[author: Chris A. Paul]
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) collected approximately $2.15 million in civil penalties from its hazardous materials regulatory enforcement efforts in the 2011 calendar year. The agency increased its enforcement actions in 2011 compared to 2010, when it closed a total of 510 civil penalty actions and collected about $1.53 million in civil penalties. PHMSA also resolved a record number of enforcement cases against pipeline operators in 2011.
One of the larger penalties was levied for the commercial shipment of lithium batteries in packages that were not properly marked and labeled and were not accompanied by the required emergency response information.