Subject to section 21304
of this title, a person violating a regulation prescribed or order issued under chapter 201
of this title related to accident and incident reporting or investigation, or violating chapters 203209 of this title or a regulation or requirement prescribed or order issued under chapters 203209, is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty. An act by an individual that causes a railroad carrier to be in violation is a violation. A separate violation occurs for each day the violation continues.
(2) The Secretary of Transportation imposes a civil penalty under this subsection. The amount of the penalty shall be at least $500 but not more than $10,000. However, when a grossly negligent violation or a pattern of repeated violations has caused an imminent hazard of death or injury to individuals, or has caused death or injury, the amount may be not more than $20,000.
The Secretary may compromise the amount of the civil penalty under section 3711
of title 31
. In determining the amount of a compromise, the Secretary shall consider
(A) the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation;
(B) with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of violations, the ability to pay, and any effect on the ability to continue to do business; and
(C) other matters that justice requires.
(4) If the Secretary does not compromise the amount of the civil penalty, the Secretary shall refer the matter to the Attorney General for collection.