Subject to section 21304
of this title, a person violating chapter 211
of this title, or violating any provision of a waiver applicable to that person that has been granted under section 21108
of this title, 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. For a violation of section 21106
of this title, a separate violation occurs for each day a facility is not in compliance.
(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.
(b) Civil Actions To Collect.—
(1) The Attorney General shall bring a civil action in a district court of the United States to collect a civil penalty that is referred to the Attorney General for collection under subsection (a) of this section after satisfactory information is presented to the Attorney General. The action may be brought in the judicial district in which the violation occurred or the defendant has its principal executive office. If the action is against an individual, the action also may be brought in the judicial district in which the individual resides.
A civil action under this subsection must be brought not later than 2 years after the date of the violation unless administrative notification under section 3711
of title 31
is given within that 2-year period to the person committing the violation. However, even if notification is given, the action must be brought within the period specified in section 2462
of title 28