U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Summary of Cases Involving Civil Penalties

Civil Penalties Resolved

This table shows the number of civil penalty cases initiated (opened) in a given year which have completed the civil penalty collection process. This includes all closed and withdrawn cases, as well as open cases for which penalties have been assessed in a Final Order and collected. The report also includes cases where the assessed civil penalty was withdrawn or reduced to zero from a prior proposed amount via the hearing process, and therefore no collection was required.

The table shows the total penalties originally proposed for these cases, the total penalties assessed by PHMSA in Final Orders, and the amount actually collected. The table also shows the percent of civil penalties proposed in Notice Letters that were assessed in Final Orders, as well as the percent of assessed civil penalties that end up being collected.

For example, for cases opened in 2004 that have proceeded through penalty collection, 78% of the originally proposed civil penalties were assessed, and 100% of the assessed penalties have been collected from operators. These annual figures will change as additional civil penalty cases move through the enforcement process and payments are received from operators.

Civil Penalties Resolved: 2002–2024(1)

In cases where there is both a civil penalty and a compliance order, an enforcement case will remain open even after the civil penalty has been paid if the terms of the compliance order have not been satisfied.

Proposed civil penalties are those penalties that may be recommended for probable violations identified during inspections, investigations, or other means. Proposed penalties are communicated to operators in Notices of Probable Violation. Operators have the right to respond to these allegations before a penalty is assessed in a Final Order. Civil penalties are described in 49 CFR 190.221 through 190.227.

Assessed civil penalties are those civil penalties established after the operator had an opportunity to defend its actions or provide further clarifying information. In no case can the assessed amount exceed the originally proposed amount. However, in some cases, civil penalties are reduced due to new evidence or information that alters the underlying factual allegations in the case.

Collected civil penalties are the amounts actually paid by operators. Collected civil penalties are equivalent to the assessed civil penalty amount in nearly all cases. Occasionally the collected civil penalty amount exceeds the assessed civil penalty. This occurs when an operator is late in making payments, thereby incurring interest charges and administrative fees. In rare instances, a civil penalty may not be collected due to a company no longer being in business.


  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

Business Hours:
9:00am-5:00pm ET, M-F

If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.