DOT raises hazmat fines
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Special Programs Administration said Monday it has increased the minimum and maximum civil penalties to $275 to $32,500 for a knowing violation of federal hazardous materials transportation law, as part of new penalty guidelines, effective Sept. 30.
The highest baseline assessment is a fine of $15,000 and up for “offering for transportation a hazardous material without shipping papers, package markings, labels or placards.”
Other fines include failure to register as a hazmat carrier and pay a registration fee: $1,000, plus $500 each additional year; failure of a hazmat carrier to develop a security plan, $6,000 and up; failure to provide a shipping paper, $3,000-$6,000; failure to provide hazard class, $800-$6,000; for misdescribed material, $3,000; for misclassified material, $6,000; and for overfilling or underfilling a package, $9,000.
Additional penalties include fines of up to $5,000 for “packaging explosives in the same outer packaging with other materials;' $10,400 maximum for “shipping a cylinder of compressed gas when the cylinder is out of test;' $2,000 for failing to test a chemical drum for leaks; $3,000 for transporting hazmat materials that “have not been secured against movement;” and $3,000 for “failure to give immediate notification of a reportable hazardous materials incident.”
“We are also advising the public that, in proposing or assessing a civil penalty, we will not normally consider a prior violation in case that was initiated in a calendar year more than six years prior to the year in which the current proceeding is initiated,” the Research and Special Programs Administration said in a statement.
For more information, contact John J. O’Connell, Jr., Office of Hazardous Material Enforcement, DOT, at (202) 366-4700.