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OSHA and EPA Increase Penalties for 2022: Stay Out of Their Crosshairs

Toby Graham /

As they now do every year, the fine folks at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration  and the Environmental Protection Agency have raised their fines for 2022.

Maximum OSHA civil penalties have jumped to:

Serious &
Other than Serious Violations

$14,502

Repeat &
Willful
Violations

$145,027

Failure to Abate
(per day)

$14,502

Changing gears and looking at EPA Penalties, here’s how they’re shaping up for 2022:

When it come to the EPA, environmental statutes typically set out a “per day” penalty, as well as a maximum statutory penalty. But keep in mind that certain statutes allow for civil judicial enforcement that does not carry a maximum penalty.

Clean Air Act

Daily

$51,796 –
$109,024

Maximum (per violation)

$414,364

Clean Water Act

Daily

$23,989 –
$59,973

Maximum (per violation)

$299,857

RCRA

Daily

$62,689 –
$109,024

CERCLA
(Including EPCRA)

Daily

$62,689

Maximum (per violation)

$188,069

Why these changes? Blame inflation.

The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 requires federal agencies to adjust their maximum fees for violations to stay commensurate with the cost of living. In other words, as the price of a gallon of milk goes up, so too do OSHA fines. As far as a percentage increase, the 6.2% increase this year is the largest increase in base penalty amounts since the yearly increases started.

So, what can you do about it?

Staying out of regulators’ crosshairs is a good thing, no matter which regulatory body you’re talking about. One thing you can do is know ahead of time what a regulator’s looking for. KPA’s District Manager, Amanda Rawls, wrote a great article on just this topic.

Regulatory Audit Best Practices

Now’s a great time to save money by going vegan or—better yet—improving your safety culture. See how easy and cost-effective it can be to reduce your regulatory risk.

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