California Raises Maximum Enforcement Daily Penalty from $25,000 to $70,000 per Day

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On February 8, 2019, DTSC released a new proposed penalty matrix.   Talk about inflation!  The new proposed penalty matrix will raise the maximum $25,000 per day penalty to $70,000 per day penalty.

The proposal amends section 66272.62 which provides the minimum and maximum penalties that are multipliers and go into the equations DTSC uses to calculate the penalties.  The Legislature raised the maximum penalty in a bill signed into law by Governor Brown on October 5, 2017 (AB 245), so this proposed regulation is implementing this new authority in regulation.

The processing of this new penalty matrix regulation is considered an “emergency” because if they followed the normal rulemaking process they would not be able to collect these higher sums until November 2018 and thus they need to rely on the emergency abbreviated procedure to speed up the potential collection of these sums.  Since its establishment in 1991 multi-year and decade long rulemaking processes have been more the norm, so this may be the fastest out-of –the-gate rulemaking in DTSC’s history.

Comments are due on the new proposed penalty matrix by March 25, 2018 by 5 pm PDT.  A hearing will be held on March 29, 2019 from 9 until noon PDT, simultaneously in Chatsworth and Sacramento locations.