Hazardous Materials: Liquefied Natural Gas by Rail

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 206 (Thursday, October 24, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 206 (Thursday, October 24, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 56964-56977]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-22949]
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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
49 CFR Parts 172 and 173
[Docket No. PHMSA-2018-0025 (HM-264)]
RIN 2137-AF40
Hazardous Materials: Liquefied Natural Gas by Rail
AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA),
Department of Transportation (DOT).
ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).
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SUMMARY: PHMSA, in coordination with the Federal Railroad
Administration (FRA), is proposing changes to the Hazardous Materials
Regulations to allow for the bulk transport of Methane, refrigerated
liquid, commonly known as liquefied natural gas (LNG), in rail tank
cars. This rulemaking proposes to authorize the transportation of
Methane, refrigerated liquid by rail in the DOT-113C120W specification
rail tank car.
DATES: Comments must be received by December 23, 2019. To the extent
possible, PHMSA will consider late-filed comments.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the Docket Number
PHMSA-2018-0025 (HM-264) via any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management System; U.S. Department of
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Routing
Symbol M-30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: To the Docket Management System; Room W12-
140 on the ground floor of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue
SE, Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through
Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and
Docket Number (PHMSA-2018-0025) or RIN (2137-AF40) for this rulemaking
at the beginning of the comment. To avoid duplication, please use only
one of these four methods. All comments received will be posted without
change to the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) and will include
any personal information you provide. If sent by mail, comments must be
submitted in duplicate. Persons wishing to receive confirmation of
receipt of their comments must include a self-addressed stamped
postcard.
    Docket: For access to the dockets to read background documents or
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or DOT's Docket
Operations Office (see ADDRESSES).
    Confidential Business Information: Confidential Business
Information (CBI) is commercial or financial information that is both
customarily and actually treated as private by its owner. Under the
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552), CBI is exempt from
public disclosure. If your comments responsive to this notice contain
commercial or financial information that is customarily treated as
private, that you actually treat as private, and that is relevant or
responsive to this notice, it is important that you clearly designate
the submitted comments as CBI. Pursuant to 49 CFR 105.30, you may ask
PHMSA to give confidential treatment to information you give to the
agency by taking the following steps: (1) Mark each page of the
original document submission containing CBI as ``Confidential''; (2)
send PHMSA, along with the original document, a second copy of the
original document with the CBI deleted; and (3) explain why the
information you are submitting is CBI. Unless you are notified
otherwise, PHMSA will treat such marked submissions as confidential
under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the public docket of
this notice. Submissions containing CBI should be sent to Michael
Ciccarone, Office of Hazardous Materials Safety, Standards and
Rulemaking Division, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave.
SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001. Any commentary that PHMSA receives which
is not specifically designated as CBI will be placed in the public
docket for this rulemaking.
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits
comments from the public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT
posts these comments, without change, including any personal
information the commenter provides, to http://www.regulations.gov, as
described in the system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can
be reviewed at http://www.dot.gov/privacy.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Ciccarone, Standards and
Rulemaking Division, (202) 366-8553, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials
Safety Administration, or Mark Maday, Federal Railroad Administration,
(202) 366-2535, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey
Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
Table of Contents
I. Overview
II. Background
    A. Properties and Use of LNG
    B. Current Requirements for LNG
    C. Petition for Rulemaking (P-1697)
    D. Regulatory Review
    E. International Regulation
III. Proposed Changes
    A. Tank Car Specification
    B. Operational Controls
IV. Section-by-Section Review
V. Regulatory Analyses and Notices
    A. Statutory/Legal Authority for This Rulemaking
    B. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and
Procedures
[[Page 56965]]
    C. Executive Order 13771
    D. Executive Order 13132
    E. Executive Order 13175
    F. Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Order 13272, and DOT
Policies and Procedures
    G. Paperwork Reduction Act
    H. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)
    I. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
    J. Environmental Assessment
    K. Privacy Act
    L. Executive Order 13609 and International Trade Analysis
    M. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
    N. Executive Order 13211
List of Subjects
I. Overview
    PHMSA, in coordination with FRA, is issuing this NPRM to solicit
public comment on potential changes to the Hazardous Materials
Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR parts 171-180) that permit the bulk transport
of Methane, refrigerated liquid, commonly known as liquefied natural
gas (LNG), in rail tank cars. Specifically, this NPRM proposes to
authorize the transportation of Methane, refrigerated liquid by rail in
certain DOT specification 113 (DOT-113) rail tank cars.\1\
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    \1\ This NPRM is consistent with Section 4(b) of the President's
April 10, 2019, ``Executive Order on Promoting Energy Infrastructure
and Economic Growth,'' which directs the Secretary of Transportation
to publish an NPRM that would propose to treat LNG the same as other
cryogenic liquids and permit LNG to be transported in approved rail
tank cars. The Executive Order also directs that the NPRM be
published within 100 days of date of the order, and that a final
rule must be published within thirteen months of the date of the
order. See https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-promoting-energy-infrastructure-economic-growth/.
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    LNG has been transported safely by highway and vessel for over 50
years within the United States and is now a critical energy resource
for the 21st century; however, the HMR do not authorize the bulk
transport of LNG in rail tank cars. Historically, this limitation has
not created a major impediment in the transportation of natural gas
(either in gas or liquid form), but the expansion in United States
energy production has led to significant challenges in the
transportation system.
    Between 2010 and 2018, the number of LNG facilities in the U.S.
increased by 28.7 percent, and total storage and vaporization
capacities increased by 21 and 23 percent, respectively.\2\ Over the
same period, total liquefaction capacity increased by 939 percent due
to new LNG export terminals.\3\ This data suggests that there may be a
demand for greater flexibility in the modes of transportation available
to transport LNG, which is supported by PHMSA's receipt of a petition
for rulemaking (P-1697) from the Association of American Railroads
(AAR) proposing amendments to the HMR to allow for the transportation
of Methane, refrigerated liquid by rail in DOT-113 rail tank cars. As
noted in the petition, some shippers have expressed that there is an
interest in the transportation of LNG by rail (domestically and for
international export), which would help address these challenges.
Additionally, there is an existing request for a special permit that
seeks to authorize shipments of LNG in DOT specification 113C120W tank
cars subject to certain operational conditions that would be used to
transport LNG to ports or the applicant's domestic customers.\4\
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    \2\ Based on PHMSA annual report data from 2010-2018.
    \3\ Id.
    \4\ Docket No. PHMSA 2019-0100 at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=PHMSA-2019-0100.
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    Federal hazardous materials law authorizes the Secretary of
Transportation to ``prescribe regulations for the safe transportation,
including security, of hazardous materials in intrastate, interstate,
and foreign commerce.'' 49 U.S.C. 5103(b)(1). The Secretary has
delegated this authority to PHMSA in 49 CFR 1.97(b). The HMR are
designed to achieve three primary goals: (1) Help ensure that hazardous
materials are packaged and handled safely and securely during
transportation; (2) provide effective communication to transportation
workers and emergency responders of the hazards of the materials being
transported; and (3) minimize the consequences of an accident or
incident should one occur. The hazardous material regulatory system is
a risk management system that is prevention-oriented and focused on
identifying safety or security hazards and reducing the probability and
consequences of a hazardous material release.
    The Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 551, et seq.
requires Federal agencies to give interested persons the right to
petition an agency to issue, amend, or repeal a rule. 5 U.S.C. 553(e).
In accordance with PHMSA's rulemaking procedure regulations in 49 CFR
part 106, interested persons may ask PHMSA to add, amend, or repeal a
regulation by filing a petition for rulemaking along with information
and arguments supporting the requested action (49 CFR 106.95). PHMSA
has assessed P-1697 \5\ in accordance with 49 CFR 106.105 and
determined that the request merits consideration in a rulemaking. In
addition, a comment received to a notification \6\ of regulatory review
issued by DOT's Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) in
October 2017 further expressed industry support of deregulatory efforts
to address the safe transportation of LNG by rail.
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    \5\ Docket No. PHMSA-2017-0020.
    \6\ See Interested Parties for Hazardous Materials
Transportation comment in response to DOT's Notification of
Regulatory Review, 82 FR 45750 (Oct. 2, 2017), which can be found at
Docket No. DOT-OST-2017-0069, https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=DOT-OST-2017-0069.
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    PHMSA and FRA share responsibility for regulating the
transportation of hazardous materials by rail and take a system-wide,
comprehensive approach that focuses on prevention, mitigation, and
response to manage and reduce the risk posed to people and the
environment. In this rulemaking, PHMSA is seeking public comment on
proposed changes to address the safe transportation of LNG by rail.
II. Background
A. Properties and Use of LNG
    The proper classification of any hazardous material is required
prior to it being offered into transportation. In accordance with Sec.
173.115(g), a ``cryogenic liquid'' means a refrigerated liquefied gas
having a boiling point colder than -90 [deg]C (-130 [deg]F) at an
absolute pressure of 101.3 kPa (14.7 psia). Natural gas (methane) has a
boiling point of -162 [deg]C (-260 [deg]F), which means it must be
refrigerated to be liquid--hence, liquefied natural gas. Therefore, LNG
meets the definition of Division 2.1, cryogenic liquid and is described
by the entry ``UN1972, Methane, refrigerated liquid (cryogenic liquid),
2.1'' in the Hazardous Materials Table (HMT; Sec.  172.101).
