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FERC Issues Penalty Guidelines Policy Statement


March 18, 2010
On March 18, 2010, in Docket No. PL10-4, FERC issued a Policy Statement on Penalty Guidelines (Policy Statement) that revises FERC’s policy on imposing civil penalties for violations of the statutes, rules, regulations, orders, etc. that are overseen by FERC, including violations of mandatory Reliability Standards. The Guidelines are primarily based on (and are codified in a manner similar to) the federal sentencing guidelines for organizations in criminal cases. FERC’s stated objectives in implementing the Guidelines are to promote fairness and consistency in penalty application, to notify the industry of how civil penalties are assessed and which violations are most important, and to ease administration. However, the Guidelines specifically provide that their application is discretionary, meaning that FERC is not bound to apply the Guidelines in all cases.

To read Chairman Wellinghoff’s statement on the Policy Statement, click here.
To read Commissioner Norris’s statement on the Policy Statement, click here.
To read Commissioner Spitzer’s statement on the Policy Statement, click here.
To read the Penalty Guidelines Policy Statement, click here.
To view the Commission’s Penalty Guidelines Flowchart, click here.