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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation
T&I Chair DeFazio seeks LNG-by-rail safety analysis
U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) are calling on the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) administrator to thoroughly analyze the potential impacts of transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) by rail tank car.
In a Dec. 18 letter, DeFazio and Malinowski urged PHMSA Administrator Howard Elliott to conduct the analysis of public and environmental risks, and apply stringent safety protections and operational controls when LNG is transported by rail car through communities.
The congressmen's letter was sent in response to a notice of proposed rulemaking published by PHMSA in late October. PHMSA, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration, proposed the rule to permit the transport of large quantities of LNG throughout the country by rail tank car. The comment period closed Dec. 23.
However, earlier this month PHMSA granted a special permit to Energy Transport Solutions to move LNG from Pennsylvania to New Jersey, "without appropriate research and analysis of the safety risks to communities and no opportunity for the public to address operating conditions," the congressmen noted in a press release.
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