Administrative Penalty Complaints and Final Orders
An Administrative Penalty Order is an action that seeks/requires monetary penalty from the defendant/respondent/PRP(s) for violation of an environmental statute. An administrative penalty order may also include requirements for the defendant/respondent/PRP(s) to perform or refrain from certain actions. The procedures that govern administrative penalty actions at EPA are found in the various environmental statutes that EPA enforces and in Volume 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.), Part 22. The administrative penalty action is tracked in ICIS at the initiation (i.e., complaint) stage as well as at the conclusion (i.e., final order) stage. The information entered into ICIS for administrative penalty complaints and/or orders is displayed on key national reports:
– APO Complaints;
– Inj Relf, Penalty, and SEP Values - All Civil Cases; and
– Final Administrative Penalty Orders (Conclusions).
Administrative Penalty Initiation/Complaint Definition
A formal order initiating an administrative action to assess a monetary penalty which, in some instances, also compel the recipient to perform or refrain from certain actions (RCRA and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA)/UIC allow for joint penalty/compliance orders; CWA, CAA, SDWA/Public Water System (PWS) do not). The purpose of the complaint is to notify the defendant/respondent/PRP that EPA is asking an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to impose a monetary penalty to address non-compliance with an environmental statute. For ICIS purposes, any administrative action which seeks/requires penalty is considered an administrative penalty action, even if it combines ordering compliance and penalties.
Information entered into ICIS at this stage should be supported by the following source document:
– Complaint that is filed with the Regional Hearing Clerk.
Note: In instances of a Consent Agreement and Final Order (CAFO) under 40 C.F.R Part 22.18, the Complaint and Final Order are contained in one document.
To receive credit for an administrative penalty complaint:
• an administrative enforcement action record must be entered with all information required by ICIS;
• ‘Penalty’ should be selected in the Relief Sought field;
• the penalty value listed in the complaint must be entered in the Cash Civil Penalty Amount Sought field or a check mark must be entered in the Notice Pleadingcheck box; and
• the date the Complaint is filed with the Regional Hearing Clerk must be entered as the ‘actual date’ for the ‘Complaint/Proposed Order’ sub activity.
Administrative Penalty Initiation/Complaint Data Entry Requirements
An administrative penalty complaint is entered into ICIS by creating a new administrative enforcement action record, selecting the appropriate activity type, and entering all other information required by ICIS and designated National Reporting field by OECA for credit on the main Administrative Enforcement Action screen and side menu screens.
Enter the following information that is required by ICIS on the Add Administrative Enforcement Action screen:
• Enforcement Action Name;
• Enforcement Action Identifier;
• Federal Statutes Violated;
• Sections Violated;
• National MOA Priority or Regional Priority or Core Priorities;
• Lead EPA Attorney or Lead Technical Contact;
• Respondents; and
Enter the following information that is designated National Reporting by OECA for credit on the Add Administrative Enforcement Action screen:
• Relief Sought; and
• Cash Civil Penalty Amount Sought or Notice Pleading.
Data Entry Tips/Anomalies
– If the proposed penalty amount, the amount entered in the Cash Civil Penalty Amount Soughtfield, is $0, the complaint will not be counted on the APO Complaint report. A value greater than $0 must be entered in the Cash Civil Penalty Amount Sought field or a check mark must be entered in the Notice Pleading check box. The Cash Civil Penalty Amount Required and/or Federal Penalty Required on the "Enforcement Action Conclusion" screen can be greater than or equal to $0.
– The amount entered in the Cash Civil Penalty Amount Sought field is the amount of proposed penalty. For a CAFO pursuant to 40 C.F.R Part 22.18 (simultaneous complaint and final order) the proposed penalty amount, the amount entered in the Cash Civil Penalty Amount Sought field, should be the original proposed penalty, not necessarily the proposed penalty as stated in the CAFO.
Enter the following information that is designated National Reporting by OECA for credit on the Defendant/Respondent/PRP Side Menu screen:
• Defendant/Respondent Name; and
• Named in Complaint/Order.
Enter the following information that is designated National Reporting by OECA for credit on the Sub Activities Side Menu screen:
• Complaint/Proposed Order ‘actual date’.