    LNG is natural gas that has been liquefied through condensation at
ambient pressure--a process referred to as liquefaction. The resulting
LNG takes up about 1/600th of the volume of natural gas in its vapor
state. Thus, LNG can be readily and economically stored and transported
in specially designed storage tanks, highway cargo tanks, or
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) containers. LNG is
odorless, colorless, non-corrosive, and non-toxic. It will float on
water, causing the water to look like its boiling as the liquid
transitions back to vapor. To be consumed, LNG must be vaporized by
warming to return it to its gaseous form; this warming and vaporization
process is called regasification. The vaporized natural gas is then
injected back into a pipeline system, or used to fuel natural gas
operated equipment.
    There is an international market for LNG, whereas natural gas tends
to be a
[[Page 56966]]
domestic commodity. International trends in the LNG industry directly
impact domestic LNG and natural gas trends. LNG supplies regions, both
domestic and international, that lack a natural gas source or the
infrastructure to receive natural gas via pipeline. LNG production and
consumption trends are related to international fuel prices, mainly
crude oil, diesel, and coal. The LNG market in the United States grew
considerably between 2010 and 2018.\7\ In that timeframe, the number of
LNG facilities in the United States increased by 28.7 percent, and the
total storage and vaporization capacities increased by 21 and 23
percent, respectively. Over the same period, total liquefaction
capacity increased by 939 percent due to new LNG export terminals.
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    \7\ U.S. DOE, EIA: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=34032.
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B. Current Requirements for LNG
    The current HMR do not authorize the bulk transport of LNG in rail
tank cars.\8\ LNG may only be transported via rail in accordance with
the conditions of a PHMSA special permit or in a portable tank pursuant
to the conditions of an FRA approval.
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    \8\ The HMR defines ``bulk packaging'' as having a capacity of
greater than 119 gallons per 49 CFR 171.8. By way of comparison, a
single DOT-113C120W tank car has a capacity of approximately 30,000
gallons.
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    The HMR include design, manufacturing, and maintenance standards
for packaging (see parts 178-180). Additionally, the regulations
specify which packaging types may be used for specific materials and
provide requirements for filling and loading of packages (see part
173). Column (8C) of the HMT provides bulk packaging authorizations for
LNG in accordance with Sec.  173.318, Cryogenic liquids in cargo tanks,
only, and does not include authorization of LNG for rail tank cars.
Additionally, Column (7) contains portable tank instruction T75 (see
Sec.  172.102(c)(7)), which allows for the transportation of
refrigerated liquefied gases in certain United Nations (UN) portable
tanks, which can then be moved by rail in accordance with Sec.  174.63.
Currently, to transport LNG by rail in a method not authorized, a
person must apply for a special permit from the Associate Administrator
for Hazardous Materials Safety, PHMSA (see 49 CFR 107.105).
C. Petition for Rulemaking (P-1697)
The Association of American Railroads' Petition for Rulemaking
    On January 17, 2017, AAR submitted a petition for rulemaking to
PHMSA titled, ``Petition for Rulemaking to Allow Methane, Refrigerated
Liquid to be Transported in Rail Tank Cars'' [PHMSA-2017-0020 (P-1697)]
requesting revisions to Sec.  173.319 of the HMR that would permit the
transportation of LNG by rail in DOT-113 tank cars.
    In its petition, AAR proposed that PHMSA amend the entry for
``UN1972, Methane, refrigerated liquid'' in the HMT (see Sec.  172.101)
to add a reference to Sec.  173.319 in Column (8C), thereby authorizing
transport of UN 1972 in rail tank cars. Additionally, AAR proposed that
PHMSA amend Sec.  173.319 to include specific requirements for DOT-113
cars used for the transportation of LNG. AAR suggested that the
authorized tank car specifications be DOT-113C120W and DOT-113C140W,\9\
noting that 120W cars should provide 40 days in transportation and 140W
cars should provide 45 days before the tank car might begin to vent the
commodity from the pressure relief device.\10\ AAR further proposed
amending Sec.  173.319(d)(2) to include maximum filling densities
comparable to those specified for cargo tanks containing LNG in Sec.
173.318(f)(3).
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    \9\ The HMR do not authorize the DOT-113C140W specification tank
car for hazardous materials transportation. See section ``III. A.
Tank Car Specification'' of this rulemaking for further discussion.
    \10\ PHMSA understands this to mean one-way transit time.
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    AAR noted that the current HMR allow for transport of LNG by
highway and expressed the opinion that rail transport of LNG is a safer
mode of transportation by comparison. AAR stated that LNG is similar in
all relevant properties to other flammable cryogenic liquids, such as
ethylene, that are currently authorized for transportation by rail tank
car. AAR further stated that they believe the DOT-113 tank car was not
previously authorized because of a lack of demand in the market.
However, AAR noted that there is commercial interest in transporting
LNG by rail tank car domestically, and internationally from the United
States to Mexico, and that some railroads are actively exploring LNG as
a locomotive fuel, thereby requiring supply of LNG along their
networks.
    AAR's petition--P-1697--requests a regulatory change that has the
potential to reduce regulatory burdens and enhance domestic energy
production without having a negative impact on safety; therefore, PHMSA
accepted it as having merit for consideration in a rulemaking. PHMSA
requests public comment on all relevant aspects of this NPRM, including
its potential to reduce regulatory burdens, enhance domestic energy
production, and impact safety.
The Center for Biological Diversity's Response to P-1697
    On May 15, 2017, the Center for Biological Diversity (the Center)
submitted a response to P-1697, recommending that PHMSA deny AAR's
petition for rulemaking because of potential environmental impacts of
LNG. The Center commented that PHMSA should not proceed in evaluating
the petition request until the Agency has conducted a National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) evaluation, prepared an Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) or Environmental Assessment (EA), and provided
opportunity for public review and comment in accordance with the
Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA), as applicable.
    PHMSA is issuing this NPRM in accordance with the APA and all
related Executive Orders and laws, including NEPA. This NPRM provides
opportunity for public notice and comment. See section ``V. J.
Environmental Assessment'' of this rulemaking for further discussion of
the EA.
D. Regulatory Review
    On October 2, 2017, DOT published a notice \11\ in the Federal
Register expressing Department-wide plans to review existing
regulations and other agency actions to evaluate their continued
necessity, determine whether they are crafted effectively to solve
current problems, and evaluate whether they potentially burden the
development or use of domestically produced energy resources. As part
of this review process, the Department invited the public to provide
input on existing rules and other agency actions that have potential
for repeal, replacement, suspension, or modification.
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    \11\ Notification of Regulatory Review, Docket No. DOT-OST-2017-
0069, 82 FR 45750 (October 2, 2017).
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    The Interested Parties for Hazardous Materials Transportation
(Interested Parties) submitted a comment \12\ requesting the
authorization of LNG for rail tank car transport. Specifically, the
Interested Parties noted in its comment that LNG shares similar
properties to other flammable cryogenic materials currently authorized
by rail tank car and has already been moved in the United
[[Page 56967]]
States under a special permit. Additionally, they noted that Transport
Canada (TC) authorizes LNG for transportation by rail in DOT-113
equivalent rail cars and that there is an increased commercial demand
for rail transport within the United States and between the United
States and Mexico.
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    \12\ Comment from Interested Parties for Hazardous Materials
Transportation, Document No. DOT-OST-2017-00692591, https://www.regulations.gov/searchResults?rpp=25&po=0&s=dot-ost-2017-0069-2591&fp=true&ns=true.
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    PHMSA has reviewed the Interested Parties' comment and is proposing
to authorize the transport of LNG by rail because it may support
Department-wide safety investments and promote cost saving actions. The
PHMSA proposal would amend the HMR to authorize transportation of LNG
by rail in a DOT-113 specification tank car. PHMSA requests public
comment on the potential regulatory impact of this proposal.
E. International Regulation
    The Transport of Dangerous Goods Directorate within TC develops
safety standards and regulations, provides oversight, and gives expert
advice on dangerous goods incidents to promote public safety in the
transportation of dangerous goods by all modes of transport in Canada.
TC recently published a new standard on the bulk transport of LNG. TC
authorizes LNG for transportation by rail in DOT-113 equivalent rail
tank cars (TC-113C120W). PHMSA is not currently aware of LNG being
transported via TC-113C120W; however, should that change, PHMSA expects
incident and commodity flow data within Canada to be shared with PHMSA
and FRA.
    In Mexico, the Railway Transport Regulatory Agency's (Agencia
Reguladora del Transporte Ferroviario), under the Ministry of
Communications and Transportation (Secretar[iacute]a de Comunicaciones
y Transportes or SCT), mission is to promote, regulate, and monitor the
railroad industry, and is responsible for regulating all types of cargo
movement on trains. Currently, SCT does not provide explicit
authorization for the bulk transportation of LNG in rail tank cars.
III. Proposed Changes
    LNG's role as an energy resource continues to expand with ongoing
innovation and economic development. Historically, the United States
transported LNG by highway and exported LNG via ports only. As a
result, there was no need for a regulation that authorized
transportation via rail tank car. With a growing supply and demand,\13\
rail transportation is being considered as a viable alternative to the
transportation of LNG by highway. PHMSA has identified this as an area
where there are opportunities to allow industry innovation and to
support infrastructure development while maintaining a high level of
safety. The hazards of transporting LNG are no different than that of
flammable cryogenic liquids already authorized for bulk rail transport
in accordance with the HMR.\14\ The HMR provides the framework for the
safe transportation of hazardous materials in commerce, and regardless
of the future capacity for LNG rail transport, the material itself will
be transported in the safe specification tank cars outlined below.
Nonetheless, in this NPRM, PHMSA and FRA must consider requirements for
both the packaging (i.e., the rail tank car) and operational controls
for a train consisting of tank cars loaded with LNG.
