All You Need to Know About the ECB Penalty Schedule Increase

by Robert Fried on May 10, 2018 , Comments Off on All You Need to Know About the ECB Penalty Schedule Increase

They did it again! The DOB has recently modified the ECB Penalty Schedule for 2018. While this is an annual occurrence, this year the changes are more significant than usual. Many violations are increasing, several new infractions have been introduced, and some existing penalties are decreasing. The new schedule has already gone into effect on March 7th, 2018 and all NYC property owners and builders must abide by the changes.

As a property owner, you know how important it is to keep yourself in the know about any changes to the NYC compliance code. As always, Jack Jaffa & Associates has got you covered!

Read on for a rundown on all the major changes to the ECB Penalty Schedule:

PENALTY INCREASES

Lots of existing penalties have jumped for 2018. Here are some of the most significant increases:

Many Aggravated I default penalties will now match Aggravated II default penalties. Aggravated I penalties are typically a lot lower than Aggravated II penalties.  With the new changes in place, many infractions will now have an Aggravated I penalty of $25,000.

Some of these infractions include:

Using an unqualified foreman (104-20)
Superintendent neglecting to comply with code (3301.13.17)
Equipment user failing to designate a lift director (3319-02)
Failure to assemble, disassemble, or ensure crane or derrick are assembled or dissembled as per plan (3319-01)
Equipment user failing to maintain crane or derrick log (3319-01[h])
Failure to take required measures to secure public safety; having an unsafe façade (28-302.5)
Failure to file evidence of compliance with Workers Comp, law and/or disability benefits law (28-401.9)

Failure to maintain an elevator or conveying system, (28304.1) has seen a huge increase in its standard penalty. It is now set at $12,500, up from just $1,000.

NEW INFRACTIONS

The DOB has added several brand-new infractions to the penalty schedule. Make sure you’re up to date on these most recent violations.

Most additions to the penalty schedule are related to construction equipment like cranes and derricks (3319-01 & 3319.02). To be fully compliant with the law, all construction equipment must be assembled and disassembled as per plan, be maintained properly, be overseen by a qualified foreman, and its use must be logged in detail.  There must also be a designated lift director on site.

There are no cures for these violations and failure to comply with them will result in fines starting at $3,125 for a mitigated Class 2 infraction and increasing up to $25,000 for an Aggravated I penalty.

PENALTY DECREASES

It’s not all bad news for property owners this year. These infractions have seen a decrease:

Standard penalty for the failure to install luminous egress or photo luminescent exit path marking in high-rise buildings, (BC 403.16 & BC 403.5.5) has gone down to $2,500 from $4,800.

Standard penalty for a class 2 failure to complete, implement or amend a bicycle access plan or provide request for exception, (28-504.1.2 [3]) has gone down to $625 from $800 and the default penalty has gone down to $3,125 from $4,000. Similar infractions regarding posting notices about bicycle access (28-504.1.4[6]) and neglecting to file bicycle access plans in a timely manner (28-504.1.4[7]) have seen identical decreases.

If You are Issued a Violation

With so many infractions increasing this year, you don’t want to be caught on the wrong side of the law.

If you are issued a Notice of Violation, don’t panic. Here’s what you need to do:

Verify if your infraction is eligible for a cure date. If it is, you’ll find it listed on the proposed penalty sheet.

Verify if your infraction is eligible for a Stipulation. If it is, you’ll find it on the proposed penalty sheet as well.

Fix your violation and follow up with a Certificate of Correction by the designated date. This way, you won’t have to pay the full penalty amount.

If your violation is eligible for a mitigated penalty, you’ll find that information on your Notice of Violation. In order to qualify for the smaller penalty amount, you’ll need to prove that your violation was corrected before the hearing date.

With the new ECB Penalty Schedule in effect, you need to be certain that you are in full compliance of the law at all times. We can help! Jack Jaffa & Associates will work with you to ensure that you’re always following the NYC compliance code.

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