DOT Raises Hazmat Penalties for Second Time in 2021

Posted on 5/3/2021 by Roger Marks

For the second time this year, US DOT has increased civil penalties for violations of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR).

You read that right. On Monday, May 3, the DOT sub-agencies that enforce the nation’s hazardous materials and transportation rules—PHMSA, FAA, FMCSA, FRA, et. al.—each posted an identical notice to the Federal Register to alert stakeholders that, effective immediately, penalties are rising once again.

We explain below why civil penalties for hazmat violations have increased twice in five months. First, below are the new maximum and minimum civil penalty values for HMR violations, as of May 3, 2021: 

$84,425 per day, per violation is the new maximum civil penalty for a typical hazmat shipping violation.

$196,992 per day, per violation is the new maximum civil penalty for a violation that results in death, serious illness, severe injury, or substantial property damage.

$508 per employee, per day is the new minimum penalty for failure to provide hazmat training as required by 49 CFR 172.704.

Why Two Hazmat Penalty Increases?

US DOT and other Federal agencies, including US EPA and OSHA, are authorized to increase civil penalties on an annual basis to match the rate of inflation. DOT’s “annual” civil penalty adjustment for 2020 was completed later than usual, in January 2021. The most recent increase before January was in August 2019.  

Now, DOT is upping the penalties again—this time for the 2021 adjustment.

Why Do Civil Penalties Go Up Every Year?

Annual civil penalty adjustments began in 2015, when the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act. Before 2015, DOT and EPA were required to increase penalties only every four years. OSHA was not authorized to increase its civil penalties at all.

EPA increased its penalties for violations of air, water, chemical, and hazardous waste standards in December 2020.

OSHA increased civil penalties for workplace safety violations in January 2021.

In-person Hazmat Workshops Return in 2021

Let’s train together again. Join a Lion instructor for comprehensive, expert-led training to ship hazardous materials by ground, air, and vessel when Lion workshops return to select cities later this year.

These comprehensive workshops cover the latest requirements you must know to offer safe, compliant shipments, and help meet US DOT, IATA DGR, and IMDG Code training mandates for hazardous materials professionals.
Charlotte Aug. 10–11 Aug. 12  
Orlando Aug. 16–17 Aug. 18  
Nashville Aug. 24–25 Aug. 26 Aug. 27
Atlanta Aug. 30–31 Sep. 01 Sep. 02
Houston Sep. 14–15 Sep. 16 Sep. 17
Dallas Sep. 20–21 Sep. 22 Sep. 23
San Diego Sep. 28–29 Sep. 30 Oct. 01
Cincinnati Nov. 08–09 Nov. 10  
St. Louis Dec. 01–02 Dec. 03  
Chicago Dec. 06–07 Dec. 08 Dec. 09

Save when you attend all four days! Enroll for the Complete Multimodal Hazmat Shipper Certification Workshops in Nashville, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, San Diego, or Chicago. 

US DOT requires hazmat training once every 3 years (49 CFR 172.704). 

Tags: DOT, FAA, hazmat penalties, hazmat shipping, PHMSA

Find a Post

Compliance Archives

Lion - Quotes

This is the best RCRA training I've experienced! I will be visiting Lion training again.

Cynthia L. Logsdon

Principal Environmental Engineer

The instructor was energetic and made learning fun compared to dry instructors from other training providers.

Andy D’Amato

International Trade Compliance Manager

The course is well thought out and organized in a way that leads to a clearer understanding of the total training.

David Baily

Hazmat Shipping Professional

Lion Technology workshops are amazing!! You always learn so much, and the instructors are fantastic.

Dorothy Rurak

Environmental Specialist

I was able to present my scenario to the instructor and worked thru the regulations together. In the past, I attended another training firm's classes. Now, I have no intention of leaving Lion!

Diana Joyner

Senior Environmental Engineer

The price was reasonable, the time to complete the course was manageable, and the flexibility the online training allowed made it easy to complete.

Felicia Rutledge

Hazmat Shipping Professional

Lion is at the top of the industry in compliance training. Course content and structure are updated frequently to make annual re-training enjoyable. I like that Lion has experts that I can contact for 1 year after the training.

Caroline Froning

Plant Chemist

The instructor was great, explaining complex topics in terms that were easily understandable and answering questions clearly and thoroughly.

Brittany Holm

Lab Supervisor

Best course instructor I've ever had. Funny, relatable, engaging; made it interesting and challenged us as the professionals we are.

Amanda Schwartz

Environmental Coordinator

Lion's training was by far the best online RCRA training I've ever taken. It was challenging and the layout was great!

Paul Harbison

Hazardous Waste Professional

Download Our Latest Whitepaper

Use this guide to help meet your OSH Act responsibilities to provide a safe, healthy workplace during a public health crisis.

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.