By Adam R. Young, James L. CurtisBrent I. ClarkBenjamin D. BriggsMark A. Lies, Jeryl L. Olson, Patrick D. Joyce, A. Scott HeckerMelissa A. Ortega, and Craig B. Simonsen

Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. DOL and U.S. EPA have published their 2024 increases to civil penalties.

We have blogged previously about the annual adjustments to the maximum civil penalty dollar amounts for OSHA and EPA violations. The agencies have now finalized the 2023 inflation adjustments, which increase the penalties.

Under the 2023 rule, the new maximum OSHA civil penalties will be:

 2023 Penalties2024 Penalties
Other than Serious Violations:$15,625$16,131
Serious Violations:$15,625$16,131
Repeat Violations:$156,259$161,323
Willful Violations:$156,259$161,323
Failure to Abate (Per Day):$15,625$16,131

The new OSHA penalty amounts are applicable to OSHA citations issued after January 15, 2024, for violations occurring after July 15, 2023.

Readers familiar with EPA’s penalty structure know that environmental statutes typically set out a “per day” penalty, as well as a maximum statutory penalty. However, certain statutes allow for civil judicial enforcement that does not carry a maximum statutory penalty.

While under the 2024 rule USEPA has updated penalties under all of the major environmental statues (including but not limited to the Toxic Substances Control Act, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, Oil Pollution Control Act, Safe Drinking Water Act),  as an example of the civil penalty increases for 2024,  the chart below shows the major increases under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act,  and Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act:

2023 Penalties2024 Penalties
Clean Air Act                        
Daily: Maximum (per violation):
$55,808 – $117,468  
$446,456
$57,617 – $121,275  
$460,926
Clean Water Act                   
Daily: Maximum (per violation):
$25,847 – $64,618  
$323,081
$26,685 – $66,712  
$333,552
RCRA                                    Daily:$70,752 – $117,468$73,045 – $121,275
CERCLA                               Daily:
(including EPCRA)
Maximum (per violation):
$67,544

$202,635
$69,733

$209,202

EPA’s 2024 penalties are effective for violations that occurred after November 2, 2015, where the penalty was assessed on or after January 6, 2024. EPA’s 2023 penalties remain effective for violations that occurred after November 2, 2015, where the penalty was assessed on or after January 12, 2023 but before January 6, 2024.

DOL and EPA are required to continue to adjust maximum penalties for inflation by January 15 of each new year.

For more information on this or any related topic please contact the authors, your Seyfarth attorney, or any member of the Workplace Safety and Environmental Team.