Chronology Archive

The goal of the OCS Civil Penalties Program is to assure safe and clean operations on the OCS. Through the pursuit, assessment, and collection of civil penalties, the progrm is designed to encourage compliance with OCS statutes and regulations. 

  • April 2009: Notice summarizing OCS civil penalties paid, January 1 through December 31, 2008 (74 FR 14151)
  • April 2008: Notice summarizing OCS civil penalties paid, January 1 through December 31, 2007 (73 FR 17378)
  • March 2007: Notice summarizing OCS civil penalties paid, January 1 through December 31, 2006 (72 FR 12823)
    March 2007: Issued an NTL providing the revised civil penalty assessment matrix
  • February 2007: Final rule published in the Federal Register. This rule raises the maximum penalty to $35,000 per violation per day and is effective on March 30, 2007. (72 FR 8897)
  • March 2006: Notice summarizing OCS civil penalties paid, January 1 through December 31, 2005. (71 FR 14945)
  • March 2005: Notice summarizing OCS civil penalties paid, January 1 through December 31, 2004. (70 FR 12719)
  • March 2004: Published in the Federal Register, a listing of civil penalties paid January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2004. The notice highlights the identity of the party, the regulation violated, and the amount paid.
  • October 2003: Final rule published in the Federal Register. This rule raises the maximum penalty to $30,000 per violation per day and was effective November 28, 2003. (68 FR 61622) (October 29, 2003)
  • April 2002: Notice summarizing OCS civil penalties paid, January 1 through December 31, 2001. (67 FR 18030)

  • February 1998: Published, in the Federal Register, a listing of civil penalties paid September 1, 1997, through December 31, 1997. The notice highlights the identity of the party, the regulation violated, and the amount paid.
  • October 1997: Issued an NTL providing the new civil penalty assessment matrix: The matrix raised the minimum civil penalty to $3,000 and the maximum to $25,000 per day per violation.
  • September 1997: Issued an NTL announcing plans to publish information on civil penalties paid. The published notices will include the name of the company, the penalty amount, and the violation.
  • August 1997: Final rule published in the Federal Register August 8, 1997(62 FR 42667)
  • January 1996: OCS civil penalty policy clarified. Policy document sent to Regions for implementation. The final rule, written in plain English, simplifies the OCS Civil Penalty process. The final rule also raises the maximum penalty to $25,000 per day per violation. The final rule was effective on October 8, 1997.
  • December 1996: Notice to Lessees and Operators outlining policy changes. The NTL clarifies violations which will be reviewed for civil penalties.
  • December 1996: Notice of Proposed rulemaking published in the Federal Register December 19, 1996 (61 FR 66966). The proposed rule, written in plain English, simplifies the OCS Civil Penalty process. The proposed rule also raises the maximum penalty to $25,000per day per violation.
  • December 1991: The Interim Policy Document for the OCS Civil Penalties Program was approved by the Director.
  • August 1990:
    Oil Pollution Act:
    • Revised and Strengthened the OCS Civil Penalties Program
    • If violation constitutes or constituted a threat of serious, irreparable, or immediate harm or damage, no need to provide time to correct
    • Fine increased to: $20,000 per day, per violation
    • May 1991: The Final Rule for civil penalties was published in the Federal Register (56 FR 21953).
    • The final rule for civil penalties became effective on June 12, 1991.
  • February 1990:
    Inspection and Enforcement Task Force:
    • Identified the need for reinstating a Civil Penalties Program
  • May 1983:
    A Chevron law suit ended the civil penalty program:
    • Chevron corrected within time required by
    • 'must allow a reasonable time to correct'
    • modified civil penalty regulations and decided not to pursue civil penalties
  • From 1980 to 1983:
    • 56 civil penalty cases were reviewed
    • 39 civil penalties assessed
    • 1.14 million dollars collected
  • September 1978: Lands Act Amendments, Section 24, Remedies and Penalties. Created the Civil Penalties Program. Fine $10,000 per day per violation.