Hazardous Materials: Liquefied Natural Gas by Rail; Extension of Comment Period

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 246 (Monday, December 23, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 246 (Monday, December 23, 2019)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 70491-70492]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-27656]
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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); Notice No. 2019-14]
RIN 2137-AF40
Hazardous Materials: Liquefied Natural Gas by Rail; Extension of
Comment Period
AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA),
Department of Transportation (DOT).
ACTION: Proposed rule; Extension of comment period.
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SUMMARY: On October 24, 2019, PHMSA published a notice of proposed
rulemaking (NPRM), entitled ``Hazardous Materials: Liquefied Natural
Gas by Rail (HM-264)'' 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. In response to a request for an extension of the comment period
from the Offices of the Attorneys General of New York and Maryland,
PHMSA is extending the comment period for the HM-264 NPRM for an
additional 21 days. Comments to the HM-264 NPRM will now be due January
13, 2020.
DATES: Comments should be received on or before January 13, 2020. To
the extent possible, PHMSA will consider late-filed comments.
ADDRESSES: Comments should reference Docket No. PHMSA-2018-0025 and may
be submitted in the following ways:
     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) for this notice 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 associated documents or
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or DOT's Docket
Operations Office (see ADDRESSES).
    Privacy Act: In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(c), DOT solicits
comments from the public to better inform its 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.
    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 NPRM 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 NPRM, it is important that you clearly designate the
submitted comments as CBI. Please mark each page of your submission
containing CBI as ``PROPIN.'' PHMSA will treat such marked submissions
as confidential under the FOIA, and they will not be placed in the
public docket of this NPRM. Submissions containing CBI should be sent
to Michael Ciccarone, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New
Jersey Avenue 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.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Ciccarone, Standards and
Rulemaking Division, (202) 366-8553, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials
Safety Administration, or Mark Maday, Federal
[[Page 70492]]
Railroad Administration, (202) 366-2535, U.S. Department of
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
I. Background
    PHMSA, in consultation with the Federal Railroad Administration
(FRA), published the HM-264 NPRM \1\ on October 24, 2019, in response
to a petition for rulemaking from the Association of American Railroads
and an internal review of existing regulations. The NPRM proposed to
authorize DOT-113C120W tank cars for use in the transportation of LNG
by rail, requesting public comment by December 23, 2019.
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    \1\ See Hazardous Materials: Liquefied Natural Gas by Rail NPRM
[84 FR 56964] at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/10/24/2019-22949/hazardous-materials-liquefied-natural-gas-by-rail.
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    On December 5, 2019, PHMSA granted a U.S. Department of
Transportation Special Permit \2\ (DOT-SP) to Energy Transport
Solutions, LLC (ETS) authorizing transportation of LNG in DOT-113C120
tank cars between Wyalusing, PA and Gibbstown, NJ, with no intermediate
stops, subject to certain operational controls. PHMSA issued DOT-SP
20534 after having completed extensive analysis in response to the
request for special permit received from ETS in August 2017.
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    \2\ See DOT-SP 20534 at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=PHMSA-2019-0100-3006.
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    The special permit, as issued, includes certain operational
controls that were not included in the HM-264 NPRM. PHMSA did not
propose operational controls in the HM-264 NPRM. However, in the NPRM,
PHMSA invited comment on whether PHMSA and FRA should rely on existing
regulations and industry standards, or if additional operational
controls may be warranted based on an assessment of risk. PHMSA
encouraged commenters to provide data on the safety or economic impacts
associated with any suggested operational controls, including analysis
of the safety justification or cost impact of implementing the
operational controls.
    PHMSA recognized that the subject matter overlapped between the
NPRM and special permit. Therefore, PHMSA published a notice \3\ in the
Federal Register on December 11, 2019, to inform the public that DOT-SP
20534 and documents supporting the special permit decision were being
added to the docket for the HM-264 NPRM for consideration by the
public. PHMSA invited comments on these operational controls to be
submitted to the rulemaking docket (Docket No. PHMSA-2018-0025) by
December 23, 2019. We noted our intent to consider any additional
comments on the operational controls included in the special permit
that are filed in the rulemaking docket to aid in determining what, if
any, operational controls may be appropriate for inclusion in the HM-
264 final rule.
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    \3\ See Hazardous Materials: Notice of Issuance of Special
Permit Regarding Liquefied Natural Gas [84 FR 67768] at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/12/11/2019-26614/hazardous-materials-notice-of-issuance-of-special-permit-regarding-liquefied-natural-gas.
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II. Comment Period Extension
    PHMSA initially provided a 60-day comment period for the HM-264
NPRM, which expires on December 23, 2019. In response to a request to
extend the comment period an additional 30 days from the Offices of the
Attorneys General of New York and Maryland, PHMSA is extending the
comment period an additional 21 days. The comment period will now close
on January 13, 2020. This extension provides the public with 32 days
\4\ to review relevant aspects of the special permit, and should
provide adequate opportunity for the public to submit additional
comments, if necessary.
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    \4\ Thirty days from December 11, 2019, would be January 11,
2020, which is a Saturday, therefore PHMSA decided to extend the
comment period to the following Monday, January 13, 2020.
     Issued in Washington, DC, on December 18, 2019, under authority
delegated in 49 CFR part 1.97.
William S. Schoonover,
Associate Administrator of Hazardous Materials Safety, Pipeline and
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
[FR Doc. 2019-27656 Filed 12-20-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-60-P