Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)

OCS Civil Penalties Program

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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 and referrals for the consideration of criminal penalties, the program is designed to encourage compliance with OCS statutes and regulations.

Note: Beginning February 17, 2018, the new rate will increase from $42,704 to $43,576 a day for each violation. This legislatively-mandated increase is contained in a final rule which is effective January 18, 2018. This rate will be reviewed on an annual basis. See News Release here.

The Bureau's Criminal review is a screening and referral process. As part of the process, potential cases are analyzed to determine whether the facts and circumstances suggest the likelihood of a knowing violation of law warranting investigation by the Department of the Interior's Office of Inspector General (OIG). The OIG decides whether to initiate a criminal investigation or to conduct further preliminary inquiries to ascertain the facts necessary to determine whether the case meets the criteria for investigation.

Below is the Statutory Authority that governs the Bureau's Criminal Penalty review and referrals:

Criminal violations are covered under Section 24(c) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA or the Act) (43 U.S.C. 1350(c)). Criminal violations are those that are knowing and willful and may include:

  • Violation of any provision of the OCSLA, any lease term, license, or permit pursuant to the Act, or any regulation or order issued under the Act designed to protect health, safety, or the environment or to conserve natural resources;
  • Any false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, report, or other document filed or required to be maintained under the Act;
  • Falsifying, tampering with, or rendering inaccurate any monitoring device or method of record required to be maintained under the Act; and
  • A disclosure of any data or information required to be kept confidential by the Act. Inspector General Act (IGA): The OIG is authorized to investigate violations of OCSLA under Section 2 of the IGA (5 U.S.C. App §§ 2 and 4 (1998)).

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