The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is accusing UPS of violating hazardous materials regulations by shipping improperly packaged lithium batteries and is proposing that the company pay a $120,000 civil penalty.
The FAA, in a statement issued late last week, cited Nov. 15, 2018, actions by UPS in which the batteries were flown from Ontario, California, U.S., to Louisville, Kentucky.
After the shipment arrived, workers at the UPS facility in Louisville found that “it contained multiple loosely packed lithium batteries, which had no protection from short circuit, were damaged and several of which were in a reactive state,” the FAA said. Lithium-ion batteries in this condition are “likely to generate a dangerous evolution of heat” and “are forbidden for air transportation on cargo and passenger carrying aircraft,” the agency added.
The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said last year that it had identified 13 incidents from 2010 through 2016 in air cargo transportation involving lithium batteries and smoke, fire, extreme heat or explosion.
In this case, the FAA said that the shipment was improperly packaged and unaccompanied by the required paperwork for dangerous goods shipments.
UPS will have 30 days after receiving an official notice from the FAA to respond to the allegations.