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55 Infrastructure 1 (2015-2016)

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By  Linda  S. Stein, Kathryn   1. Gaine,   and  Nina   Thanawtala


   n May  2015, the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials
   Administration (PH MSA), in ConsuLtation with die Federal
   Railroad Administration (FRA), released the highly antici-
pated final rules reiain to ralj tank car design The agencies
promulgated  the rules in response to petitions to enhance
rank car safety in light of the increasing rail transport of
crude oil and refined products. The final nles are sub-
ject to challenges from inoustry groups, local goverments,
and interest groups. While some have filed administra-
tive apneals directly wih PHMSA, others have chalienged
the final rules in
the US Court of
AppeaLs for the
D.C. Circutit. Tihis
article summarizes
PHMSA's  final
rules as well as the
pending  ad'minis-
trative appeals and
iu~dici-al ch-allenges
ucato calerules    Linda Stein      Kathryn Gainey
to those rules.

PHMS's   Final Rules
Background.   P1i-lSA inaed   the
rulemaking  in 2013 'i re'sponse to
tour petitions that uroed more strin-
gent design standards for ine tank
cars. Some petitioners sought to require
ranks car owners to retirout existing tank
cars.- PiHMISA publish ed as loice of pro-
posed  rulemaking in Augus't 2014,2 and  Nina  Thanawala

Linda Stein, Kathryn Gainey, and Nina Thanawala are
attorneys in the tran portation group <f Strsptoe & Johnson LLP
in Washington, D.C.


published its final rules in May 20153
   As promulgated, the rules impose enhanced design sian-
dards for new tank cars. The rules require certain existing
tank cars to be retrofitted on a phased schedule to add sorue
but not all of the upgraded standards fbr new cars. Other
aspects of the rules address standards fr braking systems,
speed restrictions, routing analysis, and notfication guide-
tines. The key terms and pnrovisions include the following:
   Definitions of Two  Types  of Trains: The final rules
define twO types Of trains.
   A high-hazard flarmable train (HHFT) is a train with
20 or more loaded tank cars of a Class 3 flammable liquid
in a continuous block or 35 or more loaded rank cars or a
Class 3 flanmnable liquid across the entire train4
   A  high-hazard flarmable unit train (1HFUT) is a sin-
gle train transporting 70 or more nladed tank cars containine
Class 3 fHamniable liquid.5
   New  Tank  Cars. PH 'MSA requires new tank cars con-
stnicted after October 1, 20 15, and used in an HHFT to
cOnform  to enhanced design and braking standards  'The
new  rank cars w ill be labeled DOT- 117 and must include,
aniong other features, a head shield, increased tanl shell
thickness made of normalized steel, a jacket, top fittings
pirotection, arid enha need handle Edesigen n bottom outlet
valves.,
   ExistingTank   Cars, P1H ISA requires existing tank cars
used in a HHFT  to be retrofitred to an enhanced design
stanstard that is ot the sanie stand lrd for new cars. The
retrofitted tank cars will be labeled DOT-1 17R and must
include an 11 -gauge jacket full height head shield, andi a
modified bottom  outlet configuraion.
   Existing tank cars used in a lH1 f-I must be retrofit--
ted between  2018 and 2025, depending upon  the tank car
type and the pacidng group of  ie materials transported in
                                     continued  on page  8


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Published in Infrastructure, Volume 355, Number 1, Fall 2015 © 2015 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof
may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.

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