Departmental
                Policy)
                 J. Paperwork Reduction Act
                 K. National Environmental Policy Act
                 L. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)
                I. Background
                 On November 2, 2015, the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation
                Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Sec. 701 of Pub. L. 114-74)
                (the 2015 Act) became law, amending the Federal Civil Penalties
                Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (Pub. L. 101-410).
                 The 2015 Act requires agencies to:
                 1. Adjust the level of civil monetary penalties for inflation with
                an initial ``catch-up'' adjustment through an interim final rulemaking
                in 2016;
                 2. Make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation beginning in
                2017; and
                 3. Report annually in Agency Financial Reports on these inflation
                adjustments.
                 The purpose of these adjustments is to maintain the deterrent
                effect of civil monetary penalties and promote compliance with the law
                (see Sec. 1, Pub. L. 101-410).
                 As required by the 2015 Act, the BLM issued an interim final rule
                that adjusted the level of civil monetary penalties in BLM regulations
                with the initial ``catch-up'' adjustment (RIN 1004-AE46, 81 FR 41860),
                which was published on June 28, 2016, and became effective on July 28,
                2016. On January 19, 2017, the BLM published a final rule (RIN 1004-
                AE49, 82 FR 6305) updating the civil penalty amounts to the 2017 annual
                adjustment levels. Final rules updating the civil penalty amounts to
                2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 annual adjustment levels were published in
                subsequent years (RIN 1004-AE51, 83 FR 3992; RIN 1004-AE56, 84 FR
                22379; RIN 1004-AE67, 85 FR 10617; and RIN 1004-AE77, 86 FR 30548,
                respectively).
                 OMB issued Memorandum M-22-07 on December 15, 2021, (Implementation
                of Penalty Inflation Adjustments for 2022, Pursuant to the Federal
                Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015)
                explaining agency responsibilities for identifying applicable penalties
                and calculating the annual adjustment for 2022 in accordance with the
                2015 Act.
                II. Calculation of 2022 Adjustments
                 In accordance with the 2015 Act and OMB Memorandum M-22-07, the BLM
                has identified applicable civil monetary penalties in its regulations
                and calculated the annual adjustments. 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. A civil monetary penalty does not include a penalty levied
                for violation of a criminal statute, nor does it include fees for
                services, licenses, permits, or other regulatory review. The calculated
                annual inflation adjustments are based on the percentage change between
                the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the
                October preceding the date of the adjustment and the prior year's
                October CPI-U. Consistent with guidance in OMB Memorandum M-22-07, the
                BLM divided the October 2021 CPI-U by the October 2020 CPI-U to
                calculate the multiplier. In this case, October 2021 CPI-U (276.589)/
                October 2020 CPI-U (260.388) = 1.06222. OMB Memorandum M-22-07 confirms
                that this is the proper multiplier. (OMB Memorandum M-22-07 at 1 and
                n.4.)
                 The 2015 Act requires the BLM to adjust the civil penalty amounts
                in 43 CFR 3163.2 and 43 CFR 9239.5-3(f)(1). To accomplish this, the BLM
                multiplied the current penalty amounts in those paragraphs by the
                multiplier set forth in OMB Memorandum M-22-07 (1.06222) to obtain the
                adjusted penalty amounts. The 2015 Act requires that the resulting
                amounts be rounded to the nearest $1.00 at the end of the calculation
                process.
                 The adjusted penalty amounts will take effect immediately upon
                publication of this rule. Pursuant to the 2015 Act, the adjusted civil
                penalty amounts apply to civil penalties assessed after the date the
                increase takes effect, even if the associated violation predates such
                increase. This final rule adjusts the following civil penalties:
                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Current Adjusted
                 CFR citation Description of the penalty penalty penalty
                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                43 CFR 3163.2(b)(1)........................ Failure to comply.................. $1,128 $1,198
                43 CFR 3163.2(b)(2)........................ If corrective action is not taken.. 11,292 11,995
                43 CFR 3163.2(d)........................... If transporter fails to permit 1,128 1,198
                 inspection for documentation.
                43 CFR 3163.2(e)........................... Failure to permit inspection, 22,584 23,989
                 failure to notify.
                43 CFR 3163.2(f)........................... False or inaccurate documents; 56,460 59,973
                 unlawful transfer or purchase.
                43 CFR 9239.5-3(f)(1)...................... Coal exploration for commercial 4,227 4,490
                 purposes without an exploration
                 license.
                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                III. Procedural Requirements
                A. Administrative Procedure Act
                 In accordance with the 2015 Act, agencies must adjust civil
                monetary penalties ``notwithstanding Section 553 of the Administrative
                Procedure Act'' (sec. 4(b)(2), 2015 Act). The BLM is promulgating this
                2022 inflation adjustment for civil penalties as a final rule pursuant
                to the provisions of the 2015 Act and OMB guidance. A proposed rule is
                not required because the 2015 Act expressly exempts the annual
                inflation adjustments from the notice and comment requirements of the
                Administrative Procedure Act. In addition, since the 2015 Act does not
                give the BLM any discretion to vary the amount of the annual inflation
                adjustment for any given penalty to reflect any views or suggestions
                provided by commenters, it would serve no purpose to provide an
                opportunity for public comment on this rule.
