U.S. Department of Transportation Issues Final Rule for the Safe Transportation of Liquefied Natural Gas by Rail Tank Car

Jul 24, 2020

by ASME.org

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have together issued a final rule governing the safe transportation of bulk liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail. The rule permits the bulk transportation of LNG in specialized tank cars that have enhanced outer tank requirements (they must be made with thicker carbon steel) and that have specific operational controls (including two-way end of train or distributed power systems). The Rule comes as a result of Executive Order 13868 issued in April 2019 title, “Promoting Energy Infrastructure and Economic Growth.” The new rule also requires remote monitoring of the pressure and location of LNG tank cars. The rule also puts onus on the railroads to conduct risk assessments of the routes LNG tank cars will travel and to evaluate the safety and security of those routes.
 
The Executive Order was made in response to growing U.S. energy production and increased global demand for U.S. natural gas. DOT and PHMSA say that the rule “prescribes regulations that reflect best practices and best-available technologies, sets increased regulatory certainty, and provides policies that promote America’s natural resources.”
 
The full Rule can be read here: https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/news/usdot-final-rule-safe-transportation-lng-rail-tank-car.
 

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