By JHMT StaffDecember 10, 2019
Following HazMat Alert 2019-42: On October 24, 2019, the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Agency (PHMSA) in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled Hazardous Materials: Liquefied Natural Gas by Rail [Docket No. PHMSA-2018-0025 (HM-264)]. The NPRM proposes changes to the Hazardous Materials Regulations to allow for the bulk transport of Methane, refrigerated liquid, commonly known as liquefied natural gas (LNG), in rail tank cars.
In The Journal's July/August 2019 issue, Legislative Advisor Cynthia Hilton indicated that the House Appropriations Committee directed PHMSA to initiate a study through the Transportation Research Board (TRB) on rail transport of LNG, and provides essential detail on the back-and-forth in the House. Subscribers should read her full report, LNG Transportation Takes Center Stage. More information regarding the TRB study is given.
On December 5, 2019, PHMSA granted a special permit to Energy Transport Solutions, LLC to transport LNG by rail tank car from Pennsylvania to New Jersey for export. (See DOT-SP 20534, PDF.) This has drawn further comment from Chair DeFazio, who issued a press release on December 6.
The Journal is monitoring the dialogue and will continue to notify of further developments. The TRB was directed to finish its study within 18 months of its initiation; there is sure to be more happening before then.