PHMSA Publishes Final Rule Announcing Updated and Increased Civil Penalties for Hazmat Violations
As many of you already know, PHMSA has regulated pipeline operators to follow human factor guidelines for safer pipeline operations. This is known throughout the pipeline industry as CRM Control Room Management, which includes a written plan addressing control room ergonomics, alarm management, HMI design, and fatigue mitigation.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration develops and enforces regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation system of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air. Please visit http://phmsa.dot.gov for more information.
Today PHMSA announced that the increased maximum civil penalties for safety violations of Federal hazardous materials transportation law and the regulations issued under that law that lead to death, serious injuries or extensive property damage are now in effect. The increased penalties are being published in revisions to PHMSA’s regulations and reflect statutory changes in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).
Civil penalties are assessed for knowingly violating a hazardous material transportation law or a regulation, order, special permit or approval issued under that law. MAP-21 provides that the following updated civil penalties apply to violations occurring on or after October 1, 2012:
· The maximum civil penalty is increased from $55,000 to $75,000.
· The maximum civil penalty 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.
· The civil penalty for violations related to training has reverted to $450
The final rule is available here.