On March 1, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to adopt miscellaneous petitions and update certain regulatory requirements (HM-219D). This NPRM responds to 18 petitions for rulemaking submitted by the regulated community between May 2018 and October 2020 requesting changes to a variety of provisions in the federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR).

PHMSA is accepting comments on its proposed rulemaking through May 2, 2023.

Most notably, PHMSA’s proposed rulemaking seeks to accomplish the following:

  • Allow for appropriate flexibility of packaging options in the transportation of compressed natural gas in cylinders;
  • Streamline the approval application process for the repair of specific DOT specification cylinders;
  • Provide greater clarity on the filling requirements for certain cylinders used to transport hydrogen and hydrogen mixtures;
  • Require a specific marking on cylinders to indicate compliance with certain HMR provisions;
  • Modify the definition of “liquid” to include the test for determining fluidity (penetrometer test) prescribed in the agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR); and
  • Incorporate by reference various Compressed Gas Association (CGA) publications concerning gas cylinders.

The notice published in the Federal Register states, “PHMSA expects that the proposed revisions would maintain the high safety standard currently achieved under the HMR while providing clarity and appropriate regulatory flexibility in the transport of hazardous materials. PHMSA also notes that— insofar as adoption of the petitions as proposed could reduce delays and interruptions of hazardous materials shipments during transportation —the proposed amendments may also lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and safety risks to minority, low-income, underserved, and other disadvantaged populations and communities in the vicinity of interim storage sites and transportation arteries and hubs.”

ACA is guided by its Transport Committee in the monitoring and direction of matters germane to the safe, secure, and economic movement of industry members’ products and the raw materials used in them.

Contact ACA’s Rhett Cash for more information.