skip to main content

Penalties for noncompliance with regulations enforced by EPA, OSHA and other U.S. environmental and occupational health and safety agencies are going up! Under the requirements of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015, all U.S. federal agencies must annually revise their civil penalty amounts to account for the rate of inflation. Read on for details about the penalty increases for OSHA and EPA violations in 2020.

OSHA 2020 Penalty Increases

Like all agencies operating under the DOL, 2020 OSHA penalty amounts have increased by approximately 1.8% over 2019 amounts, based on a cost-of-living adjustment multiplier of 1.01764. These new penalty amounts become effective as of January 15, 2020.

The table below shows the increases for each type of OSHA violation. You can find additional details in the DOL memorandum outlining the increases at

Violation Type CFR Citation   2019 Maximum Penalty 2020 Maximum Penalty
Serious29 CFR 1903.15(d)(3)$13,260$13,494
Other-than-Serious29 CFR 1903.15(d)(4)$13,260$13,494
Willful or Repeated29 CFR 1903.15(d)(1)$132,598$134,937
Posting Requirement29 CFR 1903.15(d)(6)$13,260$13,494
Failure to Abate29 CFR 1903.15(d)(5)$13,260$13,494

EPA 2020 Penalty Increases

As of January 13, 2020, EPA fines have also increased by 1.8% using a cost of living multiplier of 1.01764.

The EPA final rule provides additional details on how the changes affect penalty amounts under specific regulations. For example, the table below shows increased penalty amounts for violations of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA), including Tier II reporting, Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting, and emergency planning and notification requirements.

U.S. Code CitationPenalty Amount (before 2020 increase)Penalty Amount (after 2020 increase)
42 U.S.C. 11045(a)$57,317$58,328
42 U.S.C. 11045(b)(1)(A)$57,317$58,328
42 U.S.C. 11045(b)(2)$57,317/$171,952$58,328/$174,985
42 U.S.C. 11045(b)(3)$57,317/$171,952$58,328/$174,985
42 U.S.C. 11045(c)(1)$57,317$58,328
42 U.S.C. 11045(c)(2)$22,927$23,331
42 U.S.C.11045(d)(1)$57,317$58,328

Simplify Compliance and Avoid Costly Fines with VelocityEHS

VelocityEHS offers a comprehensive suite of software solutions and services that make it faster and easier to manage workplace health and safety, comply with EHS regulations and avoid penalties for noncompliance. Be sure to visit our solutions overview page to learn more about how our award-winning SDS/Chemical Management, On-Demand Training, Environmental Management and other EHS management software solutions can help you.

Ready for a first-hand look at how VelocityEHS can help you simplify compliance and build a safer, more sustainable workplace? Contact Us Today to Request a Demo!