Federal law concerning compliance orders and civil penalties are subject to change. The US Department of Transportation has increased hazmat civil penalties for regulatory violations effective May 3, 2021, including violations of the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR). The increase apply to hazardous materials violations by ground, air, and sea transportation.

Adjusting Hazmat Civil Penalties

The new hazmat civil penalty amounts are as follows:
1. The maximum hazmat civil penalty for hazmat shipping violations has risen from $83,439 to $84,425 per day, per violation.
2. For a violation that results in death, serious illness, severe injury, or substantial property damage, the maximum hazmat civil penalty has risen from $194,691 to $196,992 per day, per violation.
3. The minimum penalty for failure to provide hazmat training for employees has risen from $502 to $508 per employee, per day.
[see 49 USC 5123(a)(1), (2), and (3)]

How Hazmat Civil Penalties Amendments Affect Hazmat Employees

The changes to hazmat civil penalties are widespread. To learn more about these revised penalties click https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-05-03/pdf/2021-08224.pdf to have access to the Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 83 / Monday, May 3, 2021 / Rules and Regulations.

In accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, this final rule provides the 2021 inflation adjustment to hazmat civil penalty amounts that may be imposed for violations of certain DOT regulations.

With that said, hazmat employees must be compliant and attentive in the handling and processing of hazardous material shipments to avoid incidents that can bring on a civil penalty and jeopardize our transportation system.