Proposed Rulings for Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Flammable Commodities

On July 23rd the U.S. Department of Transporation released two rulemaking proposals pertaining to shipping flammable materials by rail.

  1. Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains – Notice of proposed rulemaking (download PDF from DOT website)
  2. 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.