Here's something to warn your customers: It turns out the June 30 announcement by the Labor Department that OSHA's fines will rise 78% effective Aug. 1 isn't the only case of a federal agency hoisting its fines as a result of a 2015 Congressional mandate. NAHB's blog notes today that the Inflation Adjustment Act requires federal agencies to regularly update the monetary levels of civil penalties to keep pace with inflation.

"That means builders need to pay even closer attention to how they’re following the letter of the law," NAHB says. It found two more examples:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum civil penalty for violating the Clean Water Act’s stormwater permitting requirements will increase to a maximum of $51,570 per violation from a prior maximum civil penalty of $37,500 per violation--an increase of nearly 40%.
  • Meanwhile, the Fish and Wildlife Service has set its maximum civil penalty for violating the Endangered Species Act’s “take” prohibition increases from $25,000 to $49,467 per violation: an increase of 98%.

Agencies could have increased their rates by as much as 78%. In the case of penalties at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was well as at other Labor Department agencies, that agency chose to impose increases based on inflation since 1990.

Read more >