If you’re familiar with OATH and the Environmental Control Board, you may be familiar with agency penalty schedules. Each NYC agency tied to ECB-associated hearings has a respective penalty schedule that outlines different infractions and their respective fines. While these penalty schedules previously existed under OATH’s section of the RCNY (Rules of the City of New York), they are now being moved to each individual agency’s chapter.
This move is being done for a few reasons:
- Penalty sheets will be closer to the actual agency regulations, making them easier to find
- Removing OATH/ECB’s need to approve proposed or amended penalties will speed up agency rule-making
So what does this mean for you? While many of the previous agency penalty moves were administrative in nature and had little immediate impact on owners and managers, the DOB’s adjustment is particularly interesting for one big reason.
Tucked into the proposed rule (read here) is new language for Section 102-01, Title 1 of RCNY, referencing reduced penalties for defaulted DOB violations. Here’s the exact proposed language:
(j) Reduction of default penalties upon proof of compliance. With the exception of daily penalties charged under section 28-202.1 of the Administrative Code for continued Class 1 violations of sections 28-210.1 or 28-210.3 of the Administrative Code, any imposed Default Penalty, Aggravated l Default Penalty or Aggravated II Default Penalty will be reduced by one-half (1/2) after: (1) Respondent files an acceptable certificate of correction with the Department; and (2) ECB receives notification from the Department of its acceptance of such certificate of correction.
According to the proposed subdivision, default penalties and repeat default penalties (with some exceptions) would have the fine reduced by half once correction has been filed and approved. Per DOB requirements, this involves submission of a Certificate of Correction directly to the agency (beyond and in addition to any proof provided at the hearing).
While this is possibly huge news, there’s also a ton of unanswered questions. Will this be retroactive? What is the timeframe for this reduction? How can named respondents actually take advantage of this? We’ll keep you posted on any additional information provided by the DOB. In the meantime, this adjustment is open for comments via e-mail, fax, and mail, and an in-person session on Wednesday, March 29th. Stay tuned to the blog for additional updates as this change is adjusted, adopted, and promulgated.