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PHMSA's New Cylinder Special Permit Maintains Safety Standards While Offering Cost Savings to First Responder Industry

Friday, April 21, 2017

PHMSA 05-17

PHMSA's New Cylinder Special Permit Maintains Safety Standards While Offering Cost Savings to First Responder Industry. The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today announced it has issued a special permit to authorize the extension of the 15-year service life of certain carbon fiber reinforced aluminum-lined cylinders (DOT-CFFC) that are used in self-contained breathing apparatuses by fire departments and first responders. PHMSA estimates that this life-cycle extension may provide a cost savings of $350 million or more over a 15-year period, most of which can be passed on to first responders and local fire departments throughout the U.S. PHMSA released the new special permit after DOT-funded research determined that DOT-CFFC cylinder life can be extended an additional 15 years through the use of Modal Acoustic Emissions (MAE) testing—an advanced, non-destructive evaluation of carbon-fiber reinforced cylinders—without a reduction in safety. In accordance with the special permit, PHMSA may authorize extensions of service for DOT-CFFC cylinders in five-year increments when they are requalified by MAE testing, and are subject to specific operational controls defined in the special permit. The incremental extensions may enable the cylinders to remain in service for up to 30 years. See the PHMSA homepage for the full text of the special permit. Contact for media: Patricia Klinger 202-366-4831

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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 2.7 million mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly 1 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.

Updated: Wednesday, July 5, 2017