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e-CFR data is current as of September 22, 2020

Title 25Chapter ISubchapter IPart 225Subpart B → §225.37

Title 25: Indians
Subpart B—Minerals Agreements

§225.37   Penalties.

(a) In addition to or in lieu of cancellation under §225.36, violations of the terms and conditions of any minerals agreement, the regulations in this part, other applicable laws or regulations, or failure to comply with a notice of noncompliance or a cessation order issued by the Secretary may subject an operator to a penalty of not more than $1,721 per day for each day that such a violation or noncompliance continues beyond the time limits prescribed for corrective action.

(b) A notice of a proposed penalty shall be served on the operator either personally or by certified mail to the operator at the operator's last known address. The date of service by certified mail shall be deemed to be the date received or five (5) working days after the date mailed, whichever is earlier.

(c) The notice shall specify the nature of the violation and the proposed penalty, and shall specifically advise the operator of the operator's right to either request a hearing within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice or pay the proposed penalty. Hearings shall be held before the Superintendent or Area Director whose findings shall be conclusive, unless an appeal is taken pursuant to 25 CFR part 2. If within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice of proposed penalty the operator has not requested a hearing or paid the amount of the proposed penalty, a final notice of penalty shall be served.

(d) If the person served with a notice of proposed penalty requests a hearing, penalties shall accrue each day the violations or noncompliance set forth in the notice continue beyond the time limits presented for corrective action. The Secretary may issue a written suspension of the requirement to correct the violations pending completion of the hearings provided by this section only upon a determination, at the discretion of the Secretary, that such a suspension will not be detrimental to the Indian mineral owner and upon submission and acceptance of a bond deemed adequate to indemnify the Indian mineral owner from loss or damage. The amount of the bond must be sufficient to cover the cost of correcting the violations set forth in the notice or any disputed amounts plus accrued penalties and interest.

(e) Payment of penalties in full more than ten (10) days after a final decision imposing a penalty shall subject the operator to late payment charges. Late payment charges shall be calculated on the basis of a percentage assessment rate of the amount unpaid per month for each month or fraction thereof until payment is received by the Secretary. In the absence of a specific minerals agreement provision prescribing a different rate, the interest rate on late payments and underpayments shall be a rate applicable under section 6621(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Interest shall be charged only on the amount of payment not received and only for the number of days the payment is late.

(f) None of the provisions of this section shall be interpreted as:

(1) Replacing or superseding the independent authority of the Authorized Officer, the Director's Representative, or the MMS Official to impose penalties under applicable statutory or regulatory authorities;

(2) Replacing, superseding, or replicating any penalty provision in the terms and conditions of a minerals agreement approved by the Secretary pursuant to this part; or

(3) Authorizing the imposition of a penalty for violations of minerals agreement provisions for which the Authorized Officer, Director's Representative, or MMS Official has either statutory or regulatory authority to assess a penalty.

[59 FR 14971, Mar. 30, 1994, as amended at 81 FR 42481, June 30, 2016; 82 FR 7652, Jan. 23, 2017; 83 FR 5195, Feb. 6, 2018; 84 FR 15101, Apr. 15, 2019; 85 FR 9369, Feb. 19, 2020]

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