United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

§ 2.205 Civil penalties.

(a) Before instituting any proceeding to impose a civil penalty under section 234 of the Act, the Executive Director for Operations or the Executive Director's designee, as appropriate, shall serve a written notice of violation upon the person charged. This notice may be included in a notice issued pursuant to § 2.201 or § 76.70(d) of this chapter. The notice of violation shall specify the date or dates, facts, and the nature of the alleged act or omission with which the person is charged, and shall identify specifically the particular provision or provisions of the law, rule, regulation, license, permit, part 76 certificate of compliance or compliance plan, or cease and desist order involved in the alleged violation and must state the amount of each proposed penalty. The notice of violation shall also advise the person charged that the civil penalty may be paid in the amount specified therein, or the proposed imposition of the civil penalty may be protested in its entirety or in part, by a written answer, either denying the violation or showing extenuating circumstances. The notice of violation shall advise the person charged that upon failure to pay a civil penalty subsequently determined by the Commission, if any, unless compromised, remitted, or mitigated, be collected by civil action, pursuant to Section 234c of the Act.

(b) Within twenty (20) days of the date of a notice of violation or other time specified in the notice, the person charged may either pay the penalty in the amount proposed or answer the notice of violation. The answer to the notice of violation shall state any facts, explanations, and arguments, denying the charges of violation, or demonstrating any extenuating circumstances, error in the notice of violation, or other reason why the penalty should not be imposed and may request remission or mitigation of the penalty.

(c) If the person charged with violation fails to answer within the time specified in paragraph (b) of this section, an order may be issued imposing the civil penalty in the amount set forth in the notice of violation described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(d) If the person charged with violation files an answer to the notice of violation, the Executive Director for Operations or the Executive Director's designee, upon consideration of the answer, will issue an order dismissing the proceeding or imposing, mitigating, or remitting the civil penalty. The person charged may, within twenty (20) days of the date of the order or other time specified in the order, request a hearing.

(e) If the person charged with violation requests a hearing, the Commission will issue an order designating the time and place of hearing.

(f) If a hearing is held, an order will be issued after the hearing by the presiding officer or the Commission dismissing the proceeding or imposing, mitigating, or remitting the civil penalty.

(g) The Executive Director for Operations or the Executive Director's designee, as appropriate may compromise any civil penalty, subject to the provisions of § 2.203.

(h) If the civil penalty is not compromised, or is not remitted by the Executive Director for Operations or the Executive Director's designee, as appropriate, the presiding officer, or the Commission, and if payment is not made within ten (10) days following either the service of the order described in paragraph (c) or (f) of this section, or the expiration of the time for requesting a hearing described in paragraph (d) of this section, the Executive Director for Operations or the Executive Director's designee, as appropriate, may refer the matter to the Attorney General for collection.

(i) Except when payment is made after compromise or mitigation by the Department of Justice or as ordered by a court of the United States, following reference of the matter to the Attorney General for collection, payment of civil penalties imposed under Section 234 of the Act are to be made payable to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in U.S. funds, by check, draft, money order, credit card, or electronic funds transfer such as Automated Clearing House (ACH) using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Federal agencies may also make payment by the On-Line Payment and Collections System (OPAC's). All payments are to be made in accordance with the specific payment instructions provided with Notices of Violation that propose civil penalties and Orders Imposing Civil Monetary Penalties.

(j) Amount. A civil monetary penalty imposed under section 234 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or any other statute within the jurisdiction of the Commission that provides for the imposition of a civil penalty in an amount equal to the amount set forth in Section 234, may not exceed $140,000 for each violation. If any violation is a continuing one, each day of such violation shall constitute a separate violation for the purposes of computing the applicable civil penalty.

[36 FR 16896, Aug. 26, 1971, as amended at 52 FR 31608, Aug. 21, 1987; 54 FR 53315, Dec. 28, 1989; 61 FR 53555, Oct. 11, 1996; 62 FR 6668, Feb. 12, 1997; 63 FR 31850, June 10, 1998; 65 FR 59272, Oct. 4, 2000; 69 FR 62394, Oct. 26, 2004; 73 FR 54673, Sep. 23, 2008]

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, July 25, 2013