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    \13\ U.S. Energy Information Administration, ``Growth in
domestic natural gas production leads to development of LNG export
terminals,'' March 4, 2016, accessed at https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=25232.
    \14\ For description of potential safety hazards of LNG, see LNG
Safety Assessment Evaluation Methods, https://prod.sandia.gov/techlib-noauth/access-control.cgi/2015/153859r.pdf.
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A. Tank Car Specification
    The DOT-113 specification cryogenic liquid tank car is built to
comply with specifications contained in 49 CFR part 179, subpart F and
TC regulation TC14877E, Section 8.6, as well as certain requirements of
the rail industry as identified in the AAR Manual of Standards and
Recommended Practices, Specifications for Tank Cars (M-1002). These
rail tank cars are vacuum-insulated and consist of an inner alloy
(stainless) steel tank enclosed with an outer carbon steel jacket shell
specifically designed for the transportation of refrigerated liquefied
gases, such as liquid hydrogen, oxygen, ethylene, nitrogen, and argon.
Additionally, the design and use of the DOT-113 specification tank car
includes added safety features--such as protection systems for piping
between the inner and outer tanks, multiple pressure relief devices
(pressure relief valves and vents), thermal integrity tests, and in-
transit reporting requirements--that contribute to an excellent safety
record throughout its 50 years of service.
    In this NPRM, PHMSA is proposing to authorize DOT-113C120W tank
cars for use in the transportation of LNG by rail. The HMR currently
authorize the DOT-113C120W specification tank car for another flammable
cryogenic liquid which shares similar chemical and operating
characteristics with LNG (i.e., ethylene). The DOT-113C120W design
specification is similarly suitable for the transport of Methane,
refrigerated liquid (LNG). We anticipate that DOT-113 specification
tank cars will need to be manufactured to satisfy the demand for
transporting LNG as the current fleet of these tank cars is used for
the transportation of ethylene and other cryogenic liquids.
    DOT-113 specification rail tank cars are constructed in accordance
with the requirements of 49 CFR, part 179, subpart F, ``Specification
for Cryogenic Liquid Tank Car Tanks and Seamless Steel Tanks.'' These
cars are built to a double pressure vessel design with the commodity
tank (inner vessel) constructed of ASTM A 240/A 240M, Type 304 or 304L
stainless steel, and the outer jacket shell (outer vessel) typically is
constructed of carbon steel. This design provides an increased
crashworthiness when compared to a single vessel design rail tank car.
The rail tank car is manufactured with an insulated annular space
holding a vacuum between the two pressure vessels. This vacuum area and
the insulation significantly reduce the rate of heat leak from the
atmosphere to the liquid inside the tank car thus minimizing the
heating of the cryogenic (i.e., refrigerated) material in the tank car
while being transported. For these reasons, PHMSA has determined the
DOT-113C120W specification tank car is an acceptable packaging to
transport Methane, refrigerated liquid (LNG) by rail. This
determination is based upon the design of the DOT cryogenic tank car
specification, which includes added safety features designed to address
the hazards presented by cryogenic liquids, and has a demonstrated
safety record.
    In addition to requesting a rule change to allow DOT-113C120W tank
cars to transport LNG, AAR requested that PHMSA add a new tank car
specification, the DOT-113C140W, for transportation of bulk quantities
of LNG. AAR stated that the advantage to the DOT-113C140W tank car is
that it is similar in design and construction to the DOT-113C120W
specification, but would allow for an additional transportation
timeframe of 5 days for cryogenic materials. This claim assumes that
the new specification would use a thicker inner tank material that
would allow for a higher inner tank test pressure (140 psig) and higher
pressure relief device settings. These design changes could have the
potential to increase the time in transportation by 5 days.
    Currently, the HMR does not authorize the DOT-113C140W
specification for cryogenic hazardous materials transportation and
thus, this
[[Page 56968]]
type of regulatory change would require considerably more time and
resources to incorporate a new specification proposal into this
rulemaking. PHMSA believes the addition of this tank car specification
warrants an extensive engineering review and evaluation, including
consideration of the risk of release in a derailment and ignition when
transported at these higher pressures. PHMSA does not want to delay
deregulatory action authorizing the DOT-113C120W tank car for the
transport of LNG pending evaluation of the DOT-113C140W tank car.
Accordingly, PHMSA is not proposing to authorize the DOT-113C140W
specification at this time.
    Moreover, the petitioner did not include design specifications for
the DOT-113C140W tank car. PHMSA may consider it for future rulemaking
after design specifications, engineering details, and data
demonstrating an equivalent level of safety are submitted to PHMSA in
support of this regulatory change.
    PHMSA is proposing to amend the Pressure Control Valve Setting or
Relief Valve Setting Table in Sec.  173.319(d)(2) by adding a column
for methane as follows:
                                                 Pressure Control Valve Setting or Relief Valve Setting
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                                                                    Maximum permitted filling density (percent by weight)
Maximum start-to-discharge pressure --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               (psig)                       Ethylene                Ethylene                Ethylene               Hydrogen               Methane
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17.................................  ......................  ......................  .....................  6.60.................
45.................................  52.8..................
75.................................  ......................  51.1..................  51.1.................  .....................  32.5.
Maximum pressure when offered for    10 psig...............  20 psig...............  20 psig..............  .....................  15 psig.
 transportation.
Design service temperature.........  Minus 260 [deg]F......  Minus 260 [deg]F......  Minus 155 [deg]F.....  Minus 423 [deg]F.....  Minus 260 [deg]F.
Specification (see Sec.              113D60W, 113C60W......  113C120W..............  113D120W.............  113A175W, 113A60W....  113C120W.
 180.507(b)(3) of this subchapter).
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    The proposed changes to the table would authorize methane in DOT-
113C120W specification tank cars with a start-to-discharge pressure
valve setting of 75 psig; a design service temperature of -260 [deg]F;
a maximum pressure when offered for transportation of 15 psig; and a
filling density of 32.5 percent by weight. The maximum offering
pressure of 15 psig is consistent with the 20-day transportation
requirement for cryogenic materials and the estimated 3 psig per day
pressure increase during transportation. The filling density is similar
to the filling density requirements for cryogenic materials transported
in a cargo tank motor vehicle. These requirements will provide a 15
percent vapor volume outage (at the start-to-discharge-pressure of the
pressure relief valve) for the rail tank car during transportation.
B. Operational Controls
    AAR's Circular OT-55 is a detailed protocol establishing
recommended railroad operating practices for the transportation of
hazardous materials that was developed by the rail industry through the
AAR.\15\ The recommended practices were originally implemented by all
Class I rail carriers operating in the United States, with short-line
railroads following on as signatories. As a result, Circular OT-55 is
comprehensive in its reach, applying to all train movements that fit
within the terms of the circular. The circular outlines operational
controls for trains meeting the industry definition of a ``Key Train,''
including speed restrictions, track requirements, storage requirements,
and the designation of ``Key Routes.'' \16\ Circular OT-55 defines a
``Key Train'' as any train with:
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    \15\ Circular OT-55, ``Recommended Railroad Operating Practices
for Transportation of Hazardous Materials,'' https://www.railinc.com/rportal/documents/18/260773/OT-55.pdf.
    \16\ Circular OT-55 defines a ``Key Route'' as ``any track with
a combination of 10,000 car loads or intermodal portable tank loads
of hazardous materials, or a combination of 4,000 car loadings of
PIH or TIH (Hazard zone A, B, C, or D), anhydrous ammonia, flammable
gas, Class 1.1 or 1.2 explosives, environmentally sensitive
chemicals, Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF), and High Level Radioactive
Waste (HLRW) over a period of one year.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     One tank car load of Poison or Toxic Inhalation Hazard
(PIH or TIH) (Hazard Zone A, B, C, or D), anhydrous ammonia (UN1005),
or ammonia solutions (UN3318), or;
     20 car loads or intermodal portable tank loads of any
combination of hazardous material, or;
     One or more car loads of Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF), High
Level Radioactive Waste (HLRW).
    While PHMSA is not proposing to incorporate by reference Circular
OT-55 or to adopt the requirements for ``Key Trains'' in the HMR in
this rulemaking, the railroad industry's voluntary adoption of the
circular is an important consideration for PHMSA in assessing what
operational controls are necessary. In accordance with the ``Key
Train'' definition and the changes being considered in this NPRM,
Circular OT-55's operational controls would apply to the bulk transport
of LNG by rail in a train consist that is composed of 20 car loads or
intermodal portable tank loads in which LNG is present along with any
combination of other hazardous materials. Therefore, bulk transport of
LNG would be subject to the industry standard even if only one rail
tank car of the 20-car consist contained LNG, regardless of the classes
of hazardous materials contained in the remaining 19 rail cars. Due to
the operational controls introduced for ``Key Trains,'' Circular OT-55
provides an additional level of safety regardless of what combination
of hazardous materials the train consist is transporting. As such,
PHMSA and FRA believe this industry standard helps ensure the safe
transportation of all hazardous materials, including LNG.
    PHMSA and FRA considered other options for operational controls
such as mirroring the operational controls adopted for high-hazard
flammable trains (HHFT) \17\ or adopting the ``Key Train'' requirements
into the HMR. Additional operational controls, while not limited to the
following, might include limitations on train length, controls for
train composition, speed restrictions, braking requirements, and
routing requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \17\ As defined in Sec.  171.8, a high-hazard flammable train
means a single train transporting 20 or more loaded tank cars of a
Class 3 flammable liquid in a continuous block or a single train
carrying 35 or more loaded tank cars of a Class 3 flammable liquid
throughout the train consist.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Train Length and Train Composition. PHMSA and FRA have not
restricted train length in the past; however, PHMSA solicits comment on
whether
[[Page 56969]]
there is a reasoned basis for limiting the length of a train
transporting LNG tank cars, and what that limitation would look like.
