DG Digest: Inflationary pressures force U.S. DOT to adjust civil penalties for some agencies

The USDOT issued a correction to its adjusted civil penalty amounts published last July.  This impacts several DOT agencies including the FRA.  A BNSF train rolls by the fall colors in Kent, Washington last month.  Photo © 10/2019 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved.

As October becomes November, snow and cold begin to be more of a factor across much of the nation.  If your company is located in a zone where this is an issue, be sure you have your winter safety plans up to date.  Snowplow contractors can get busy, so be sure you have yours lined up soon.  Meanwhile, regulatory activity was about average for the week; here’s all the latest:


PHMSA issued a safety advisory notice to inform stakeholders of the risks associated with cylinders bearing the DOT specification markings ‘‘DOT 4E’’ or ‘‘DOT 4BA’’ that were produced by a Thai company named Metal Mate. It does not have an approval from PHMSA to manufacture cylinders to DOT specifications; therefore, cylinders marked with the Metal Mate name are not DOT specification cylinders. They must not be used to transport hazardous materials in commerce to, from, or within the United States, or on a United States-registered aircraft.  See full details here.


The agency published a renewal of its ICR for Cadmium Exposure in General Industry.  Cadmium, a heavy metal, is closely monitored account its potential negative impact to human health.  See the renewal request here.


The agency published an ICR request in reference to driver qualification files.  Qualification files must be maintained by employers in order to help ensure a record of driver safety.  See the ICR here.

U.S. DOT Civil Penalty Fee Adjustments

Several DOT agencies including PHMSA, the FRA, and FAA issued a correction to the revised civil penalty fee amounts published last July.  Agencies that wield enforcement power periodically adjust the penalty fee amounts to reflect inflation pressures.  See the correction and the full list of agencies impacted here.

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