Saturday, February 12, 2011

PHMSA Proposed Rulemaking Amendment To Hazardous Materials Regulations

U.S. DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a proposed rulemaking amending the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) to prohibit the transportation of flammable liquids in unprotected external product piping (wetlines) on DOT specification cargo tank motor vehicles. The proposed rule would require many DOT specification transport trailers in flammable service to be equipped with bottom protection devices (steel guards) that would prevent rupture of wetlines in the event of a motor vehicle collision. Transport trailers containing “combustible products” or flammable products reclassified as combustible are exempt from the proposed rule. The proposed amendments do not apply to cargo tank vehicles where the engine, body, and cargo tank are permanently mounted to the same chassis (straight trucks, bobtails, etc).

The proposed rule would require existing transport trailers in flammable service to be retrofitted with bottom protection equipment or meet the maximum 33 ounce residue standard within ten years. Newly manufactured trailers would be required to comply within two years. Interested parties must submit written comments to PHMSA before the March 28, 2011 public comment deadline.

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