Mine Safety and Health Administration – Inflation Adjustment Act
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the impact of the Inflation Adjustment Act on MSHA’s civil penalties?
Some civil monetary penalties were increased due to inflation. However, three civil monetary penalties were decreased due to inflation adjustment. See Table 1.
Table 1: MSHA’s Existing and Inflation-Adjusted Penalties
|30 CFR Citation||Existing Penalty||Inflation-Adjusted Penalty|
|100.3(g)||$112 (60 or fewer points)||$70,000 (144 or more points)||$127 (60 or fewer points)||$68,300 (140 or more points)|
Why did some MSHA penalties decrease?
Due to the statutory methodology and rounding rules of prior inflation adjustments, some of MSHA’s current penalty amount increases outpaced year-over-year inflation since the penalty amounts were established. According to the OMB guidance, the 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act’s calculation methodology is intended to bring civil penalties in line with inflation since the penalty was enacted. Therefore, some penalties were decreased to better track inflation. When MSHA applied the 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act’s formula to the penalty conversion table in 100.3(g), the top value declined slightly. The overall result will nonetheless be an upward adjustment for inflation; applying the new table to MSHA’s 2015 assessment data results in a 13.6 percent increase.
When will MSHA begin to assess the new penalties?
The new civil penalty amounts are applicable only to civil penalties assessed after August 1, 2016, whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015, the date of enactment of the 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act.
How will penalties be adjusted in the future?
Under the 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act, OMB will issue guidance on or before December 15 of each year directing agencies to adjust their penalties for inflation before January 15 of the subsequent year, in line with the statutory formula.
How can I submit comments on the Interim Final Rule?
Comments on the DOL-only rule may be sent via https://www.regulations.gov, by typing in “Department of Labor Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Catch-Up Adjustments” (in quotes) in the Comment or Submission search box, click Go, and follow the instructions for submitting comments. For the Joint DHS-DOL rule, search instead for “Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Catch-Up Adjustments.” Comments must be submitted by 8-15-16.