New Highway Bill Raises Civil Penalties for Hazmat Violations

Posted on 7/9/2012 by Lion Staff

On Friday, President Obama signed into law the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21stCentury (MAP-21) highway bill.  This bill made significant changes to the hazmat portions of the current highway law, including increasing civil penalties for hazmat violations.
The maximum civil penalty for a standard hazmat violation rose from $50,000 per day/per violation to $75,000 per day/per violation.  The penalty for a violation that causes death, significant injury, or property damage rose from $100,000 per day/per violation to $175,000 per day/per violation.
MAP-21 also includes a provision that authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to penalize persons or businesses that “obstruct” hazmat inspections.  In this rule, “obstruct” is defined as “actions that were known, or reasonably should have been known, to prevent, hinder, or impede an investigation.”
Lastly, the DOT now has the authority to shut down any business that fails to pay its penalties (or set up a payment plan) within 90 days. 
In the MAP-21 law, Congress also laid out instructions for the DOT to answer many of the public comments raised regarding its Enhanced Enforcement Authority, also known as the “package-open” rule.  We’ll have more on exactly what instructions Congress gave the DOT in next week’s installment of LionBlog, so stay tuned.
You will find the full text of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century highway bill here:

Tags: DOT, hazmat shipping, new rules

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

I like the consistency of Lion workshops. The materials are well put together and instructors are top notch!

Kevin Pylka

Permitting, Compliance & Environmental Manager

I love that the instructor emphasized the thought process behind the regs.

Rebecca Saxena

Corporate Product Stewardship Specialist

The course was very informative and presented in a way that was easily understood and remembered. I would recommend this course.

Jeffrey Tierno

Hazmat Shipping Professional

These are the best classes I attend each year. I always take something away and implement improvements at my sites.

Kim Racine

EH&S Manager

One of the best trainings I have ever received!

Brandon Morfin

EH&S Manager

This is a very informative training compared to others. It covers everything I expect to learn and even a lot of new things.

Quatama Jackson

Waste Management Professional

The instructor had knowledge of regulations and understanding of real-world situations. The presentation style was engaging and fostered a positive atmosphere for information sharing.

Linda Arlen

Safety & Environmental Compliance Officer

The instructor made the class very enjoyable and catered to the needs of our group.

Sarah Baker


Amazing instructor; real-life examples. Lion training gets better every year!

Frank Papandrea

Environmental Manager

The instructor took a rather drab set of topics and brought them to life with realistic real-life examples.

Tom Berndt

HSE Coordinator

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

A guide to developing standard operating procedures, or SOPs, that help you select, manage, and audit your hazmat agents and contractors.

Latest Whitepaper

By submitting your phone number, you agree to receive recurring marketing and training text messages. Consent to receive text messages is not required for any purchases. Text STOP at any time to cancel. Message and data rates may apply. View our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.