PHMSA

USDOT Issues Rule Authorizing Bulk Transport of LNG by Rail

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), issued on June 19 a final rule authorizing the bulk transportation of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail.

Sandia Study says No Fracking Difference For Crude Oil

“Crude Oil Characterization Research Study,” a Sandia National Laboratories report to Congress commissioned by U.S. DOE (Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration) and TC (Transport Canada) Transport of Dangerous Goods Directorate) under the Section 7309 of the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act, says that Bakken crude and other hydraulic fracturing (fracking)-derived oil are no more volatile than other types of oil.

Tempest in a tank car

Industry watchers greeted the news of the recent BNSF derailment in Doon, Iowa, as typical ho-hum news. 32 tank railcars hauling crude derailed on a stretch of track that had been compromised by floodwaters. Several of the cars were ruptured and there was a crude spill. Emergency services (BNSF and others) were able to contain the size of the spill, and residents of the area were evacuated as a precaution. Luckily for all parties involved, there was no conflagration whatsoever as a result of the derailment.

Rio Tinto autonomous train

AAR to DOT: Automation “at an inflection point”

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) on May 7 filed comments with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that call for the U.S. Department of Transportation “to take the same supportive regulatory approach with railroads that it has with automation of trucks and cars.”

Who will Trump nominate? Perhaps …

Two months into the Trump Administration, the Washington Post says his nomination process, leading to Senate confirmation, is moving more slowly than any in history. The New York Times describes “dust piling up in key offices … critical power centers in [Trump’s] government devoid of leadership.”

FRA offering $10 million in grant money for crossing safety

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is soliciting applications from states for $10 million in competitive grant funding to improve highway-rail grade crossings and right-of-way along routes that transport energy products such as crude oil and ethanol. Funding comes from the STEP (Safe Transportation of Energy Products) by Rail program administered by PHMSA (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration).

Senate confirms Dominguez’s role as PHMSA Administrator

The U.S. Senate on August 5, 2015 officially confirmed the appointment of Marie Therese Dominguez as Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Dominguez, who began serving as Administrator on June 22, was first nominated by President Barack Obama for the role on May 29.