The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced increases in the maximum and minimum civil penalties for knowing violations of the federal hazardous materials transportation law or a regulation, order, special permit, or approval issued under that law. The penalty increases took effect April 19.

PHMSA officials said the penalty increases were called for by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990. Agencies were required to update their civil monetary penalties in August 2016 through an interim final rulemaking. PHMSA has elected to do the 2017 update in a final rulemaking.

The rulemaking revises the maximum civil penalty from $77,114 to $78,376 for a person who knowingly violates the federal hazardous materials transportation law or a regulation, order, special permit, or approval issued under that law.

The maximum civil penalty increases from $179,933 to $182,877 for a person who knowingly violates the federal hazardous material transportation law or a regulation, order, special permit, or approval issued under that law that results in death, serious illness, or severe injury to any person or substantial destruction of property.

For violations related to training, the minimum penalty amount increases from $463 to $471.