Thursday, January 12, 2017
Contact: Allie Aguilera
Tel.: (202) 366-4831
PHMSA to Seeks Information on Crude Oil Volatility through ANPRM
WASHINGTON - On Tuesday, January 10, 2017, Secretary Anthony Foxx of the U.S., Anthony Foxx signed an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), issued by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, that will seek contributions from government, industry, and the public on a range of questions associated with establishing a vapor pressure threshold for unrefined petroleum products (e.g., crude oil) in transportation to inform the evaluation of the potential safety benefits of utilizing vapor pressure threshold(s) within the hazardous materials classification process. The ANPRM was sent to the federal register on Wednesday, January 11th, and the full text of the ANPRM can be found on PHMSA’s website.
"Nationwide, Americans are experiencing the movement of energy products in new ways and looking to government to safeguard their communities and neighborhoods," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Improving crude oil transportation safety by rail and other modes is a top priority for the Department of Transportation and this ANPRM is an important first step in that undertaking."
The USDOT has taken more than 30 actions over the past two years to improve crude-by-rail safety, including issuing a comprehensive rulemaking package in May 2015 to improve tank car durability, braking and the safe transportation of energy products, and issuing multiple safety advisories and emergency orders.
"The American energy landscape is constantly evolving and we need to understand the full scope of safety risks involved with moving energy products in new ways," said PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez. "This ANPRM will gather information from our modal, state, and local partners, as well as industry and the public, to further inform effective regulation regarding the safety of crude oil transportation."
The Department is also continuing its collaborative work with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories on a study to better understand the characteristics of crude oil from the Bakken Shale in North Dakota, to determine the best sampling and testing methods for this type of crude, and to better understand how vapor pressure impacts transportation safety. The long term findings of this study will continue to inform PHMSA’s rulemaking considerations.
The comment period for the ANPRM will open upon publication in the federal register and will last for 60 days from the date of publication.
The mission of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives. PHMSA develops and enforces regulations for the safe operation of the nation's 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly one million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air. Please visit http://phmsa.dot.gov or https://twitter.com/PHMSA_DOT for more information.