PHMSA Considers Suspending Trump-Era Authorization of LNG Transport by Rail

On November 8, 2021, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) proposed to amend the Hazardous Materials Regulations to suspend authorization of liquefied natural gas (LNG) transportation in rail tank cars. LNG transport by rail was authorized in a June 2020 rule that was meant to facilitate the transportation of natural gas to markets where pipeline transportation is limited or unavailable. The proposed rule discusses potential public safety and environmental impacts from transporting LNG by rail, including indirect GHG emission contributions to climate change. Suspension of LNG transport by rail under the proposed rule would last until the earlier of either the completion of a separate rulemaking evaluating potential modifications to requirements governing rail tank car transportation of LNG, or June 30, 2024.

PHMSA is accepting comments on the proposed rule until December 23, 2021.