Final Rule on LNG Transport Announced

The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration released on Friday a a final rule authorizing the bulk transportation of liquefied natural gas by rail.

The rule, which will be published in the Federal Register, will allow the transport of LNG in DOT-113C120W9 (DOT-113) specification tank cars with enhanced outer tank requirements and additional operational controls.

The rule generally comports with a executive order issued by President Donald Trump in April 2019.

In a news release, DOT noted that transport of LNG has previously been allowed with FRA approval in a portable tank.

“Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations have also authorized the transportation of other flammable cryogenic materials for many years in DOT-113 tank cars,” DOT said in a statement. “This final rule also incorporates newly designated additional safety requirements, such as an enhanced thicker carbon steel outer tank.”

DOT said the rule also requires remote monitoring of the pressure and location of LNG tank cars, requires improved braking and requires a two-way end-of-train device or distributed power system when a train is transporting 20 or more tank cars loaded with LNG in a continuous block, or 35 or more such tank cars of LNG anywhere in the train consist.

Railroads will be required to conduct route risk assessments to evaluate safety and security.

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