FEDERAL RAILROAD ADMINISTRATION
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has for at least the past 27 years compiled an annual civil penalty report that summarized the disposition of all instances in which FRA settled a claim for a civil penalty for violations of Federal railroad safety and hazardous materials (hazmat) statutes, regulations, and orders or in which FRA otherwise closed a case to collect a civil penalty for such a violation. By law, FRA is authorized to endeavor to enter into negotiated settlements with railroads and other entities subject to its safety jurisdiction, in order to reach agreement on the resolution of claims for civil penalties imposed for failures to comply with specific requirements designed to promote and ensure the safety of the Nation’s freight and passenger railroad operations. FRA is also authorized to issue orders assessing civil penalties for violations of the hazardous materials statutes, regulations, and orders.
In April 2010, FRA increased the amount of information readily available about the agency’s safety enforcement activities and also increased the accessibility of this information to interested parties by posting its first expanded enforcement report pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 20120 on FRA’s Web site (http://www.fra.dot.gov). FRA intends to make this type of safety enforcement information available each year by December 31 for the preceding fiscal year (FY), October 1 through September 30.
The following information is included in this year’s report, which focuses on activity during FY 2012:
- A summary of all rail safety and hazmat compliance inspections and audits by FRA or State inspectors and enforcement actions taken by FRA;
- A summary of FRA civil penalty enforcement actions sorted by type of alleged violation and type of respondent, including railroads, shippers of hazmat (hazmat shippers), contractors, and individuals;
- A discussion of the relationship between inspections and enforcement actions, and the number and rate of reportable accidents and incidents, and railroad safety;
- An analysis of locomotive engineer certification cases brought before FRA;
- and A line-item listing of all civil penalty cases closed by FRA (at Appendix A to this report).
About the Federal Railroad Administration
“The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) was created by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966 (49 U.S.C. 103, Section 3(e)(1)). The purpose of FRA is to: promulgate and enforce rail safety regulations; administer railroad assistance programs; conduct research and development in support of improved railroad safety and national rail transportation policy; provide for the rehabilitation of Northeast Corridor rail passenger service; and consolidate government support of rail transportation activities.”