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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 21, 2020

Title 30Chapter VSubchapter BPart 550Subpart N → Subject Group


Title 30: Mineral Resources
PART 550—OIL AND GAS AND SULPHUR OPERATIONS IN THE OUTER CONTINENTAL SHELF
Subpart N—Outer Continental Shelf Civil Penalties


Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Civil Penalties

§550.1400   How does BOEM begin the civil penalty process?

This subpart explains BOEM's civil penalty procedures whenever a lessee, operator or other person engaged in oil, gas, sulphur or other minerals operations in the OCS has a violation. Whenever BOEM determines, on the basis of available evidence, that a violation occurred and a civil penalty review is appropriate, it will prepare a case file. BOEM will appoint a Reviewing Officer.

§550.1401   Index table.

The following table is an index of the sections in this subpart:

(a) Definitions§550.1402
(b) What is the maximum civil penalty?§550.1403
(c) Which violations will BOEM review for potential civil penalties?§550.1404
(d) When is a case file developed?§550.1405
(e) When will BOEM notify me and provide penalty information?§550.1406
(f) How do I respond to the letter of notification?§550.1407
(g) When will I be notified of the Reviewing Officer's decision?§550.1408
(h) What are my appeal rights?§550.1409

§550.1402   Definitions.

Terms used in this subpart have the following meaning:

Case file means a BOEM document file containing information and the record of evidence related to the alleged violation.

Civil penalty means a fine. It is a BOEM regulatory enforcement tool used in addition to Notices of Incidents of Noncompliance and directed suspensions of production or other operations.

Reviewing Officer means a BOEM employee assigned to review case files and assess civil penalties.

Violation means failure to comply with the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) or any other applicable laws, with any regulations issued under the OCSLA, or with the terms or provisions of leases, licenses, permits, rights-of-way, or other approvals issued under the OCSLA.

Violator means a person responsible for a violation.

§550.1403   What is the maximum civil penalty?

The maximum civil penalty is $45,463 per day per violation.

[85 FR 7220, Feb. 7, 2020]

§550.1404   Which violations will BOEM review for potential civil penalties?

BOEM will review each of the following violations for potential civil penalties:

(a) Violations that you do not correct within the period BOEM grants;

(b)-(c) [Reserved]

(d) Violations of the oil spill financial responsibility requirements at 30 CFR part 553.

§550.1405   When is a case file developed?

BOEM will develop a case file during its investigation of the violation, and forward it to a Reviewing Officer if any of the conditions in §550.1404 exist. The Reviewing Officer will review the case file and determine if a civil penalty is appropriate. The Reviewing Officer may administer oaths and issue subpoenas requiring witnesses to attend meetings, submit depositions, or produce evidence.

§550.1406   When will BOEM notify me and provide penalty information?

If the Reviewing Officer determines that a civil penalty should be assessed, the Reviewing Officer will send the violator a letter of notification. The letter of notification will include:

(a) The amount of the proposed civil penalty;

(b) Information on the violation(s); and

(c) Instruction on how to obtain a copy of the case file, schedule a meeting, submit information, or pay the penalty.

§550.1407   How do I respond to the letter of notification?

You have 30 calendar days after you receive the Reviewing Officer's letter to either:

(a) Request, in writing, a meeting with the Reviewing Officer;

(b) Submit additional information; or

(c) Pay the proposed civil penalty.

§550.1408   When will I be notified of the Reviewing Officer's decision?

At the end of the 30 calendar days or after the meeting and submittal of additional information, the Reviewing Officer will review the case file, including all information you submitted, and send you a decision. The decision will include the amount of any final civil penalty, the basis for the civil penalty, and instructions for paying or appealing the civil penalty.

§550.1409   What are my appeal rights?

(a) When you receive the Reviewing Officer's final decision, you have 60 days to either pay the penalty or file an appeal in accordance with 30 CFR part 590, subpart A.

(b) If you file an appeal, you must either:

(1) Submit a surety bond in the amount of the penalty to the appropriate Leasing Office in the Region where the penalty was assessed, following instructions that the Reviewing Officer will include in the final decision; or

(2) Notify the appropriate Leasing Office, in the Region where the penalty was assessed, that you want your lease-specific/area-wide bond on file to be used as the bond for the penalty amount.

(c) If you choose the alternative in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the BOEM Regional Director may require additional security (i.e., security in excess of your existing bond) to ensure sufficient coverage during an appeal. In that event, the Regional Director will require you to post the supplemental bond with the regional office in the same manner as under §556.53(d) through (f) of this chapter. If the Regional Director determines the appeal should be covered by a lease-specific abandonment account then you must establish an account that meets the requirements of §556.56.

(d) If you do not either pay the penalty or file a timely appeal, BOEM will take one or more of the following actions:

(1) We will collect the amount you were assessed, plus interest, late payment charges, and other fees as provided by law, from the date you received the Reviewing Officer's final decision until the date we receive payment;

(2) We may initiate additional enforcement, including, if appropriate, cancellation of the lease, right-of-way, license, permit, or approval, or the forfeiture of a bond under this part; or

(3) We may bar you from doing further business with the Federal Government according to Executive Orders 12549 and 12689, and section 2455 of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994, 31 U.S.C. 6101. The Department of the Interior's regulations implementing these authorities are found at 43 CFR part 12, subpart D.

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