Moreover, PHMSA solicits comment on whether there is a reasoned basis
for limiting the amount of LNG tank cars that can be in one consist, or
where the LNG tank cars may be placed within the train. For example,
the National Transportation Safety Board issued a Safety Recommendation
(R-17-001) \18\ to PHMSA to: (1) Evaluate the risks posed to train
crews by hazardous materials transported by rail; (2) determine the
adequate separation distance between hazardous materials cars and
locomotives and occupied equipment that ensures the protection of train
crews during normal operations and accident conditions; (3) and
collaborate with FRA to revise 49 CFR 174.85 to reflect those findings.
To date, PHMSA has initiated a literature review to help identify gaps
and changes in factors from previous and current studies and ultimately
determine the adequate separation distance of train crews from
hazardous materials in a train.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\ https://ntsb.gov/safety/safety-recs/_layouts/ntsb.recsearch/Recommendation.aspx?Rec=R-17-001.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Speed Restrictions and Braking Requirements. The HHFT regulations
include a speed restriction of 50 miles per hour (mph) for all HHFTs
with an additional speed restriction of 40 mph for those HHFTs
traveling within a high-threat urban area (Sec.  174.310(a)(2)). The
HHFT regulations also include advanced braking requirements for HHFTs,
requiring all HHFTs operating in excess of 30 mph to be equipped and
operated with distributed power system or a two-way end-of-train device
(Sec.  174.310(a)(3)), which helps to propagate a quicker application
of the air brake system throughout the entire train, particularly in
emergency braking situations.
    Routing Requirements. Section 172.820 prescribes additional
planning requirements for transportation by rail, including route
analysis, requiring railroads to address safety and security risks for
the transportation along routes where commodity data is collected. This
requirement applies to a rail carrier transporting one or more of: (1)
More than 2,268 kg (5,000 lbs.) in a single carload of a Division 1.1,
1.2 or 1.3 explosive; (2) A quantity of a material poisonous by
inhalation in a single bulk packaging; (3) A highway route-controlled
quantity of a Class 7 (radioactive) material, as defined in Sec.
173.403; or (4) A high-hazard flammable train (HHFT) as defined in
Sec.  171.8.
    PHMSA recognizes that there may be other operational controls or
combinations of controls to consider and encourages comments on such
controls. However, for this rulemaking, PHMSA and FRA decided not to
propose additional operational controls because there is not sufficient
data about the potential movements of LNG by tank car. While PHMSA
expects LNG will initially move in smaller quantities (i.e., a few tank
cars) as part of manifest trains, it is uncertain whether LNG will
continue to be transported in those quantities or if LNG by rail will
shift to be transported using a unit train model of service, and if so,
how quickly that shift will occur.
    Finally, PHMSA notes that there is an existing special permit
application to transport LNG by tank car. PHMSA is seeking comment on
the draft special permit and environmental assessment, see 84 FR 26507
and Docket No. PHMSA-2019-0100, and will consider information provided
to the special permit docket that is pertinent to the issue of
operational controls in this rulemaking or potential future
rulemakings. In conclusion, we invite comment on PHMSA's and FRA's
reliance on existing regulations and the operational controls in
Circular OT-55 (not incorporated into the HMR) and whether additional
operational controls may be warranted based on an assessment of risk.
We also encourage commenters to provide data on the safety or economic
impacts associated with any proposed operational controls, including
analysis of the safety justification or cost impact of implementing
operational controls.
IV. Section-by-Section Review
    The following is a section-by-section review of the amendments
considered in this NPRM.
Section 172.101
    Section 172.101 provides the HMT and instructions for its use.
PHMSA proposes amending the entry for ``UN1972, Methane, refrigerated
liquid'' in the HMT to add reference to the cryogenic liquids in (rail)
tank cars packaging section--Sec.  173.319 in Column (8C).
Section 173.319
    Section 173.319 prescribes requirements for cryogenic liquids
transported in rail tank cars. Paragraph (d) provides which cryogenic
liquids may be transported in a DOT-113 tank car when directed to this
section by Column (8C) of the Sec.  172.101 HMT. PHMSA proposes to
amend paragraph (d)(2) to authorize the transport of Methane,
refrigerated liquid (LNG). Additionally, PHMSA is proposing to amend
the Pressure Control Valve Setting or Relief Valve Setting Table in
Sec.  173.319(d)(2) to specify settings for methane in DOT-113C120W
tank cars, specifically, a start-to-discharge pressure valve setting of
75 psig; a design service temperature of -260 [deg]F; a maximum
pressure when offered for transportation of 15 psig; and a filling
density of 32.5 percent by weight.
V. Regulatory Analyses and Notices
A. Statutory/Legal Authority for This Rulemaking
    This rulemaking is published under the authority of Federal
Hazardous Materials Transportation Law (Federal hazmat law; 49 U.S.C.
5101 et seq.), and the Federal Railroad Safety Laws (49 U.S.C. ch. 201-
213). Section 5103(b) of the Federal Hazmat Law authorizes the
Secretary of Transportation to ``prescribe regulations for the safe
transportation, including security, of hazardous materials in
intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce.'' Section 20103 of the
Federal Railroad Safety Laws, authorizes the Secretary to prescribe
regulations and issue orders for every area of railroad safety. The
Secretary's authority is delegated to PHMSA at 49 CFR 1.97. This
rulemaking proposes to authorize the transportation of LNG by rail in
DOT-113C120W tank cars.
B. Executive Order 12866 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures
    This rulemaking is considered a significant regulatory action under
section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 (``Regulatory Planning and
Review'') and was reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget
(OMB). This rulemaking is also considered a significant rulemaking
under the DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures of February 26, 1979
[44 FR 11034].
    Executive Order 12866 (``Regulatory Planning and Review'') \19\
requires agencies to regulate in the ``most cost-effective manner,'' to
make a ``reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended
regulation justify its costs,'' and to develop regulations that
``impose the least burden on society.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \19\ See 58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993 for Executive Order 12866.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Additionally, Executive Order 12866 requires agencies to provide a
meaningful opportunity for public participation, which also reinforces
requirements for notice and comment
[[Page 56970]]
under the APA.\20\ Therefore, in this NPRM, PHMSA seeks public comment
on revisions to the HMR authorizing the transportation of LNG by rail
tank car. PHMSA also seeks comment on the preliminary cost and cost
savings analyses, as well as any information that could assist in
quantifying the benefits of this rule. Overall, this rulemaking
maintains the continued safe transportation of hazardous materials
while producing a net cost savings. For additional discussion about the
economic impacts, see the preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis posted
in the docket.\21\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \20\ See 5 U.S.C. 553.
    \21\ See Docket No. PHMSA-2018-0025 at www.regulations.gov.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
C. Executive Order 13771
    This proposed rule is expected to be an Executive Order 13771
deregulatory action. Details on the estimated cost savings of this
proposed rule can be found in the rule's economic analysis.\22\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \22\ Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
D. Executive Order 13132
    This rulemaking was analyzed in accordance with the principles and
criteria contained in Executive Order 13132 (``Federalism''). This
rulemaking may preempt State, local, and Tribal requirements but does
not propose any regulation that has substantial direct effects on the
States, the relationship between the national government and the
States, or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the
various levels of government. Therefore, the consultation and funding
requirements of Executive Order 13132 do not apply.
    The Federal hazmat law, 49 U.S.C. 5101-5128, contains an express
preemption provision [49 U.S.C. 5125(b)] that preempts State, local,
and Indian tribal requirements on the following subjects:
    (1) The designation, description, and classification of hazardous
materials;
    (2) The packing, repacking, handling, labeling, marking, and
placarding of hazardous materials;
    (3) The preparation, execution, and use of shipping documents
related to hazardous materials and requirements related to the number,
contents, and placement of those documents;
    (4) The written notification, recording, and reporting of the
unintentional release in transportation of hazardous material; and
    (5) The design, manufacture, fabrication, marking, maintenance,
recondition, repair, or testing of a packaging or container
represented, marked, certified, or sold as qualified for use in
transporting hazardous material.
    This proposed rule addresses covered subject item (2) above and
preempts State, local, and Indian tribe requirements not meeting the
``substantively the same'' standard.
    Federal preemption also may exist pursuant to section 20106 of the
former Federal Railroad Safety Act of 1970 (FRSA), repealed, revised,
reenacted, and recodified at 49 U.S.C. 20106. Section 20106 of the
former FRSA provides that States may not adopt or continue in effect
any law, regulation, or order related to railroad safety or security
that covers the subject matter of a regulation prescribed or order
issued by the Secretary of Transportation (with respect to railroad
safety matters) or the Secretary of Homeland Security (with respect to
railroad security matters), except when the State law, regulation, or
order qualifies under the section's ``essentially local safety or
security hazard.''
    PHMSA invites State and local governments with an interest in this
rulemaking to comment on any effect that revisions to the HMR relative
to LNG transportation may cause.
E. Executive Order 13175
    This rulemaking was analyzed in accordance with the principles and
criteria contained in Executive Order 13175 (``Consultation and
Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments''). PHMSA does not
anticipate that this rulemaking will have substantial direct tribal
implications. Therefore, the funding and consultation requirements of
Executive Order 13175 are not expected to apply. However, PHMSA invites
Indian tribal governments to comment on any effect that revisions to
the HMR relative to LNG transportation may cause.
F. Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Order 13272, and DOT Policies
and Procedures
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires
agencies to consider whether a rulemaking would have a ``significant
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities'' to include
small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently
owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and
governmental jurisdictions with populations under 50,000. This proposed
rulemaking has been developed in accordance with Executive Order 13272
(``Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency Rulemaking'') and
DOT's procedures and policies to promote compliance with the Regulatory
Flexibility Act to ensure that potential impacts of draft rules on
small entities are properly considered. The proposed changes are
generally intended to provide relief by easing requirements with no
anticipated reduction in safety.
    Consideration of alternative proposals for small businesses. The
Regulatory Flexibility Act directs agencies to establish exceptions and
differing compliance standards for small businesses, where it is
possible to do so and still meet the objectives of applicable
regulatory statutes.
    The impact of this proposed rulemaking on small businesses is not
expected to be significant. The proposed changes are generally intended
to provide regulatory flexibility and cost savings to industry members.
However, PHMSA seeks comment on the potential impacts on small
entities.
G. Paperwork Reduction Act
    Section 1320.8(d), Title 5, Code of Federal Regulations requires
that PHMSA provide interested members of the public and affected
agencies an opportunity to comment on information collection and
recordkeeping requests. This NPRM does not impose new information
collection and recordkeeping burdens.
H. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)
    A regulation identifier number (RIN) is assigned to each regulatory
action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The
Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in
April and October of each year. The RIN contained in the heading of
this document can be used to cross-reference this action with the
Unified Agenda.
I. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
    This rulemaking does not impose unfunded mandates under the
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995. It does not result in costs of
$100 million or more, adjusted for inflation, to either State, local,
or Tribal governments, in the aggregate, or to the private sector and
is the least burdensome alternative that achieves the objective of the
rulemaking. PHMSA will evaluate any regulatory action that might be
proposed in subsequent stages of the proceeding to assess the effects
on State, local, and Tribal governments and the private sector.
J. Environmental Assessment
    The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires
Federal agencies to consider the consequences of major Federal actions
and prepare a
[[Page 56971]]
detailed statement on actions significantly affecting the quality of
the human environment. The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
implementing regulations (40 CFR part 1500) require Federal agencies to
conduct an environmental review considering (1) the need for the
action, (2) alternatives to the action, (3) probable environmental
impacts of the action and alternatives, and (4) the agencies and
persons consulted during the consideration process (see 40 CFR
1508.9(b)).
1. Need for the Action
    The purpose of this NPRM is to propose amendments that authorize
the transportation of Methane, refrigerated liquid, commonly known as
liquefied natural gas (LNG), by rail in a DOT-113C120W tank car. This
proposed rulemaking would facilitate the transportation of LNG by rail
in a packaging other than a portable tank. This action would facilitate
the transportation of natural gas to markets where pipeline
transportation is limited or unavailable.
2. Alternatives Considered
    Transportation of hazardous materials in commerce is subject to
requirements in the HMR, issued under authority of Federal hazmat law,
codified at 49 U.S.C. 5101 et seq. To facilitate the safe and efficient
transportation of hazardous materials in international commerce, the
HMR provide that both domestic and international shipment of hazardous
materials may be offered for transportation and transported under
provisions of the international regulations.
    In proposing this rulemaking, PHMSA is considering the following
alternatives:
Alternative 1: No Action Alternative
    The No Action Alternative would not adopt the regulatory changes
proposed in this NPRM. If PHMSA were to select this alternative, it
would not proceed with any rulemaking on this subject and the current
regulatory standards would remain in effect. If the current regulatory
standards remain in effect, LNG would not be authorized for
transportation by tank car. The No Action Alternative would not address
AAR's petition for rulemaking or stakeholder comments to the October 2,
2017, notification of regulatory review. LNG transportation by highway
and by rail--via a PHMSA special permit \23\ or an FRA approval \24\--
would continue and perhaps increase over time. However, these
alternatives typically have limited applicability because they only
apply to the parties to the PHMSA special permit or FRA approval. The
No Action Alternative would also fail to comply with the April 10, 2019
Executive Order, ``Executive Order on Promoting Energy Infrastructure
and Economic Growth.'' That E.O. orders the Secretary of Transportation
to propose regulatory changes ``no later than 100 days after the date
of this order, that would treat LNG the same as other cryogenic liquids
and permit LNG to be transported in approved rail tank cars. The
Secretary shall finalize such rulemaking no later than 13 months after
the date of this order.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \23\ On September 14, 2017, PHMSA announced it had received an
application for a special permit to transport LNG by rail in DOT-113
tank cars from Energy Transport Solutions, LLC. The PHMSA-assigned
application number is 20534-N. See 82 FR 43285. PHMSA is currently
reviewing the application. Additionally, PHMSA issued a notice
announcing the availability for public review and comment of the
draft environmental assessment for this special permit request to
transport LNG by rail tank car. See 84 FR 26507 and Docket No.
PHMSA-2019-0100.
    \24\ FRA has granted approvals to Alaska Railroad and Florida
East Coast Railroad allowing for the transportation of LNG by rail
in ISO containers provided that the operators comply with certain
operational controls.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alternative 2: Authorize LNG in DOT-113C120W and DOT-113C140W Tank Cars
    This alternative would adopt the AAR petition in its entirety,
including the authorization of the DOT-113C140W specification tank car
into the HMR for the transportation of LNG. As discussed earlier, in
the section ``III. A. Tank Car Specification'' section, the intended
advantage to the DOT-113C140W tank car is that it would have a similar
design and construction to the DOT-113C120W specification, but would
potentially allow for five days of additional transportation time
because the tank car would use a thicker inner tank material that would
allow for a higher inner tank test pressure (140 psig) and higher
pressure relief device settings. PHMSA and FRA believe that a complete
engineering review of this specification is warranted, and that more
research and supporting data are needed to demonstrate that this
additional transportation timeframe benefits safety or justifies the
addition of a new tank car specification to the HMR. While PHMSA is not
opposed to considering this request for future action, it does not want
to delay action on the DOT-113C120W tank car. Accordingly, this
alternative was eliminated from full consideration in this rulemaking
and draft EA.
Alternative 3: Proposed Alternative
    The Proposed Alternative is the current proposal as it appears in
this NPRM, applying to transportation of hazardous materials by rail.
The Proposed Alternative would authorize the transportation of LNG by
rail in a DOT-113C120W specification tank car. See sections ``III.
Changes Being Considered'' and ``IV. Section-by-Section Review'' of
this rulemaking for further discussion on the proposed amendments
encompassed in this alternative.
3. Environmental Impacts
Alternative 1: No Action Alternative
    If PHMSA were to select the No Action Alternative, current
regulations would remain in place and no new enabling provisions would
be added. This alternative would not amend the HMR to allow shippers to
transport bulk quantities of LNG by rail tank car. As such, the current
regulatory requirements would require that LNG continue to be
transported by highway, or for rail transportation, be limited to
certain PHMSA special permit holders or LNG in portable tanks pursuant
to the conditions of an FRA approval. This alternative would prevent
the use of a tank car that was designed to address the hazards
presented by cryogenic liquids, and has a demonstrated safety record.
Authorizing the transport of LNG by tank car via rulemaking has the
potential to allow shippers to move a greater quantity of LNG more
efficiently, as highway transportation requires the use of more
vehicles to move the same amount of material as rail transportation,
thereby increasing air pollutants, including greenhouse gases. In 2017,
U.S. railroads moved a ton of freight an average of 479 miles per
gallon of fuel. On average, railroads are four times more fuel
efficient than trucks. Because greenhouse gas emissions are directly
related to fuel consumption, moving freight by rail instead of truck
reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 75 percent. In
addition, emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides are
significantly lower for railroads than for trucks.\25\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\ AAR ``Overview of America's Freight Railroads'' (October,
2018) https://www.aar.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/AAR-Overview-Americas-Freight-Railroads.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Furthermore, highway transportation may present a greater risk of
accident and release of LNG for each movement, which creates a danger
for both humans and the environment. From 2005 to 2017, there were
eight incidents involving Methane, refrigerated liquid
[[Page 56972]]
transported by cargo tank motor vehicle (CTMV).\26\ No injuries or
fatalities were reported to PHMSA. Two of the crashes were single
vehicle rollovers. Furthermore, the total quantity spilled in these
eight incidents was 11,296 gallons. For three of the eight incidents
reported, a total of 165 people were evacuated. One of the three
incidents (not a crash) involved 102 evacuations and 1,000 gallons
spilled. One other incident of the three, a rollover incident, involved
50 evacuations and zero gallons spilled. The last of the three
incidents involved 13 evacuations and 4,625 gallons spilled. In any of
these incidents injuries or fatalities could have occurred, especially
if an ignition source had been present; the gallons spilled and the
number of evacuations demonstrate that the incidents presented
significant risk to human life and environmental resources in the
vicinity of each incident. While PHMSA understands there are limited
rail shipments of Methane, refrigerated liquid, compared to highway
transportation, PHMSA and FRA have no record of any reported incidents
involving Methane, refrigerated liquid in portable tanks transported by
rail since 2005.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \26\ See pages 11 and 12 of the Preliminary Regulatory Impact
Analysis for further discussion of incidents involving cryogenic
liquids.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alternative 3: Proposed Alternative
    PHMSA proposes to amend the HMR to allow the transportation of LNG
in DOT-113C120W rail cars. PHMSA understands that authorizing the rail
transportation of LNG would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by
requiring fewer trips to transport the same amount of material
currently being transported by highway. Furthermore, fewer trips are
anticipated to result in fewer accidents and spills of LNG during
transportation.
