DOT Raises Hazmat Civil Penalties for Rail Shippers

Posted on 4/3/2017 by Roger Marks

The US DOT Federal Rail Administration (FRA) this week raised its civil penalties for violations of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) for rail shipments to adjust for inflation. In addition to raising the hazmat civil penalties, this Final Rule also raises penalties for non-hazmat related rail safety violations.

The new penalties take effect immediately, and are applicable to any hazmat penalty assessed on or after January 15, 2017. 

See the Final Rule in the Federal Register here.

Hazmat Training Violations ($8 increase)

US DOT requires all “hazmat employees” to complete training once every 3 years (49 CFR 172.704). Hazmat training is not only critical to keep shipments in compliance, it is also one of the few types of hazmat violation for which there is a minimum civil penalty.

The penalty for failure to provide hazmat training for covered employees has gone up from $463 per day, per employee to $471 per day, per employee.

While an $8 increase may seem insignificant, the “per day” and “per employee” multipliers can add up fast, especially in industries with high turnover and at facilities where employees often take on new hazmat responsibilities. 

Questions about who needs hazmat training? Check out our DOT Hazmat Training explainer video here.

Maximum Hazardous Materials Civil Penalty ($1,262 increase)

hazmat rail carFor non-training related violations of the HMR, the FRA raised the civil penalty from $77,114 to $78,376 per day, per violation.

Aggravated Maximum Hazardous Materials Civil Penalty ($2,944 increase)

For “aggravated” hazmat violations—those that result in death, serious illness, severe injury or substantial destruction of property—FRA raised the civil penalty from $179,933 to $182,827 per day, per violation.

For tips on navigating US DOT’s hazmat regulations for rail shipments, read last month’s Lion News feature Loading, Unloading, and Transloading Hazmat Rail Shipments.

Convenient DOT Hazmat Online Training for Rail Shippers

If you are responsible for loading, unloading, and transloading tank cars, or if you ship, carry, or receive hazmat by rail, keep up to date with these rules and more with Lion’s new Hazmat Ground Shipper—Additional Rail Requirements online course. Designed to meet DOT’s function-specific hazmat training, the course covers critical 49 CFR rules for shipping hazmat by tank car, freight container, IBC, and bulk or non-bulk packages by rail.

Tags: DOT, fines and penalties, FRA, hazmat shipping, new rules

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