PHMSA Proposes to Amend HMR to Temporarily Suspend Authorization of Transportation of LNG in Rail Tank Cars.
- On November 12, 2021
By: Audrey E. Lane
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”), in coordination with Federal Railroad Administration (“FRA”), issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”), Monday, November 8th, 2021 to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulation (“HMR”) authorizing the transportation of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in rail tank cars previously issued in July of 2020. The NPRM is seeking to temporarily suspend such authorization pending the earlier of: 1.) completion of a separate rulemaking evaluating potential modifications to requirements governing rail tank car transportation of LNG (See RIN 2137 – AF54) or, 2.) June 30, 2024.
The NPRM notes that transportation of LNG by rail tank car has not yet occurred. PHMSA states that, by issuing this temporary suspension, PHMSA can guarantee no such transportation will occur before its companion rulemaking on the tank car specifications for LNG is concluded. The temporary suspension is to allow time to evaluate further the public health and safety and environmental consequences of inhalation of certain gases being evaluated in the companion rulemaking as well as independent, ongoing research undertaken with FRA and external technical experts.
NOTE: rail transportation of LNG in rail tank cars may still be permitted on an ad hoc basis as authorized by a PHMSA issued special permit, or, by approval of FRA.
Comments to the NPRM must be received by December 23, 2021. A copy of the full NPRM is attached here.
For further information please contact Audrey E. Lane at ALane@fletcher-sippel.com.