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Pipeline | Fines/penalties

PHMSA: Pay civil penalties on time or cease hazmat operations

October 2, 2013

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Washington – A Sept. 24 proposed rule from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration would prohibit hazardous materials carriers and associated companies from further operations if they do not pay civil penalties for violations within 90 days.

According to the notice of proposed rulemaking, overdue companies would be required to pay the civil penalty or arrange an approved payment plan with the enforcing agency in order to resume operations. Companies that have filed a formal appeal of the civil penalty would be exempt, in addition to companies that have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and are unable to pay the penalty.

Non-exempt companies that continue hazardous materials operations after 90 days would face additional penalties and criminal prosecution. This would improve safety for the traveling public and the environment by discouraging unsafe companies that do not want to pay civil penalties from operating in the industry, PHMSA stated in the NPRM.

The NPRM also would apply to packaging and storage companies that work with hazardous materials carriers that must comply with Hazardous Materials Regulations.

Comments are due Nov. 25.