    PHMSA has collected data on the safety history of the DOT-113 tank
car from its own incident database and from AAR, which compiles data
provided by FRA. PHMSA has analyzed data regarding DOT-113 damage
history. From 1980 to 2017 (a 37-year period), there were 14 instances
of damage to DOT-113 tank cars during transportation. Of the 14
instances, there were three instances where a DOT-113 tank car lost
lading from breach of both the outer and inner tanks. This is the most
serious type of damage. Additionally, there were three instances in
which a DOT-113 tank car lost lading from damage or other failure to
the valves/fittings. The vast majority of incidents causing damage to
the DOT-113 tank cars did not result in a loss of hazardous materials.
    The first derailment that resulted in breach of an inner tank of a
DOT-113 tank car took place in May 2011 in Moran, Kansas. Three DOT-
113C120 specification tank cars containing refrigerated liquid ethylene
sustained damage. Two of the cars were breached in the derailment and
initially caught fire. One of the fires consumed the entire contents of
the DOT-113 tank car. The two remaining cars, that is, the one that had
been breached in the derailment and the other that had been damaged but
not breached, were mechanically breached to expedite the burning and
consumption of the contents to expedite removal from the site of the
derailment. The total quantity of refrigerated ethylene lost was
approximately 45,000 gallons and the total damage estimate was
calculated at approximately $231,000 in 2017. The other derailment that
caused tank failure of a DOT-113 tank car occurred in October 2014 in
Mer Rouge, Louisiana. The rail tank cars were filled with refrigerated
liquid argon. One car was a DOT-113A90W specification tank car
authorized by Special Permit and the other was an AAR204W tank car. The
total quantity of refrigerated liquid argon spilled was 47,233 gallons
and the total damage estimate is calculated at approximately $228,000
(in 2017 dollars). No injuries or fatalities were reported as a result
of the release of hazardous materials from either incident. Depending
on demand, the numbers of DOT-113 tank cars in operation under the
proposed regulatory change could increase well beyond the numbers of
DOT-113 tank cars currently in operation.
    Though rare, derailments involving DOT-113 tank cars can result in
large quantities of hazardous materials released, which can result from
venting or breach of the inner tank shell. These releases can be
considerably larger than releases from a CTMV that travels by highway.
Nonetheless, considering that the DOT-113 tank car has a 50-year
service history and with the understanding it is possible there are
unreported incidents from years past, the safety history is noteworthy.
It is difficult to estimate the failure rate of the DOT-113 tank car in
derailments because railroads are not required to report incidents to
PHMSA or FRA unless they meet a baseline threshold. 49 CFR 171.16 and
225.19. Incident data suggests that incidents involving rail tank cars
can lead to higher consequence incidents; however, PHMSA believes that
rail transportation is advantageous considering the quantity
transported compared to miles traveled.
LNG Characteristics and Hazards
    With regard to how LNG could respond under accident conditions,
when a large amount of LNG is spilled and its vapors come into contact
with an ignition source, the vapors will ignite if the vapor
concentration in a vapor-air mixture is between 5 and 15 percent and
cause the spill to develop into a pool fire (if ignited immediately) or
flash vapor fire if the vapor cloud is ignited at some distance from
the spill location. Both types of fires present a radiant heat hazard.
If there is no ignition source in the immediate vicinity of the
release, the spilled LNG will vaporize rapidly forming a cold gas cloud
that is heavier than air, which then mixes with ambient air, spreads
and is carried downwind. The dispersion of the cloud due to the wind
results in its temperature increase of the vapor due to mixing with air
that gets entrained into the cloud; but the cloud temperature always
remains lower than that of ambient air, because of exchange of heat
between the air that is mixing and the virgin cold vapor. Also, the
density of the cloud decreases due to continuous mixing with air;
however, the cloud density is never lower than that of the ambient air.
The result is that the cloud is always heavier than air and disperses
hugging the ground (with highest vapor concentrations at ground level).
The only way the vapor cloud can become either neutrally buoyant or
buoyant is if external heat (such as from solar heating or heating from
the ground) is added to the cloud. These heat transfer mechanisms
provide insufficient heat to the cloud in normal dispersion before the
vapor cloud dilutes to concentration below lower flammability limit,
LFL, of 5 percent by volume.
    The dispersing cloud is visible as a white cloud due to the
condensation of water vapor from the atmosphere and because in the
initial stages the dispersing cloud is cold (starting from -260 degrees
Fahrenheit). However, as the overall cloud temperature increases due to
mixing with ambient air, and as the cloud temperature increases to
above the ``wet bulb'' temperature corresponding to the relative
humidity of the atmospheric air, the condensed water re-evaporates and
the cloud becomes non-visible. The flammable region of the vapor cloud
is enclosed within the visible vapor cloud if the ambient relative
humidity is greater than or equal to 55 percent. For regions with
relative humidity less than this value, the flammable cloud is outside
[[Page 56973]]
the visible cloud. An ignition source can only ignite the vapor cloud
when it is available and the vapor concentration is in the 5 to 15
percent average vapor concentration in air. Once ignited, the vapors
will burn back, generally upwind, to the LNG source. The distance over
which an LNG vapor cloud remains flammable is difficult to predict;
local weather conditions (wind speed, atmospheric stability or
turbulence), terrain, surface cover (i.e., vegetation, trees, and
buildings) will influence how a vapor cloud disperses, and how rapidly
it dilutes.
    If an LNG vapor cloud is ignited before the cloud has been
dispersed or diluted to below its lower flammability limit, a flash
fire will occur. Unlike other flammable liquids and gases, a LNG vapor
cloud will not ignite entirely at once. If ignited, the flash fire that
forms has a temperature of about 1,330 [deg]C (2,426 [deg]F). The
resulting ignition leads to a relatively slow (subsonic) burning vapor
fire which travels back to the release point producing either a pool
fire or a jet fire. The radiant heat effects from such a flash fire
does not extend to distances significantly larger than the width of the
flammable cloud. The slow burning vapor fire will not generate damaging
overpressures (i.e., explosions), if unconfined. To produce an
overpressure event, the LNG vapors need to be within the flammability
range and ignited, and either be confined within a structure or the
travelling flame in the open encounters structural obstructions (e.g.,
houses, trees, bushes, pipe racks, etc.) that can increase the flame
turbulence significantly when the flash fire reaches the source of
vapor (boiling LNG), if there is still a liquid pool of LNG evaporating
at that time, a pool fire will result.
    Methane in vapor state can be an asphyxiant when it displaces
oxygen in a confined space. When LNG is spilled on the ground, into a
confined area, such as bound by a dike, the LNG will initially boil-off
rapidly forming a vapor cloud, but the boil-off will slow down as the
ground cools due to heat being extracted from it to provide for the
evaporation of LNG. If LNG is spilled on water, LNG will float on top
of the water, spread in an unconfined manner, and vaporize very
rapidly. This rapid vaporization will occur even at water temperatures
near freezing since freezing water is significantly warmer than the
spilled LNG.
    LNG is stored and transported at -260 [deg]F (-160 [deg]C). Due to
this extremely low temperature, contact with a cryogenic liquid can
cause severe injury to human skin and eyes. It will also make ordinary
metals, including carbon steel, subject to embrittlement and fracture
when exposed to these temperatures. Transportation of cryogenic
materials require specialized double walled (tank within a tank)
containers for transportation.
DOT-113 Tank Car Characteristics
    The DOT-113 specification tank car is a specially designed rail
tank car for the transport of cryogenic liquids. This tank car design
has been in use for over 50 years. As noted above, there are only six
documented derailments involving the transportation of the DOT-113
specification tank car that resulted in loss of tank contents.
    DOT-113 specification rail tank cars are built to a double
pressure-vessel design with the commodity tank (inner vessel)
constructed to withstand a burst pressure of 300 psig and fabricated of
ASTM A 240/A 240M, Type 304 or 304L stainless steel; the outer jacket
shell (outer vessel) is typically constructed of carbon steel and is
designed to withstand an external pressure (critical collapsing
pressure) of 37.5 psig. See Sec. Sec.  179.400-8(d) and 179.401-1,
respectively. The inner vessel is designed with a minimum thickness of
3/16 inch and the outer shell thickness is greater than 7/16 inch. The
rail tank car is manufactured with an insulated annular space holding a
vacuum between the two pressure vessels. This vacuum area and the
insulation on the outer wall of the inner tank significantly reduce the
rate of heat transfer from the atmosphere to the liquid inside the tank
car, thus minimizing the heating of the cryogenic (i.e., refrigerated)
liquid in the tank car while being transported. Other key safety
features of the DOT-113 specification tank car include, but are not
limited to, the following:
     Several inches of aluminized Mylar super-insulation
surrounding the inner tank.
     A vacuum environment/annular space between the inner and
outer tanks for enhanced product pressure and temperature control.
     Specifically, designed loading and unloading equipment
(piping, valves, gages, etc.) for use in cryogenic service.
     Safety equipment (pressure relief valves, safety vents,
safety shut off valves, and remote monitoring systems) to prevent or
limit overpressure issues or non-accident releases.
     Mandated in-transit tracking (time sensitive shipment) and
car handling instructions.
    Regulations controlling the movement of LNG in the DOT-113C120W
packaging would be the same as those that apply to the transportation
of other cryogenic liquids, including ethylene. Regulatory requirements
governing these operational practices appear in 49 CFR part 174 and 49
CFR 173.319, which is administered by the FRA. In addition, the AAR has
issued Circular OT-55, which sets forth Recommended Railroad Operating
Practices for Transportation of Hazardous Materials for key trains.
