On July 23rd the U.S. Department of Transporation released two rulemaking proposals pertaining to shipping flammable materials by rail.
- Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains – Notice of proposed rulemaking (download PDF from DOT website)
- Hazardous Materials: Oil Spill Response Plans for High-Hazard Flammable Trains – Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (download PDF from DOT website)
The Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls contain proposed rules that cover 3 areas:
- New operational requirements for certain trains transporting a large volume of Class 3 flammable liquids.
- Improvements in tank car standards.
- Revision of the general requirements for offerors to ensure proper classification and characterization of mined gases and liquids.
The proposed rules define “high-hazard flammable trains” (HHFT) as a train comprised of 20 or more carloads of a Class 3 flammable liquid, which the DOT says sufficiently targets the ruling to crude petroleum and ethanol. There is a 60 day period for public comment.