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Federal civil penalties for non-compliance with federal regulations are going up in 2023…way up. It’s the new year and OSHA, EPA, MSHA, and all other US federal agencies have recently published their 2023 annual civil penalty adjustments under the requirements of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015. Under the Act, all federal agencies are required to revise and publish their schedule of civil penalties based on the previous year’s rate of inflation, which is calculated based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U). 2023 federal civil penalty adjustments are based on a published Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) multiplier of 1.07745.  In other words, all federal fines and penalties for non-compliance are going up by 7.7% — roughly equal to the average rate of inflation faced by all consumers in the US during 2022.

One might hope that, considering the exceptionally high rate of inflation facing US businesses and consumers throughout 2022, the US federal government may have provided some reprieve on these annual civil penalty adjustments for 2023. Unfortunately, the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015 prescribes the CPI-U rate at which these adjustments must be made, and no exception was provided. Now, more than ever, (quite literally) regulated organizations and businesses must do their due diligence to comply with applicable federal regulations in order to avoid the increasing impact of fines and penalties coming in 2023.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the updated civil penalty schedules for US federal agencies most relevant to EHS professionals to see how these changes could impact your business.   

OSHA Civil Penalties

On January 13, 2023, The US Department of Labor published its updated civil penalties in the Federal Register, including those issued and enforced by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The table below shows a brief comparison of 2022 and 2023 penalty amounts for violations of selected OSHA regulations.

OSHA penalties 2023

EPA Civil Penalties

As of January 6, 2023, EPA fines have also increased by 7.7% The EPA’s published penalty adjustments provide additional details on how the changes affect penalty amounts under specific regulations. For example, the table below shows a comparison of 2022 and 2023 penalty amounts for violations of selected EPA regulations:

EPA Penalties 2023

*2022 penalty amounts are or violations that occurred after November 2, 2015, where penalties were assessed on or after January 12, 2022, but before January 6, 2023

**2023 penalty amounts are for violations that occur or occurred after November 2, 2015, where penalties are assessed on or after January 6, 2023

MSHA Civil Penalties

Like OSHA, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) operates under the purview of the US Department of Labor (DOL). MSHA has also updated its penalties to account for the 7.7% rise in CPI-U for 2023. The table below shows a comparison of 2022 and 2023 penalty amounts for violations of selected MSHA regulations:

MSHA Penalties 2023

Additional 2023 Federal Civil Penalties

Updated penalty amounts published by other important EHS regulatory agencies can be found at the links below:

Simplify Compliance and Avoid Costly Fines with VelocityEHS

Penalties for non-compliance are only going up and even a single violation can quickly turn into a significant financial blow that could sink your business. VelocityEHS offers a comprehensive suite of EHS & ESG software solutions that make it easier to manage compliance with a wide range of EHS regulations, helping you to avoid penalties for noncompliance and protect worker health and safety, and the environment.

Request a demo today to learn more about the VelocityEHS Accelerate® Platform’s range of EHS & ESG solutions and see how we can help you simplify compliance, automate complex and time-consuming compliance tasks, and build a safer and more sustainable workplace.