PHMSA proposes new rule authorizing the transport of LNG by rail

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to authorize the transport of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by railroad tank car on 18 October 2019. Specifically, the proposed rule would authorize the movement of LNG by rail in DOT-113 specification tank cars, which are currently used to transport other cryogenic liquids such as ethylene.

Although PHMSA's hazardous materials regulations (HMR) permit the transport of LNG by highway and barge, the HMR have never authorized transport of LNG by rail tank car. Comments on the NPRM are due on or before 23 December 2019. Citing LNG's expanding role as a critical domestic and international energy resource, PHMSA proposes to permit the transport of LNG by rail tank car to meet the demand for greater flexibility in the modes of transportation available to transport LNG. The proposed rule would facilitate harmonization across the North American rail network. In Canada, LNG is already authorized for transport in DOT-113 equivalent specification rail tank cars (TC-113C120W).

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