Crude-by-rail safety rulemaking begins

On July 23, the U.S. Department of Transportation released details on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and a companion Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that aim to improve the safety of transporting large quantities of flammable materials by rail, particularly crude oil and ethanol. Specifically, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration, are proposing new operational requirements for "certain trains" transporting a large volume of Class 3 flammable liquids; improvements in tank car standards; and revision of the general requirements for "offerors" to ensure proper classification and characterization of mined gases and liquids. Rail industry stakeholders are reviewing the proposal, as noted in my August issue column. Comments must be received by Sept. 30. If we hear of or receive any before then, we'll share them.

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