Rail carriers require compliance with the standard through AAR
Interchange Rules. AAR Circular OT-55 (currently designated as version
Q) calls for operational controls for trains carrying certain
quantities of hazardous materials, such as LNG unit trains, which are
sufficient to address the risks associated with moving LNG in DOT-113
tank cars. The operational controls recommended in OT-55 for the
transport of hazardous materials regulate, among other things:
     ``Key Trains'' are 20 carloads or intermodal portable tank
loads of any combination of hazardous materials.
     ``Key Trains,'' including LNG-carrying unit trains, are
subject to a maximum speed restriction of 50 mph;
     ``Key Routes,'' which are lengths of track on which either
(i) 10,000 car loads or more of hazardous materials or (ii) 4,000 car
loadings of flammable gas (such as LNG, which is refrigerated
(cryogenic) liquid methane, a Division 2.1 flammable gas) will travel
over a one-year period and are subject to additional inspection and
equipment requirements;
     Separation distance requirements relating to the spacing
of loading and operations, loaded tank cars, and other storage tanks at
rail facilities; and
     Community awareness and preparations for emergency
planning/incident response actions.
DOT-113 Specification Tank Car Survivability
    Due to its unique design requirements, the DOT-113 specification
tank car is inherently more robust than other tank cars transporting
other flammable liquids or liquefied gases. In the event of a DOT-113
specification tank car derailment causing only breach of the outer
shell, the breach would cause the loss of the insulating vacuum between
the inner and outer tank, allowing the inner tank and material to warm
and build pressure. The resulting pressure build would lead to the
activation of the pressure relief systems on the car and the controlled
venting of LNG vapor. While this scenario is concerning, the controlled
venting of LNG vapor involves less risk than the uncontrolled release
of an entire LNG lading. Additionally, it is highly unlikely that
[[Page 56974]]
damage to the tank car involved in a derailment would result in
explosion due to a boiling liquid expanding vapor explosion (BLEVE).
This event is highly unlikely due to the loading pressure requirements
\27\ for cryogenic materials, and due to the mandated requirements for
redundant pressure relief systems (valves and safety vents) that are
built into each car. This rulemaking proposes a 15 psig maximum loading
pressure when LNG is offered for transportation in the DOT-113C120W
tank car. This loading pressure, along with other safety requirements
and operational controls reduce the potential of a BLEVE.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \27\ 49 CFR 173.319.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
LNG Release Scenarios
    Based on the review incident reporting and the 50 year history of
transporting cryogenic liquids in DOT-113 specification tank cars,
there are three (3) possible release scenarios that could occur during
the transport of LNG by rail tank car. Ranked in order of probability,
they are:
    1. Non-accident release (NAR) from service equipment. Probability--
Low; Consequence--Low
    2. Outer tank damage resulting vapor release from Pressure Relief
Device (PRD). Probability--Low; Consequence--Low to High (in the event
that ignition of vented vapors led to failure/explosion of the tank
car)
    3. Inner tank damage resulting in large release. Probability--Low;
Consequence--High
    Although Scenario 3 has a low probability, a breached inner tank
during a transportation accident could have a high consequence because
of the higher probability of a fire due to the formation of a flammable
gas vapor/air mixture in the immediate vicinity of the spilled LNG.
This probability is based on the likelihood of ignition sources
(sparks, hot surfaces, etc.) being generated by other equipment, rail
cars, or vehicles involved in a transportation accident that could
ignite a flammable vapor cloud.
Hazard Distances
    As with any incident involving a hazardous material in
transportation, the actual hazard distance created by a material that
is spilled or burning will be influenced by many factors. These factors
include, but are not limited to the following:
 Spill Size
 Weather (Wind, Temperature, Humidity, Precipitation)
 Terrain Contours (Hills, Valleys)
 Surface Cover (Vegetation, Structures)
 Soil (Dirt, Clay, Sand)
    As stated previously, hazard distance of a vapor cloud dispersion
of LNG is difficult to predict. Local weather conditions, terrain,
surface cover (i.e., vegetation, trees, and buildings) will influence
how a vapor cloud disperses, and how rapidly it diffuses.
    Similarly, the actual hazard distance that radiant heat from a pool
fire of LNG would impact is dependent on the same factors that
influence a vapor cloud. Additionally, the impact of radiant heat from
a fire on occupied structures will be influenced by local building
codes that govern building setback requirements from railroad right-of-
way. Depending on the jurisdiction, setbacks for occupied structures
could be within fifty (50) feet of either side of a railroad track.
    Regardless of the scenario, the recommended protective action
distances \28\ identified in the PHMSA Emergency Response Guidebook
(ERG) for LNG would be appropriate for the initial protection of the
public during an incident involving LNG. However, these protective
distances may encompass occupied structures along rail tracks,
depending on the location of a failure and the proximity of occupied
structures to a breached tank car.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \28\ For a large spill, consider initial downwind evacuation for
at least 800 meters. If a tank car is involved in a fire, isolate
for 1600 meters in all directions; also, consider evacuation for
1600 meters in all directions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cascading Failure of Multiple DOT-113 Tank Cars
    As stated previously, DOT-113 specification tank cars are
inherently more robust when compared to other specification tank cars,
due to their unique design, materials of construction, and their
specific purpose to transport cryogenic liquids. The special design of
the DOT-113 tank car reduces the probability of cascading failures of
other undamaged DOT-113 specification tank cars being transported in a
block or unit train configuration.
    In the scenario where multiple DOT-113 specification tank cars are
transported in a block or unit train configuration, fire/radiant heat
exposure or cryogenic temperature exposure could potentially lead to
the release of material or failure of otherwise undamaged tank cars.
Fire/Radiant Heat Exposure
    In a scenario involving fire/radiant heat exposure, an undamaged
DOT-113 specification tank car exposed to a radiant heat source could
eventually build pressure that would trigger the activation of the tank
car's PRD.
    As stated previously, this scenario would result in the controlled
venting of LNG vapor to the environment. Ignition of these vapors could
occur if an ignition source is present, but would be contained to the
proximity of the release point of the vapors from the tank car.
Additionally, as stated previously, it is highly unlikely that an
undamaged DOT-113 tank car involved in a derailment would result in
explosion due to a BLEVE. This event is highly unlikely due to the
design of the tank car, the loading pressure requirements for cryogenic
materials, the mandated requirements for redundant pressure relief
systems (valves and safety vents) and insulation systems that are built
into each car. It is not possible to state with certainty whether a
BLEVE \29\ is possible in the case of a LNG tank car derailment, and
what conditions need to be present for such an event to occur. However,
a recent full-scale test with a double walled portable cryogenic tank
filled with liquid nitrogen (and PRDs operated as designed) and exposed
to a greater than 200-minute engulfing propane pool fire was neither
destroyed nor did a BLEVE occur. The number of cars that could be
impacted by this type of exposure would be dependent on multiple
factors. Some of these include, but are not limited to: The number or
LNG cars in the consist, the locations of those tank cars, type of
fire, exposure distance, and defensive actions of responders. Exposure
to radiant heat from an LNG pool fire or being caught within the flash
vapor fire could result in fatalities, serious injuries, and property
damage. These risks also exist in the transportation of LNG via
highway, existing rail transportation, and pipeline. However, given the
safety history of the DOT-113C120W tank cars, it is expected that the
risk of tank car failure and ignition is low.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \29\ A BLEVE is not caused by a combustion explosion of a
flammable material. As the name implies, it is the explosion caused
by rapidly evolving vapor in relatively small space which leads to
significant increase in pressure which may violently damage/destroy
a container. When a container with a liquid in it is exposed to a
fire and no pressure relief (or partial intermittent relief) occurs
the liquid within it can be heated to superheat temperature
conditions. If this is followed by a small breach of the container
(due to, say, wall metal failure), the rapid depressurization that
results leads to an extremely rapid boiling of the liquid, and
release of a significant mass of vapor, in microseconds to
milliseconds, into the container. This results in very high
pressures inside the container leading to its burst, causing an
``explosion'' (an explosion is the release of energy in an extremely
short duration of time). Whether such phenomena occur in a double
walled tank car exposed to an external fire is uncertain.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
[[Page 56975]]
Cryogenic Temperature Exposure
    In a scenario involving cryogenic temperature exposure, the risk to
an undamaged DOT-113 specification tank car is the embrittlement of the
car's steel due to exposure to the extremely cold temperatures of the
material. This type of exposure could lead to the failure of the tank
car's outer carbon steel tank, but not the inner stainless steel tank.
As stated previously, if a DOT-113 specification tank car has its outer
tank compromised, the car would lose its insulating vacuum and would
eventually start to build pressure within the product tank. This
pressure build would eventually lead to the activation of the tank
car's PRDs and the controlled venting of LNG vapors.
Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases
    The rulemaking could result in the manufacture of additional DOT-
113C120W tank cars. Depending on demand, this manufacture process could
result in minor increases in the emission of air pollution and
increased emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs), due to the steel and
insulating materials that the tank car is comprised of. Also, the
transportation of rail tank cars filled with LNG would result in air
pollution and GHG emissions associated with increased use of diesel-
powered trains. However, transportation of LNG via rail instead of via
highway would reduce the emission of air pollution and the emission of
GHGs. In general, highway transportation requires proportionally more
fuel and results in proportionally more emissions than rail
transportation. According to AAR, moving freight by rail instead of
truck lowers GHG emissions by 75%. Railroads move approximately one-
third of U.S. exports and intercity freight volume in the United
States. Despite the large volume of freight moved, U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency data show freight railroads account for only 0.5% of
total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and just 2% of emissions from
transportation-related sources.\30\ Furthermore, removing barriers for
the transportation of LNG could promote the use of LNG over more
polluting energy sources.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \30\ https://www.aar.org/issue/freight-rail-and-the-environment/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The failure of one or more DOT-113C120W tank cars filled with LNG
would release a large amount of either burned methane or unburned
methane hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. Unburned methane hydrocarbons
are a potent GHG and a pollutant. However, as described above, the
likelihood of such a failure is very low, given the safety record of
DOT-113C120W tank cars. Nonetheless, unburned methane enters the
atmosphere in the production and transportation of methane on a more
frequent basis.
