Fines for Non-Compliance
Fines for Non-Compliance
Fines for Noncompliance are explained in BLM 3163 – Noncompliance, Assessments, and Penalties
If a noncompliance or violation is found during inspections performed by Bureau of Land Management and the operating rights owner or operator fails to mitigate the noncompliance or refuses to comply with the regulations, they are subject to major and minor violations.
Major Violation as defined by U.S. Department of the interior Bureau of Land Management:
Noncompliance that causes or threatens immediate, substantial, and adverse impacts on public health and safety, the environment, production accountability, or royalty income.
If the noncompliance or violation is not corrected within the time allowed, BLM may subject the operating rights owner or operator, to an assessment of $500 per day for each day the noncompliance continue.
Minor Violation as defined by U.S. Department of the interior Bureau of Land Management:
Depending upon severity of the noncompliance or violation, BLM may apply different enforcement tools and/or assessments, and there may be additional requirements.
If the noncompliance or violation is not corrected within the time allowed, BLM may subject the operating rights owner or operator, to an assessment of $250 per violation.
There are different enforcement tools that Bureau of Land Management utilizes other than Written Order and Incident of Non-Compliance. BLM can order a company to shut in operations, which means that operations on the well or lease must cease.
Violations subject to an immediate assessment:
Civil and Criminal Penalties:
Civil penalties pursuant to 43 CFR 3163.2 range from $1000+ per day to $52000+ per day depending on the non-compliance or violation. The monetary amounts adjust annually based on the inflation rate. BLM may pursue a Civil Action in a District Court (43 CFR 3163.4).
For Criminal Penalties per 43 CFR 3163.3, Any person who commits an act for which a civil penalty is provided in 3163.2(f) shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $50,000, or by imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or both.
In rare circumstances, the BLM may “attach the bond”, which means the BLM uses the bond money to fix the enforcement infraction at the well or pipeline location.
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