In a recent press release, PHMSA announced that it sought $9.7 million in civil penalties against pipeline operators in 2013, the highest annual amount in the Agency’s history.  This follows a trend of increasing penalty assessments by the Agency, which has proposed more than $33 million in penalties since 2009.  By comparison, PHMSA sought $23 million in proposed penalties during the previous five-year period (2004-2008).  PHMSA also reported issuance of 544 enforcement orders over the past five years, with more than half of those – 266 – in 2013 alone.  In addition, for enforcement cases involving civil penalties or proposed compliance actions filed over the period of 2009-2013, PHMSA reportedly reduced its average time to initiate and fully close an enforcement case by 65 percent.  Since proposing its first penalty in excess of  $1 million in 2006, the Agency has proposed 7 additional penalties over $ 1 million, 2 of which were proposed in 2013.
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