Amazon Facing More Fines from the FAA for Hazardous Materials Violations

The FAA has proposed three separate fines against Amazon for alleged hazardous materials violations in the last two weeks

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June 23, 2016

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed two civil penalties against Amazon.com, Inc. totaling $130,000 for allegedly violating federal hazardous materials regulations—something Amazon has a history of doing, according to the FAA.

This makes three proposed penalties against Amazon in less than two weeks for alleged hazardous materials violations. A $325,000 civil penalty was proposed by the FAA on June 13 for improperly shipping a package containing a corrosive drain cleaner that leaked during transport. Nine UPS employees who came into contact with the box reported feeling a burning sensation and were treated.

The first of the two newest violations involves the shipment of a non-specification cardboard box containing a flammable gas that was offered to UPS for air transportation from Whitestown, IN to Glendale, CA on June 2, 2014. The package held a 19-ounce container of HVAC Cleaner. Workers in UPS's Louisville, KY sort facility discovered the container. The FAA alleges that the package was not properly marked, labeled or accompanied by shipping papers indicating the amount, type and hazardous nature of the material inside. The agency also alleges that Amazon did not provide required emergency response information with the shipment. The FAA has proposed a $52,000 civil penalty in this case.

The second violation involves a shipment offered to FedEx on May 24, 2014 for air transportation from Plainfield, IL to Davenport, FL. The shipment consisted of two cardboard boxes containing corrosive rust stain preventer. According to the FAA, workers at FedEx's sorting facility in Lake Wales, FL discovered that one of the containers leaked through the cardboard box. The FAA alleges the package was not properly marked, labeled, packaged or accompanied by shipping papers indicating the amount, type and hazardous nature of the material inside. The agency further alleges that Amazon did not provide required emergency response information with the shipment. The FAA has proposed a $78,000 penalty in this case.

In all three cases, Amazon has 30 days from receipt of the FAA's enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

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