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Summary of Enforcement Actions

Enforcement Cases Initiated

This report represents the range of civil administrative enforcement case types that PHMSA brings against pipeline owners and operators. It does not reflect those cases which the agency has referred to other Federal officials for criminal prosecution, nor does it include more egregious civil cases that are referred to the U.S. Department of Justice for judicial enforcement. The table shows the total number of Corrective Action Order cases, Notice of Probable Violation cases, Notice of Amendment cases, Warning Letter case, and Notice of Proposed Safety Order cases initiated in a given year. Cases are considered initiated when the first enforcement document, which can vary by case type, is sent to the operator.

Cases Initiated: 2002–2024(1)

Case Type Definitions

Corrective Action Orders: A Corrective Action Order is used in Corrective Action Order cases, and can be issued before or after the operator has had a chance to respond to the alleged pipeline integrity risks in the case, either in writing or with an administrative hearing. The order can be issued before the operator has a chance to respond if PHMSA determines that the order is needed to prevent likely serious harm to life, property or the environment. If the order does not need to be issued immediately, the operator will receive a Notice of Proposed Corrective Action Order and have an opportunity to respond before the order is issued. Cases following this path cause the difference in Corrective Action Order cases and Corrective Action Orders per year. The Corrective Action Order requires the operator to address any identified issues that cause their pipeline to be a hazardous facility.

Notices of Probable Violation: After an operator has been given an opportunity to respond to a Notice of Probable Violation, the Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety issues a Final Order, making findings of fact and ordering appropriate relief, if any. Civil penalties may be assessed and/or the operator may be required to comply with specified remedial actions. Only after PHMSA verifies that all remedial actions specified in Compliance Orders have been successfully completed and/or civil penalties paid are Final Orders considered closed. Notice of Probable Violation cases can also be withdrawn if new evidence or information becomes available that confirms the allegations in the Notice letter are not probable violations.

Orders Directing Amendment: An Order Directing Amendment is used in Notices of Amendment cases as the final adjudication, after the operator has had a chance to respond to the allegations in the case, either in writing or with an administrative hearing. The Order Directing Amendment contains findings for each item in the Notice of Amendment case, either dismissing the item or requiring the operator to make the changes to their plans and procedures.

Warning Letters: For some probable violations, PHMSA has the option of issuing a Warning Letter notifying the operator of alleged violations and directing it to correct them or be subject to further enforcement action. PHMSA then follows up on these items during subsequent inspections or through other interactions with the operator. Warning Letters are described in 49 CFR 190.205.

Safety Orders: After the operator has been given the opportunity to respond to a Notice of Proposed Safety Order, there are two possible paths to case closure. PHMSA and the operator may agree to the issuance of a Consent Order in lieu of a Safety Order. In a Consent Order, the operator agrees to the jurisdictional facts of the case and agrees to implement the specific actions in the Consent Order by the required deadlines. Following the satisfactory completion of the actions required by the Consent Order the case is closed. If PHMSA and the operator are not able to agree upon a Consent Order, the Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety issues a Safety Order directing the operator to take certain corrective and/or remedial actions. Following the satisfactory completion of these actions, the case is closed. The 2006 Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement, and Safety Act gave PHMSA the authority to include a new enforcement tool - the Safety Order, and a final rule was published on January 16, 2009. Training in the use of this new tool was completed in June 2010.


  1. PHMSA Work Management System as of 04/02/2024.

Information provided on this website is intended to enhance public understanding of PHMSA's enforcement program.

Aggregate and company-specific statistical information reflecting PHMSA's enforcement actions is provided beginning with 2002. Key documents associated with new administrative enforcement cases are provided beginning with 2007. Agency orders issued since 2002 are also provided.

The search feature may not retrieve every document associated with each individual enforcement action. Enforcement data is updated monthly as additional cases are initiated and other cases are resolved. Historical totals will change over time to reflect changes in case status.

Contact Us

Office of Pipeline Safety
U.S. Department of Transportation
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
United States

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