On Wednesday, July 23, 2014 the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“Administration”), an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (“USDOT”), issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) for rail transport of crude oil and ethanol. The NOPR, titled “Enhanced Tank Car and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains,” is available online, but has not yet been published in the Federal Register.
There are three main provisions of the NOPR: “(1) new operational requirements for certain trains transporting a large volume of Class 3 flammable liquids; (2) improvements in tank car schedules; [and] (3) revision of the general requirements for offerors to ensure proper classification and characterization of mined gases and liquids.” (NOPR, at p. 1.) Notably, the USDOT proposes to phase out the use of older USDOT tank cars for the shipment of certain liquids within two years, unless the tank cars are retrofitted to comply with new tank car design standards. (See USDOT, U.S. DOT Announces Comprehensive Proposed Rulemaking for the Safe Transportation of Crude Oil, Flammable Materials.) This rule would include gradual prohibition on transport of most Bakken crude oil.Continue Reading USDOT Proposes New Rules for Rail Transport of Fossil Fuels