The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), have issued a final rule authorising the bulk transportation of LNG by rail. Specifically, the rule will permit the bulk transportation of LNG in DOT-113C120W9 (DOT-113) specification tank cars with enhanced outer tank requirements and additional operational controls. The publication complies with Executive Order 13868 (EO 13868), ‘Promoting Energy Infrastructure and Economic Growth,’ issued in April 2019.
“The Department’s new rule carefully lays out key operational safeguards to provide for the safe transportation of LNG by rail to more parts of the country where this energy source is needed,” said US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
With FRA approval, LNG has previously been authorised for transport by rail in a portable tank. Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations have also authorised the transportation of other flammable cryogenic materials for many years in DOT-113 tank cars. Importantly, this final rule also incorporates newly designated additional safety requirements, such as an enhanced thicker carbon steel outer tank.
The rule also requires remote monitoring of the pressure and location of LNG tank cars. In addition, to improve braking, the rule requires a two-way end of train or distributed power system when a train is transporting 20 or more tank cars loaded with LNG in a continuous block, or 35 or more such tank cars of LNG anywhere in the train consist. Furthermore, the rule requires railroads to conduct route risk assessments to evaluate safety and security.
EO 13868 recognised the growth of energy production in the US, coupled with an increased global demand for US natural gas. The rule prescribes regulations that reflect best practices and best-available technologies, sets increased regulatory certainty, and provides policies that promote the US’s natural resources.
Read the article online at: https://www.lngindustry.com/liquid-natural-gas/22062020/dot-release-final-rule-on-lng-transportation-by-rail/