The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) published an interim rule (pdf) revising its civil procedure regulations for the assessment of civil penalties for violations of various laws and regulations within the Service’s jurisdiction. The Service issued the revised procedures pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015, which requires agencies to update statutory civil monetary penalties to adjust for inflation. The purpose of the Inflation Adjustment Act is to maintain the deterrent effect of civil penalties and to further the policy goals of the underlying statutes.

The revisions to the maximum civil penalties within the Service’s jurisdiction are as follows:

  • Knowing violation of section 1538 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) increased from $25,000 to $49,467.
  • Other knowing violations of the ESA increased from $12,000 to $23,744.
  • Any other violation of the ESA increased from $500 to $1,250.
  • Any violation of the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act increased from $5,000 to $12,500.
  • Any violation of the African Elephant Conservation Act increased from $5,000 to $9,893.
  • Any violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act increased from $10,000 to $25,000.
  • Knowing violation of the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 increased from $10,000 to $25,000.
  • Any other violation of the Lacey Act Amendments increased from $250 to $625.
  • Violation of the Recreational Hunting Safety Act of 1994 involving use of force or violence or threatened use of force or violence increased from $10,000 to $15,909.
  • Any other violation of the Recreational Hunting Safety Act increased from $5,000 to $7,954.
  • Any violation of the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1998 increased from $12,000 to $17,403.
  • Violation of section 4910(a)(1), (a)(2), or any permit issued under section 4911 of the Wild Bird Conservation Act increased from $25,000 to $41,932.
  • Violation of section 4910(a)(3) of the Wild Bird Conservation Act increased from $12,000 to $20,127.
  • Any other violation of the Wild Bird Conservation Act increased from $500 to $839.

These initial “catch up adjustments” to the Service’s civil penalties are effective July 28, 2016. The Service must make subsequent inflation adjustments no later than January 15 every year hereafter.