[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 148 (Friday, August 1, 2014)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 45015-45079]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-17764]



[[Page 45015]]

Vol. 79

Friday,

No. 148

August 1, 2014

Part III





Department of Transportation





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Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration





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49 CFR Parts 171, 172, 173, et al.





Hazardous Materials: Proposed Rules

Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 148 / Friday, August 1, 2014 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 45016]]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

49 CFR Parts 171, 172, 173, 174, and 179

[Docket No. PHMSA-2012-0082 (HM-251)]
RIN 2137-AE91


Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational 
Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains

AGENCY: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), 
DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 
(PHMSA or we), in coordination with the Federal Railroad Administration 
(FRA), is proposing: new operational requirements for certain trains 
transporting a large volume of Class 3 flammable liquids; improvements 
in tank car standards; and revision of the general requirements for 
offerors to ensure proper classification and characterization of mined 
gases and liquids. These proposed requirements are designed to lessen 
the frequency and consequences of train accidents/incidents (train 
accidents) involving certain trains transporting a large volume of 
flammable liquids. The growing reliance on trains to transport large 
volumes of flammable liquids poses a significant risk to life, 
property, and the environment. These significant risks have been 
highlighted by the recent instances of trains carrying crude oil that 
derailed in Casselton, North Dakota; Aliceville, Alabama; and Lac-
M[eacute]gantic, Quebec, Canada. The proposed changes also address 
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) safety recommendations on 
the accurate classification and characterization of such commodities, 
enhanced tank car construction, and rail routing.

DATES: Comments must be received by September 30, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by the docket number 
(Docket No. PHMSA-2012-0082 (HM-251)) and any relevant petition number 
by any of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management System; U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Routing 
Symbol M-30, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
     Hand Delivery: To the Docket Management System; Room W12-
140 on the ground floor of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue 
SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the agency name and 
docket number for this document at the beginning of the comment. To 
avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. All 
comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you 
provide. All comments received will be posted without change to the 
Federal Docket Management System (FDMS), including any personal 
information.
    Docket: For access to the dockets to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov or DOT's Docket 
Operations Office located at U.S. Department of Transportation, West 
Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Routing Symbol M-30, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comments (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
complete Privacy Act Statement at: http://www.dot.gov/privacy.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ben Supko or Michael Stevens, (202) 
366-8553, Standards and Rulemaking Division, Pipeline and Hazardous 
Materials Safety Administration or Karl Alexy, (202) 493-6245, Office 
of Safety Assurance and Compliance, Federal Railroad Administration, 
1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Frequently Used Abbreviations and Shortened Terms

AAR Association of American Railroads
ANPRM Advance notice of proposed rulemaking or PHMSA's ANPRM 
published September 6, 2013 in this rulemaking, depending on context
App. Appendix
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CPC Casualty Prevention Circular
Crude oil Petroleum crude oil
DHS U.S. Department of Homeland Security
DOT U.S. Department of Transportation
DP Distributed power, an alternative brake signal propagation system
ECP brakes Electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, an 
alternative brake signal propagation system
EO 28 FRA Emergency Order No. 28 (78 FR 54849; August 7, 2013)
EOT device Two Way End-of-train device
FR Federal Register
FRA Federal Railroad Administration
GRL Gross Rail Load
HHFT High-Hazard Flammable Train
HMT Hazardous Materials Table at 49 CFR 172.101
HMR Hazardous Materials Regulations at 49 CFR Parts 171-180
LPG Liquefied petroleum gas
NAR Non-accident release, the unintentional release of a hazardous 
material while in transportation, including loading and unloading 
while in railroad possession, that is not caused by a derailment, 
collision, or other rail-related accident
NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking
NTSB National Transportation Safety Board
OTMA One-time movement approval
PG Packing Group (see 49 CFR 171.8)
PIH Poison Inhalation Hazard
RIA Regulatory impact analysis
RSAC Railroad Safety Advisory Committee
RSPA Research and Special Programs Administration, the predecessor 
of PHMSA
SERCs State Emergency Response Commissions
T87.6 Task
Force A task force of the AAR Tank Car Committee
TIH Toxic inhalation hazard or Toxic-by-Inhalation
TTC Tank Car Committee
TSA Transportation Security Administration
U.S.C. United States Code

