In the July 24, 2020 edition of the Federal Register, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) in conjunction with the Department of Transportation (DOT) amended the Hazardous Materials Regulation (HMR). The purpose of this rulemaking action is to allow for the bulk transport of Methane, refrigerated liquid, commonly known as liquefied natural gas (LNG), in rail tank cars. This rule change is effective August 24, 2020.
Executive Order 13868, issued April 10, 2019, directed the secretary of transportation to propose regulations that “treat LNG the same as other cryogenic liquids and permit LNG to be transported in approved rail tank cars.” This final rule authorizes the transportation of Methane, refrigerated liquid by rail in certain DOT specification 113 (DOT-113) rail tank cars. DOT-113 tank cars authorized for LNG service will be enhanced with a thicker steel outer tank with enhanced resistance to puncture. In addition, LNG authorized tank cars will require heightened operation controls including enhanced braking, remote monitoring, and route analysis.
Summary of Components of Final Rule
|Final Rule Components||Requirements of Component|
|Approval of LNG|
|Remote Monitoring||Required as a Special Provision for LNG.|
|Maximum Start to Discharge Pressure||75 psig|
|Maximum Pressure when Offered for Transportation||15 psig|
|Design Service Temperature|
|Maximum Permitted Filling Density (percent by weight)||37.3%|
|Required when a train is transporting 20 or more loaded tank cars of LNG in a continuous block or 35 or more loaded tank cars of LNG throughout the train.|
|Route Controls||Must comply with 172.820|
|Minimum Wall Thickness of the Outer Tank Shell and the Outer Tank Heads||Shell and Tank Head: Enhanced 9/16″.|
|Required Outer Tank Steel Type(s)||AAR TC 128, Grade B normalized steel plate.|
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