Changes Proposed To PHMSA Procedures For Handling Unpaid Fines

Written By: Caltha LLP | Published On: 30th September 2013 | Category: Hazardous Materials | RSS Feed

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has proposed to amend the hazardous materials procedural rules to prohibit a person who fails to pay a civil penalty as ordered, or fails to abide by a payment agreement, from performing activities regulated by the Hazardous Materials Regulations until payment is made. Violations that do not substantially impact safety are handled through the ticket process under 49 CFR § 107.310 and would be exempt from this proposed rule. For other hazardous materials violations, PHMSA begins the process of assessing civil penalties by serving a notice of probable violation (NOPV) on a person alleging the violation of hazardous materials operations.

The proposed rule, authorized under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP–21), amends 49 U.S.C. § 5123 to prohibit a person from engaging in business operations involving the transportation of hazardous materials (i.e., hazardous materials operations) if that person has failed to either pay a civil penalty assessed under Chapter 51 of title 49, or failed to arrange and abide by a payment plan, beginning on the 91st day after the payment due date specified by the order or payment plan, unless the person has filed a formal administrative or judicial appeal of the penalty.

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