PHMSA & FRA want to temporarily suspend movement of LNG by rail

Written by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
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U.S. Department of Transportation

On November 8, the U.S. DOT's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) published a notice of proposed rule making that would suspend the transportation of liquefied natural gas by rail until more research and testing can be done to ensure the safety of moving this commodity by rail.

A summary of the the notice of proposed rule making reads as follows:

PHMSA, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), proposes to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations to suspend authorization of liquefied natural gas (LNG) transportation in rail tank cars pursuant to a final rule published in July 2020, pending the earlier of either completion of a separate rulemaking under RIN 2137–AF54 evaluating potential modifications to requirements governing rail tank car transportation of LNG, or June 30, 2024.

A task force was assembled by the PHMSA and the FRA in January 2020 to strengthen study of the transportation of LNG by rail. The methodology used by this task force is based on the following outline:

The LNG Task Force had targeted completion of this work by late 2021, but the pandemic caused significant delays to the work, so completion is not expected until sometime in 2022.

The PHMSA and FRA also partnered with the Transportation Research Board to conduct a study on the transportation of LNG by rail.

For the complete entry in the Federal Register, please click here.

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