Reaffirmation by the U.S. rail and hazardous materials regulators of new rules for the movement of flammable liquids means operational migraines for railroaders, without actually addressing the underlying cause of crude oil exploding in transit.
The Association of American Railroads on Sept. 30, 2014 submitted its comments on the U.S. Department of Transportation-Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) on standards for tank cars carrying flammable liquids such as crude oil and ethanol. “When considering the final rule, the DOT should take into account not only the crude by rail safety measures outlined in the industry’s voluntary agreement with the DOT, but the fact that the increased movement of crude oil, in particular, represents America’s move toward energy independence,” said AAR President and CEO Ed Hamberger.
The Greenbrier Companies, Inc. on Sept. 30, 2014, filed comments to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on HHFTs (High Hazard Flammable Trains)—hazmat tank cars carrying crude oil and ethanol—issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The deadline for filing comments is Sept. 30.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on DOT 111 tank cars for crude oil and HHFTs (High-Hazard Flammable Trains), specifically the NPRM’s proposal for phasing out older, pre-CPC-1232 tank cars, could worsen the crude oil tank car shortage, the Wall Street Journal reported on Aug. 13, 2014. Following the WSJ’s report, the stock prices of three tank car builders—Trinity, The Greenbrier Companies, and American Railcar Industries—increased by nearly 3% each.
A recent call-in forum on crude by rail conducted by Cowen and Company Managing Director and Railway Age Contributing Editor Jason H. Seidl “helped affirm our view that the final version of the DOT’s safety rules may include some changes to the ones proposed on July 23.”
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the U.S. DOT for HHFTs (High-Hazard Flammable Trains) hauling crude oil and other commodities the DOT deems hazardous in tank cars has produced a flurry of commentary and analysis, with varied opinions.