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DOT-PHMSA Increases Civil Penalties for HazMat Violations

Effective April 17, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”) has revised its maximum and minimum civil penalties for violations of the federal hazardous material transportation law (“HazMat”) for violations occurring on or after October 1, 2012.

According to the final rule and a DOT-PHMSA announcement concerning the revisions:

  • The maximum civil penalty is increased from $55,000 to $75,000 for knowingly violating Federal hazardous material transportation law;
  • The maximum civil penalty for knowingly violating laws and regulations that result in death, serious illness, severe injury to any person or substantial destruction of property is increased from $110,000 to $175,000;
  • The $250 minimum civil penalty has been eliminated; and
  • The civil penalty for violations related to training has reverted to $450.

Additional information regarding DOT-PHMSA HazMat enforcement is accessible from the agency’s website. In calendar year 2011, for example, PHMSA had 195 cases and 388 ticket civil penalty actions and collected $2,148,168.29 in penalties.