In a final rule issued Jan. 9, FERC has increased its maximum civil penalties by 1.6% to reflect inflation.
The rule revised commission fines for violations of FERC-jurisdictional statutes, rules and orders imposed under the Federal Power Act, the Interstate Commerce Act, the Natural Gas Act and the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978. FERC is required to make the annual update under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (RM17-9).
Inflation was calculated using the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers, comparing October 2016 figures with those from October 2015.
The new set of maximum fines range from $1,270 per offense, per day for violating the Interstate Commerce Act to $1,213,503 per violation, per day for violating sections of the Federal Power Act, the Natural Gas Act or the Natural Gas Policy Act.
The rule becomes effective upon publication in the Federal Register. FERC submitted the rule to the Senate, House of Representatives and Government Accountability Office and posted it without notice and comment period because it did not exercise discretion over the inflation calculation.