Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

PHMSA Seeks ANPR Comments

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to solicit feedback on initiatives PHMSA is considering “that may modernize Hazardous Materials Regulations and improve efficiencies while maintaining or improving a current high level of safety.”

Your Questions Answered: DOT-111 Ethanol Phase-Out

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have released a “Frequently Asked Questions” document on implementing the upcoming phase-out of DOT-111 specification tank cars from ethanol service.

PHMSA Issues DOT-111 Tank Car Safety Advisory

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), on March 22 released a safety advisory, which it said was to “re-emphasize previously raised concerns about the survivability of DOT-111 tank cars and encourage tank car owners and shippers of flammable liquids to voluntarily upgrade their tank car fleets to the newest, and safest, available tank car design authorized for flammable liquid service—the DOT-117 specification tank car.”

Aerial photograph of derailment site, courtesy of the NTSB.

East Palestine: NTSB Examining Tank Car Hatch Covers

Following the completion of damage assessment inspections of the 11 Norfolk Southern (NS) hazardous materials (hazmat) tank cars, including the five carrying vinyl chloride, that derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 3, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says it is “concerned that aluminum protective housing covers on some tank cars melted or were consumed when pressure relief devices (PRDs) vented burning gas while functioning as designed to relieve tank pressure.”

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology Dr. Robert C. Hampshire

USDOT: $1.7MM for SBIR Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) on Feb. 7 announced that it is now accepting proposals for funding ranging from $150,000 to $200,000 from its Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) to “spur research and commercialization of innovative transportation technologies in select research areas,” including the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

(Photograph Courtesy of TrinityRail)

PHMSA Issues ‘International Harmonization’ Rule

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is amending Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to harmonize U.S. laws with numerous international standards, including better alignment with Transport Canada’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

(Photograph Courtesy of TrinityRail)

PHMSA Eyes ‘Electronic Hazard Communication’

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) on the potential use of electronic hazard communication as an alternative to physical, paper-based documents.

DOT-113C120W9 LNG tank car. Chart Industries photo

LNG by Rail: Temporary Reg Rollback Under Review

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s (PHMSA) proposed temporary suspension of its regulations authorizing the transportation of liquefied natural gas by rail have prompted not only the Railway Supply Institute to weigh in, but also the Republican members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and a coalition of attorneys general from 14 states and Washington, D.C.; all submitted comments on the agency’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released late last year.