PHMSA-2012-0082 (HM-251): Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains
SUMMARY: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA or we), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), is proposing: new operational requirements for certain trains transporting a large volume of Class 3 flammable liquids; improvements in tank car standards; and revision of the general requirements for offerors to ensure proper classification and characterization of mined gases and liquids. These proposed requirements are designed to lessen the frequency and consequences of train accidents/incidents (train accidents) involving certain trains transporting a large volume of flammable liquids. The growing reliance on trains to transport large volumes of flammable liquids poses a significant risk to life, property, and the environment. These significant risks have been highlighted by the recent instances of trains carrying crude oil that derailed in Casselton, North Dakota; Aliceville, Alabama; and Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, Canada. The proposed changes also address National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) safety recommendations on the accurate classification and characterization of such commodities, enhanced tank car construction, and rail routing.
DATES: Comments must be received by September 30, 2014.