PHMSA updates civil penalty amounts

Washington – A Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration final rule (.pdf file) issued April 17 revises agency regulations to match the maximum and minimum civil penalties for hazardous materials violations established by law in 2012.

The maximum civil penalty increased to $75,000 from $55,000 for “knowingly” violating the “federal hazardous material transportation law or a regulation, order, special permit or approval issued under that law.” For violations that result in death or severe injury or illness to a person, or substantial property damage, the maximum civil penalty increased to $175,000 from $110,000.

MAP-21 (.pdf file), the surface transportation funding bill that was signed into law in July 2012, also removed the minimum civil penalty amount, which previously was $250. Training violations still carry a minimum civil penalty of $450.

The changes in minimum and maximum civil penalties went into effect Oct. 1, 2012.