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Final Rule Alert: PHMSA Raises Hazmat Penalties for 2019

Posted on 11/27/2018 by Roger Marks

The US DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has raised civil penalties for Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) violations to keep pace with inflation. This minor adjustment occurs once per year—but with penalties assessed on a per day, per violation basis, even small increases to penalties can quickly add up.

The increased DOT hazmat penalty amounts are as follows: 
 
  • The maximum civil penalty for a violation of hazardous materials transportation law (49 U.S.C. 5123(a)(1)) rose from $78,376 to $79,976 per day, per violation.
 
  • For a violation that results in death, serious illness, severe injury, or substantial property damage, the fine rose from $182,887 to $186,610.
 
  • The minimum penalty for a violation related to hazmat training (required once every 3 years for all hazmat employees per 49 CFR 172.704) rose $10 from $471 to $481 per day, per violation.
New to hazmat management? Check out our Hazmat Training FAQ to learn more.

Raising the Value of Hazmat Compliance

Each time PHMSA increases civil penalties, it helps to underscore the value of hazardous materials compliance management. While civil penalty amounts for typical shipping violations may not reach the upper limits in every case, fines are only one of the outcomes hazardous materials professionals work to prevent.

The true consequences of hazmat noncompliance do not start and stop with financial penalties.

When hazardous materials are not classified, packaged, labeled, and handled properly, the costs can be both human and business-related. Injury to employees and/or logistics workers are not uncommon in cases when hazardous materials are released during loading, unloading, or transit.

Join Lion for expert-led hazmat/dangerous goods training at the Multimodal Hazmat Shipper Certification Workshops, coming to Pittsburgh, Chicago, Hartford, Boston, New jersey and Philadelphia in December and January. 

When a consignment is not prepared according to the latest hazardous materials standards—whether PHMSA’s 49 CFR regulations, the IATA DGR, the IMDG Code, or another set of rules—the carrier may reject or delay the shipment, material may spill or otherwise be released in transit and endanger people and infrastructure.  

Can’t join us for a live workshop this year? Find online training you can take when you want, where you want.


Got New Hazmat Employees?

New hazmat employees need a solid grasp of the hazmat regulations and what they must do to help maintain compliance. Every step of the hazmat shipping process is regulated in some way, and even small mistakes can lead to injuries, emergencies, rejected shipments, and fines that get more expensive every year.  

New hazmat employees must complete DOT hazmat training within 90 days of their hire date and may not perform any unsupervised hazmat job function until they are trained.

The Shipping Hazmat by Ground—Ops Online Course provides hazmat general awareness, security awareness, and function-specific training for new or experienced hazmat employees. Personnel who complete this course learn how to do their jobs the right way, in full compliance the US DOT hazmat regulations that govern their hazmat-related activities.

Tags: dangerous, DOT, goods, hazardous, hazmat, management, materials, new, rules, shipping, training

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