PHMSA is looking for YOUR input on Railroad Carriers Transporting Hazardous Materials!

PHMSA is looking for YOUR input on Railroad Carriers Transporting Hazardous Materials!

They are requesting public comment and input from the industry and other stakeholders.

Get started here !

The Office of Research and Technology, The Volpe Center and PHMSA are teaming up to better understand the financial risks involved with transporting hazardous materials by rail. PHMSA initiated the insurance study in March 2016 and is on schedule to complete it by April 2017. It’s being conducted to examine current and future levels and mechanisms to insure rail carriers transporting all hazardous materials.

What will the study examine?

  1. Does the market offer sufficient levels of insurance to insure against potential damages arising from an accident or incident involving a train transporting hazardous materials
  2. Level and structure of insurance necessary and appropriate to efficiently allocate risk and financial responsibility for claims
  3. Ensure that a railroad carrier transporting hazardous materials can continue to operate despite the risk of an accident or incident
  4. The potential applicability for a train transporting hazardous materials, of an alternative insurance model, including a secondary liability coverage pool or pools to supplement commercial insurance

Comments will be accepted until September 9, 2016




You may submit comments identified by the docket number (PHMSA-2016-0074) by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: (202) 493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Operations, M-30, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery: To Docket Operations, Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Find out more details at the Federal Register

New Requirements for the Transportation of Flammable Liquids by Rail

New Requirements for the Transportation of Flammable Liquids by Rail

PHMSA announced a final rule that amends the Hazardous Materials Regulations to codify certain requirements of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (Fast Act) related to the safe transportation of flammable liquids by rail.




What we saw from the May 2015 Final Rule:

  1. New, enhanced tank car standard
  2. Aggressive risk-based retrofitting schedule for older tank cars carrying crude oil and ethanol
  3. Trains transporting large volumes of flammable liquids required to use a new braking standard
  4. Routing requirements
  5. Speed restrictions
  6. Requirement to share information with local government agencies
  7. New sampling and testing requirements



What we can expect to change in the August 2016 Extended Requirements:

  1. Expanded requirements to use the enhanced tank car for shipping all flammable liquids
  2. Requirements for all new tank cars to be equipped with a thermal protection blanket
  3. Older tank cars retrofitted to the new design standard be equipped with top fitting protection and a thermal blanket
  4. Modified phase-out schedule for older DOT specification 111 tank cars transporting highly flammable liquids
  5. Faster phase out schedule of older tank cars shipping unrefined petroleum products

The final rulemaking has been transmitted to the Federal Register for publication. An actual date of publication will be determined by the Federal Register, but a preview of the rulemaking proposal transmitted by PHMSA is available on the agency’s website. To learn more visit