    While the authorization of the DOT-113 specification tank car for
LNG service will facilitate the transportation of LNG, natural gas and
LNG is currently transported via pipeline, vessel, highway, and rail.
Increased transport of LNG by rail may result in fewer GHG emissions
when compared to transport by highway or construction of new pipeline
infrastructure. Also, facilitating LNG transport by rail may discourage
the polluting and wasteful practice of natural gas flaring during the
production of oil by allowing the natural gas to reach a viable market.
This rulemaking may further decrease GHG emissions by facilitating the
utilization of natural gas over more polluting sources of energy.
Nonetheless, any action that facilitates the use of a fossil fuel
arguably could contribute to the emission of GHGs, which are the
principle cause of global climate change. As a regulator of hazardous
materials packaging safety, PHMSA lacks the expertise to perform a
quantitative prediction of how this rulemaking could affect GHG
emissions. The selection of either the no action alternative or the
proposed action alternative could both increase and decrease GHGs
directly and indirectly depending on various economic variables.
4. Agencies Consulted
    PHMSA has coordinated with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration and FRA in the development of this proposed rulemaking.
PHMSA will consider the views expressed in comments to the NPRM
submitted by members of the public, State and local governments, and
industry.
5. Conclusion and Proposed FONSI
    PHMSA believes that the amendments proposed in this NPRM will
ultimately reduce the environmental impact of the transportation of
LNG. PHMSA proposes to make a finding that the proposed amendments
would not result in a significant environmental impact. PHMSA welcomes
any views, data, or information related to safety or environmental
impacts that may result if the proposed requirements are adopted, as
well as additional information on possible alternatives and their
environmental impacts. PHMSA proposes to find that the proposed
regulations allowing the transport of LNG via DOT-113C120W tank car
will not result in a significant environmental impact.
K. Privacy Act
    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits comments from the
public to better inform its rulemaking process. DOT posts these
comments, without edit, including any personal information the
commenter provides, to http://www.regulations.gov, as described in the
system of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at
http://www.dot.gov/privacy.
L. Executive Order 13609 and International Trade Analysis
    Under Executive Order 13609 (``Promoting International Regulatory
Cooperation''), agencies must consider whether the impacts associated
with significant variations between domestic and international
regulatory approaches are unnecessary or may impair the ability of
American business to export and compete internationally. See 77 FR
26413 (May 4, 2012). In meeting shared challenges involving health,
safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues, international
regulatory cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as
protective as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such
cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce,
eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory
requirements.
    Similarly, the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as
amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465),
prohibits Federal agencies from establishing any standards or engaging
in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign
commerce of the United States. For purposes of these requirements,
Federal agencies may participate in the establishment of international
standards, so long as the standards have a legitimate domestic
objective, such as providing for safety, and do not operate to exclude
imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires
consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that
they be the basis for U.S. standards.
    PHMSA participates in the establishment of international standards
in order to protect the safety of the American public, and we have
assessed the effects of the proposed rule to ensure that it does not
cause unnecessary obstacles to foreign trade. Accordingly, this
rulemaking is consistent with Executive Order 13609 and PHMSA's
obligations under the Trade Agreement Act, as amended. This
[[Page 56976]]
rulemaking does not negatively impact international trade.
M. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15
U.S.C. 272 note) directs Federal agencies to use voluntary consensus
standards in their regulatory activities unless doing so would be
inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary
consensus standards are technical standards (e.g., specification of
materials, test methods, or performance requirements) that are
developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. This
rulemaking does not incorporate by reference any voluntary consensus
standards; however, the development of this proposed rule is based on
the applicability of the operational controls in AAR Circular OT-55 to
the bulk transport of LNG by rail in a train consist that is composed
of 20 car loads or intermodal portable tank loads in which LNG is
present along with any combination of other hazardous materials.
N. Executive Order 13211
    Executive Order 13211 (``Actions Concerning Regulations That
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use'') [66 FR
28355; May 22, 2001] requires Federal agencies to prepare a Statement
of Energy Effects for any ``significant energy action.'' Under the
executive order, a ``significant energy action'' is defined as any
action by an agency (normally published in the Federal Register) that
promulgates, or is expected to lead to the promulgation of, a final
rule or regulation (including a notice of inquiry, ANPRM, and NPRM)
that (1)(i) is a significant regulatory action under Executive Order
12866 or any successor order and (ii) is likely to have a significant
adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy; or (2) is
designated by the Administrator of the Office of Information and
Regulatory Affairs as a significant energy action.
    This NPRM is a significant action under Executive Order 12866, but
it is not expected to have an annual effect on the economy of at least
$100 million. Further, this action is not likely to have a significant
adverse effect on the supply, distribution or use of energy in the U.S.
For additional discussion of the anticipated economic impact of this
rulemaking, please review the preliminary RIA. PHMSA welcomes any data
or information related to energy impacts that may result from this
NPRM, as well as possible alternatives and their energy impacts. Please
describe the impacts and the basis for the comment.
List of Subjects
49 CFR Part 172
    Hazardous materials table, Hazardous materials transportation,
Labeling, Markings, Packaging and containers.
49 CFR Part 173
    Hazardous materials transportation, Incorporation by reference,
Packaging and containers, Cryogenic liquids, Reporting and
recordkeeping requirements.
    In consideration of the foregoing, PHMSA proposes to amend 49 CFR
chapter I as follows:
PART 172--HAZARDOUS MATERIALS TABLE, SPECIAL PROVISIONS, HAZARDOUS
MATERIALS COMMUNICATIONS, EMERGENCY RESPONSE INFORMATION, TRAINING
REQUIREMENTS, AND SECURITY PLANS
0
1. The authority citation for part 172 continues to read as follows:
    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 5101-5128, 44701; 49 CFR 1.81, 1.96 and
1.97.
0
2. In Sec.  172.101, in table Sec.  172.101 HAZARDOUS MATERIALS TABLE,
revise the entry for ``UN1972, Methane, refrigerated liquid'' to read
as follows:
Sec.  172.101   Purpose and use of the hazardous materials table.
* * * * *
                                                                            Sec.   172.101--Hazardous Materials Table
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                        (8)                              (9)                      (10)
                                                                                                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               Hazardous                                                                                    Packaging (Sec.   173.* * *)        Quantity limitations         Vessel stowage
               materials       Hazard                                                       Special   --------------------------------------- (see Sec.  Sec.   173.27 -------------------------
 Symbols    descriptions and  class or   Identification        PG          Label codes     provisions                                                and 175.75)
            proper shipping                   Nos.                                           (Sec.                                           --------------------------
                 names        division                                                      172.102)    Exceptions    Non-bulk       Bulk      Passenger      Cargo       Location      Other
                                                                                                                                               aircraft/     aircraft
                                                                                                                                                  rail         only
(1)        (2)..............       (3)  (4).............  (5).........  (6).............  (7)........  (8A).......  (8B).......  (8C).......  (9A).......  (9B).......  (10A)......  (10B)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                                                                          * * * * * * *
           Methane,                2.1  UN1972..........  ............  2.1.............  T75, TP5...  None.......  None.......  318, 319...  Forbidden..  Forbidden..  D..........  40
            refrigerated
            liquid
            (cryogenic
            liquid) or
            Natural gas,
            refrigerated
            liquid
            (cryogenic
            liquid), with
            high methane
            content).

                                                                                          * * * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PART 173--SHIPPERS--GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SHIPMENTS AND
PACKAGINGS
0
3. The authority citation for part 173 continues to read as follows:
    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 5101-5128, 44701; 49 CFR 1.81, 1.96 and
1.97.
0
4. In Sec.  173.319, revise paragraph (d)(2) to read as follows:
Sec.  173.319   Cryogenic liquids in tank cars.
* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (2) Ethylene, hydrogen (minimum 95 percent parahydrogen), and
methane, cryogenic liquids must be loaded and shipped in accordance
with the following table:
[[Page 56977]]
                                                 Pressure Control Valve Setting or Relief Valve Setting
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Maximum permitted filling density (percent by weight)
    Maximum start-to-discharge     ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          pressure (psig)                  Ethylene               Ethylene               Ethylene              Hydrogen                 Methane
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
17................................  .....................  .....................  .....................  6.60................
45................................  52.8.................
75................................  .....................  51.1.................  51.1.................  ....................  32.5.
Maximum pressure when offered for   10 psig..............  20 psig..............  20 psig..............  ....................  15 psig.
 transportation.
Design service temperature........  Minus 260 [deg]F.....  Minus 260 [deg]F.....  Minus 155 [deg]F.....  Minus 423 [deg]F....  Minus 260 [deg]F.
Specification (see Sec.             113D60W, 113C60W.....  113C120W.............  113D120W.............  113A175W, 113A60W...  113C120W.
 180.507(b)(3) of this subchapter).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* * * * *
    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 16, 2019, under authority
delegated in 49 CFR 1.97.
Drue Pearce,
Deputy Administrator, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration.
[FR Doc. 2019-22949 Filed 10-23-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-60-P