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MMS Issues Notice to Lesees regarding Revised Civil Penalties

The Minerals Management Services has issued NTL 2007-N02 which outlines revised civil penalties for operators of oil and gas facilities located in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The MMS regulates pipeline facilities, including producer pipelines that originate within the OCS. The revised maximum civil penalties are now set at $35,000 per day per violation for violations occurring after March 30, 2007. Civil penalties are outlined in a matrix and are determined based upon the Enforcement Code (Warning, Component Shut-In, or Facility Shut-In) and the Category of threat (injury, harm to marine or coastal receptors, pollution volume and duration, and damage to mineral deposits). Other factors can play a part in assessment of civil penalties such as compliance history, severity, precedence of similar cases, and previous civil penalty case history. For a copy of this NTL, contact Jessica Roger.