Yesterday at 76 FR 51324
, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) proposed to amend the Hazardous Material Regulations to incorporate certain widely used and long-standing special permits applicable to rail transport of hazmat.
The special permits in question are:
- SP-7616: Telephone and Electronic Data Interchange Shipping Papers for Rail Transport
- SP-9388: Measuring Liquefied Gases Loaded into a Tank Car With Metering Devices as an Alternative to Measuring These Cars by Weight
- SP-11184: Alternative Pressure Relief Requirements for Pressure Relief Devices for Tank Cars Containing Certain Flammable Liquid Materials
- SP-12095: Alternative Tank Car Qualification Program
- SP-12905: Transportation in Commerce of Certain Tank Cars With Identification Plates in Lieu of Stamping the Tank Car Heads
- SP-14333: Straight Threads on Multi-Unit Tank Cars
- SP-14622: Alternative Start-to-Discharge Pressure Requirements for Tank Cars Containing Chlorine
PHMSA is also responding to two petitions concerning the use of electronic shipping papers for all modes of transportation (P-1497) and removing references to the Association of American Railroads AAR-600 portable tank program (P-1567).
If SP-7616 is adopted into the regulations, it would permit the use of electronic or telephonic communications in place of printed shipping papers for rail shipments. Petition P-1497 requests that PHMSA consider extending this allowance to all modes of transportation.
As current provisions of the HMR are already more restrictive than the AAR-600 program, Petition P-1567 requests that PHMSA eliminate confusing references to an obsolete consensus standard that could create a lower standard of safety.
Comments must be received by PHMSA by October 17, 2011.