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PHMSA Withdraws Crude Oil Vapor Pressure Proposal

Posted on 5/26/2020 by Roger Marks

DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has withdrawn a proposal to establish vapor pressure limits for crude oil and other Class 3 flammable hazardous materials.

After reviewing comments submitted in response to its January 2017 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), PHMSA will no longer consider imposing vapor pressure standards for crude oil, other unrefined petroleum-based products, or Class 3 flammable liquids by any mode of transport.

In its notice of withdrawal, PHMSA cites a study conducted by the Sandia National Laboratories that found vapor pressure of crude oil is not a significant factor in the severity of fires or fireballs that result from accidents.

Therefore, PHMSA believes that imposing vapor pressure testing requirements “is not justified because such a regulation would not improve the safety of transporting crude oil by rail.” For more details on the study, the comments PHMSA received, and PHMSA’s decision, read the notice in the May 20 Federal Register.  

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Tags: crude oil, hazardous materials, hazmat by rail, PHMSA

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