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  1. DOT proposes new rules for transporting crude oil by rail

    A train with 20 or more tank cars carrying crude oil, ethanol, or other flammable liquids would be classified as a high-hazardous flammable train (HHFT), and would be subject to lower speed limits, routing risk assessments, and other new requirements under new US Department of Transportation regulatory proposals . DOT also proposed phasing out older DOT-111 tank cars for moving Bakken crude and other flammable liquids unless the cars are retrofitted to comply with new design standards in a July 23 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR). A companion Advanced Notice of Possible Rulemaking (ANOPR) outlined proposals to require trains containing 1 million gal of Bakken crude to notify State Emergency Response Commissions (SERC) or other appropriate state-delegated entities about operation of these trains through their states. DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration simultaneously released a report summarizing the analysis of data it collected with the Federal Railroad Administration of Bakken crude data the agencies gathered from August 2013 to May 2014. The data show Bakken crude tends to be more volatile and flammable than crude produced elsewhere, PHMSA said. Comments on the NOPR and ANOPR will be accepted for 60 days, DOT said. “Given the urgency of the safety issues addressed in these proposals, PHMSA does not intend to extend the comment period,” it said. API’s mixed reactions The American Petroleum Institute said it was evaluating the NOPR and ANOPR, but it immediately questioned DOT’s findings concerning Bakken crude’s volatility and flammability. “The best science and data do not support recent speculation that crude oil from the Bakken presents greater than normal transportation risks,” API Pres. Jack N. Gerard said. “Multiple studies have shown that Bakken crude is similar to other crudes. DOT needs to get this right and make sure that its regulations are grounded in facts and sound science, not speculation.” The Association of American Railroads’ initial response was warmer. “This long-anticipated rulemaking from DOT provides a much-needed pathway for enhancing the safe movement of flammable liquids in the US,” AAR Pres. Edward R. Hamberger said on July 23. “The fact that the proposed rule incorporates several of the voluntary operating practices we have already implemented demonstrates the railroad industry’s ongoing commitment to rail safety.” Crude shipments by rail remain an important part of North Dakota’s oil transportation system, observed Lynn Helms, who directs the Oil and Gas Division within the state’s Department of Mineral Resources. “It’s too early at this point to determine what impacts this could have on North Dakota oil production,” Helms said on July 23. “However, we will review the 200-page document and work with the North Dakota Pipeline Authority on how to best advise the Industrial Commission moving forward.” Under the proposals, HHFTs with cars which do not meet the enhanced design standards would be limited to a 40 mph maximum speed in all areas, 10 mph less than the limit for tank cars that meet the new specifications. PHMSA also plans to evaluate a 30 mph speed limit for trains which do not comply with enhanced braking requirements. Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com .

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 23 Jul 2014

  2. DOT proposes new rules for transporting crude by rail

    A train with 20 or more tank cars carrying crude oil, ethanol, or other flammable liquids would be classified as a high - hazardous flammable train (HHFT), and would be subject to lower speed limits, routing risk assessments, and other new requirements under new US Department of Transportation ...

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Mon, 28 Jul 2014

  3. Increased crude shipments prompts DOT to study tank car standards

    Increased shipment of crude oil by rail is making the US Department of Transportation examine its tank car standards, and possibly could result in a proposal for new requirements by the yearend, an American Petroleum Institute official said.

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Mon, 15 Jul 2013

  4. Increased crude shipments prompts DOT to study tank car standards

    Increased shipment of crude oil by rail is making the US Department of Transportation examine its tank car standards, and possibly could result in a proposal for new requirements by the yearend, an American Petroleum Institute official said.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 9 Jul 2013

  1. Pipeline Report: US national mapping system growing, adjusting to security concerns

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Mon, 26 Nov 2001

  2. Pipeline safety successes, challenges detailed to Congress

    The US Department of Transportation Inspector General recently told two congressional committees that the Office of Pipeline Safety is making considerable progress meeting legislative mandates set in 1992, 1996, and 2002.

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Mon, 26 Jul 2004

  3. DOT proposes extending low-pressure oil pipeline rules

    The US Department of Transportation proposes to stiffen safety requirements, including cleaning and continuous monitoring, for more than 1,200 miles of crude oil and product pipelines.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 1 Sep 2006

  4. New directions in federal pipeline safety program promote continuous improvement

    The new regulatory direction being taken by the Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) in the Research and Special Programs Administration of the US Department of Transportation has important implications for the inspections process, pipeline operators, and the OPS.

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Mon, 10 Jan 2005

  5. US GAO says Pipeline Safety Fund accounting needs retooling

    The General Accounting Office this week told Congress the US Department of Transportation's Office of Pipeline Safety needs better accounting methods; DOT "generally" agreed with the agency's findings and told GAO it is updating data collection via a new internet-based system.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 3 May 2001

  6. EPNG fined $15.5 million; pipeline rehab ordered

    In the first judicial settlement brought under the Pipeline Safety Act, the Justice Department and the US Department of Transportation's (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has fined El Paso Natural Gas Co. (EPNG) $15.5 million and mandated comprehensive ...

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 30 Jul 2007

  7. DOT proposes extending low-pressure oil pipeline rules

    The US Department of Transportation has proposed stiffened safety requirements, including cleaning and continuous monitoring, for more than 1,200 miles of crude oil and product pipelines.

    Magazine Articles

    Magazine Articles

    Mon, 25 Sep 2006

  8. OPS issues proposed integrity management rule

    The US Department of Transportation's Office of Pipeline Safety is seeking public comment on a rule designed to identify the best methods for keeping aging natural gas pipelines strong and safe.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 3 Feb 2003

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