Subpart C - Administrative Enforcement Process

§ 196.201 What is the purpose and scope of this subpart?

This subpart describes the enforcement authority and sanctions exercised by the Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety for achieving and maintaining pipeline safety under this Part. It also prescribes the procedures governing the exercise of that authority and the imposition of those sanctions.

§ 196.203 What is the administrative process PHMSA will use to conduct enforcement proceedings for alleged violations of excavation damage prevention requirements?

PHMSA will use the existing administrative adjudication process for alleged pipeline safety violations set forth in 49 CFR Part 190, Subpart B. This process provides for notification that a probable violation has been committed, a 30-day period to respond including the opportunity to request an administrative hearing, the issuance of a final order, and the opportunity to petition for reconsideration.

§ 196.205 Can PHMSA assess administrative civil penalties for violations?

Yes. When the Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety has reason to believe that a person has violated any provision of the 49 U.S.C. 60101 et seq. or any regulation or order issued thereunder, including a violation of excavation damage prevention requirements under this Part and 49 U.S.C. 60114(d) in a State with an excavation damage prevention law enforcement program PHMSA has deemed inadequate under 49 CFR Part 198, Subpart D, PHMSA may conduct a proceeding to determine the nature and extent of the violation and to assess a civil penalty.

§ 196.207 What are the maximum administrative civil penalties for violations?

The maximum administrative civil penalties that may be imposed are specified in 49 U.S.C. § 60122.

§ 196.209 May other civil enforcement actions be taken?

Whenever the Associate Administrator has reason to believe that a person has engaged, is engaged, or is about to engage in any act or practice constituting a violation of any provision of 49 U.S.C. 60101 et seq., or any regulations issued thereunder, PHMSA, or the person to whom the authority has been delegated, may request the Attorney General to bring an action in the appropriate U.S. District Court for such relief as is necessary or appropriate, including mandatory or prohibitive injunctive relief, interim equitable relief, civil penalties, and punitive damages as provided under 49 U.S.C. 60120.

§ 196.211 May criminal penalties be imposed for violations?

Yes. Criminal penalties may be imposed as specified in 49 U.S.C. 60123.