Regulation Database – Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

LNG Transport

Deregulatory Action: On June 19, 2020, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) within DOT, in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration, finalized an amendment to the Hazardous Materials Regulations allowing for the bulk transport of liquefied natural gas in rail tank cars. The rule was originally proposed in response to a petition by the Association of American Railroads, and may facilitate the transportation of natural gas to markets where pipeline transportation is limited or unavailable.  

On March 20, 2020, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced that during the COVID-19 pandemic it will “exercise discretion in its overall enforcement of . . . [natural gas] pipeline safety regulations.” Those regulations include provisions governing pipeline leak detection and repair.

In its “Notice of Enforcement Discretion to Operators Affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak,” PHMSA committed to providing “flexibility” to pipeline operators facing “compliance challenges” due to the pandemic. Methane emissions could rise if PHMSA allows operators to postpone or even skip required pipeline patrols and surveys, which could delay leak detection and repair. Read more >>