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Hazardous Materials Violation Results in Multimillion Dollar Fine

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enacts and enforces federal trucking and motor carrier regulations. FMCSA regulations improve the safety of the nation’s public highways and decrease the risk of deadly Missouri truck accidents. FMCSA regulations prevent Missouri tractor trailer accidents by working to ensure that trucking companies operate safely.

Hazardous Materials (hazmat) regulations are vital for protecting the public from dangerous Missouri truck accidents. The FMCSA hazmat regulations govern how motor carriers transport materials that are dangerous to people, animals, and the broader environment. These materials may be toxic, biohazardous, or even explosive. If a trucking company violates FMCSA hazmat regulations and one of its trucks is involved in a Missouri tractor trailer accident, the consequences could be dire.

To protect the public for hazmat trucking accidents, the FMCSA has ramped up enforcement of hazmat regulations. Hazmat regulation enforcement includes punishing safety violations with steep fines to hold trucking companies accountable for their unsafe actions.

On October 7, 2011, the FMCSA announced that it fined one company almost $4 million for hazmat safety regulation violations. American Welding & Tank, LLC, a company based in Fremont, Ohio, was fined $3,876,000 for hazmat regulation violations. The FMCSA determined that the company was manufacturing and selling unsafe “nurse tanks.” Nurse tanks are designed to transport anhydrous ammonia, which qualifies as a hazardous material.

Anhydrous ammonia is a colorless gas that is comprised of nitrogen and hydrogen. The gas is flammable. In fact, the gas reacts violently when it comes in contact with a long list of substances. The gas is both toxic and dangerous for the environment.

If unsafe nurse tanks carrying anhydrous ammonia are punctured in a Missouri truck accident, a truck accident victim could suffer serious adverse reactions beyond typical accident injuries. Anhydrous ammonia may harm the eyes, the respiratory tract, and the digestive tract. The gas has explosive characteristics as well. The FMCSA has a legitimate interest in regulating the transport of anhydrous ammonia and other hazardous materials to protect potential truck accident victims.