                B. Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Orders 12866 and 13563)
                 Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 provides that the Office of
                Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the OMB will review all
                significant rules. OIRA has determined that this rule is not
                significant. (See OMB Memorandum M-22-07)
                 E.O. 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for
                improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote
                predictability and to reduce uncertainty and to use the best, most
                innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends.
                E.O. 13563 directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that
                reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and
                [[Page 14179]]
                freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant,
                feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. E.O. 13563
                emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available
                science, and that the rulemaking process must allow for public
                participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this
                rule in a manner consistent with these requirements to the extent
                permitted by the 2015 Act.
                C. Regulatory Flexibility Act
                 The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires an agency to prepare
                a regulatory flexibility analysis for all rules unless the agency
                certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on
                a substantial number of small entities. The RFA applies only to rules
                for which an agency is required to first publish a proposed rule. See 5
                U.S.C. 603(a) and 604(a). The 2015 Act expressly exempts these annual
                inflation adjustments from the requirement to publish a proposed rule
                for notice and comment (see sec. 4(b)(2), 2015 Act). Because the final
                rule in this case does not include publication of a proposed rule, the
                RFA does not apply to this final rule.
                D. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act
                 This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small
                Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule:
                 (a) Will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million
                or more;
                 (b) Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for
                consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government
                agencies, or geographic regions; and
                 (c) Will not have significant adverse effects on competition,
                employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of
                U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.
                E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
                 This rule does not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or
                tribal governments, or the private sector of more than $100 million per
                year. The rule does not have a significant or unique effect on State,
                local, or tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, a
                statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates
                Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.
                F. Takings (E.O. 12630)
                 This rule does not effect a taking of private property or otherwise
                have takings implications under E.O. 12630. Therefore, a takings
                implication assessment is not required.
                G. Federalism (E.O. 13132)
                 Under the criteria in section 1 of E.O. 13132, this rule does not
                have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a
                federalism summary impact statement. Therefore, a federalism summary
                impact statement is not required.
                H. Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)
                 This rule complies with the requirements of E.O. 12988.
                Specifically, this rule:
                 (a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all
                regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be
                written to minimize litigation; and
                 (b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all
                regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal
                standards.
                I. Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175 and Departmental Policy)
                 The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its
                government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes through a
                commitment to consultation with Indian tribes and recognition of their
                right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this
                rule under the Department's consultation policy and under the criteria
                in E.O. 13175 and have determined that it has no substantial direct
                effects on federally recognized Indian tribes and that consultation
                under the Department's tribal consultation policy is not required.
                J. Paperwork Reduction Act
                 This rule does not contain information collection requirements, and
                a submission to OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501
                et seq.) is not required. We may not conduct or sponsor, and you are
                not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it
                displays a currently valid OMB control number.
                K. National Environmental Policy Act
                 A detailed statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of
                1969 (NEPA) is not required because, as a regulation of an
                administrative nature, the rule is covered by a categorical exclusion
                (see 43 CFR 46.210(i)). We have also determined that the rule does not
                involve any of the extraordinary circumstances listed in 43 CFR 46.215
                that would require further analysis under NEPA.
                L. Effects on the Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)
                 This rule is not a significant energy action under the definition
                in E.O. 13211. Therefore, a Statement of Energy Effects is not
                required.
                List of Subjects
                43 CFR Part 3160
                 Administrative practice and procedure, Government contracts,
                Indians--lands, Mineral royalties, Oil and gas exploration, Penalties,
                Public lands--mineral resources, Reporting and recordkeeping
                requirements.
                43 CFR Part 9230
                 Penalties, Public lands.
                 For the reasons given in the preamble, the BLM amends chapter II of
                title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:
                PART 3160--ONSHORE OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS
                0
                1. The authority citation for part 3160 continues to read as follows:
                 Authority: 25 U.S.C. 396d and 2107; 30 U.S.C. 189, 306, 359,
                and 1751; 43 U.S.C. 1732(b), 1733, 1740; and Sec. 107, Pub. L. 114-
                74, 129 Stat. 599, unless otherwise noted.
                Subpart 3163--Noncompliance, Assessments, and Penalties
                Sec. 3163.2 [Amended]
                0
                2. In Sec. 3163.2:
                0
                a. In paragraph (b)(1), remove ``$1,128'' and add in its place
                ``$1,198''.
                0
                b. In paragraph (b)(2), remove ``$11,292'' and add in its place
                ``$11,995''.
                0
                c. In paragraph (d), remove ``$1,128'' and add in its place ``$1,198''.
                0
                d. In paragraph (e) introductory text, remove ``$22,584'' and add in
                its place ``$23,989''.
                0
                e. In paragraph (f) introductory text, remove ``$56,460'' and add in
                its place ``$59,973''.
                PART 9230--TRESPASS
                0
                3. The authority citation for part 9230 continues to read as follows:
                 Authority: R.S. 2478 and 43 U.S.C. 1201.
                Subpart 9239--Kinds of Trespass
                Sec. 9239.5-3 [Amended]
                0
                4. In Sec. 9239.5-3(f)(1), remove ``$4,227'' and add in its place
                ``$4,490''.
                Laura Daniel-Davis,
                Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Land and Minerals Management.
                [FR Doc. 2022-05351 Filed 3-11-22; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 4310-84-P
                

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