Table of Contents of Supplementary Information

I. Executive Summary
II. Overview of Current Regulations Relevant to This Proposal
    A. Classification and Characterization of Mined Liquids and 
Gases
    B. Packaging
    C. Track Integrity and The Safety of Freight Railroad Operations
    D. Oil Spill Response Plans
    E. Rail Routing
III. Background
    A. Regulatory Actions
    B. Emergency Orders and Non-Regulatory Actions
    C. NTSB Safety Recommendations
IV. Comments on the ANPRM
    A. Commenter Key
    B. Summary of Comments Relevant to the Proposed Amendments in 
This NPRM
    C. Summary of Comments on Possible Amendments Not in This NPRM
V. Discussion of Comments and Section-by-Section Review
    A. High-Hazard Flammable Train
    B. Notification to SERCs of Petroleum Crude Oil Train 
Transportation
    C. Rail Routing
    D. Classification and Characterization of Crude Oil of Mined 
Liquids and Gases

[[Page 45017]]

    E. Additional Requirements for High-Hazard Flammable Trains
    a. Speed Restriction
    b. Alternative Brake Signal Propagation Systems
    F. New Tank Cars for High-Hazard Flammable Trains
    a. DOT Specification 117--Prescribed Car
    b. DOT Specification 117--Performance Standard
    G. Existing Tank Cars for High-Hazard Flammable Trains
    H. Forthcoming FRA NPRM on Securement and Attendance
VI. Regulatory Review and Notices
    A. Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, Executive Order 
13610, and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures
    B. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
    C. Executive Order 13132
    D. Executive Order 13175
    E. Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Order 13272, and DOT 
Policies and Procedures
    F. Paperwork Reduction Act
    G. Environmental Assessment
    H. Privacy Act
    I. Executive Order 13609 and International Trade Analysis
    J. Statutory/Legal Authority for This Rulemaking
    K. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

I. Executive Summary

    Expansion in United States (U.S.) energy production has led to 
significant challenges in the transportation system. Expansion in oil 
production has led to increasing volumes of product transported to 
refineries. Traditionally, pipelines and oceangoing tankers have 
delivered the vast majority of crude oil to U.S. refineries, accounting 
for approximately 93 percent of total receipts (in barrels) in 2012. 
Although other modes of transportation--rail, barge, and truck--have 
accounted for a relatively minor portion of crude oil shipments, 
volumes have been rising very rapidly. With a growing domestic supply, 
rail transportation, in particular, has emerged as a flexible 
alternative to transportation by pipeline or vessel. The volume of 
crude oil carried by rail increased 423 percent between 2011 and 
2012.1 2 Volumes continued to increase in 2013, as the 
number of rail carloads of crude oil surpassed 400,000.\3\ U.S. ethanol 
production has also increased considerably during the last 10 years and 
has generated similar growth in the transportation of ethanol by 
rail.\4\ The increase in shipments of large quantities of flammable 
liquids by rail has led to an increase in the number of train 
accidents, posing a significant safety and environmental concern.
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    \1\ See U.S. Rail Transportation of Crude Oil: Background and 
Issues for Congress; http://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43390.pdf.
    \2\ See also ``Refinery receipts of crude oil by rail, truck, 
and barge continue to increase'' http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=12131.
    \3\ http://www.stb.dot.gov/stb/industry/econ_waybill.html.
    \4\ Association of American Railroads. 2013. Railroads and 
Ethanol. Available online at https://www.aar.org/keyissues/Documents/Background-Papers/Railroads%20and%20Ethanol.pdf.
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    In this NPRM, PHMSA is proposing revisions to the Hazardous 
Materials Regulations (HMR; 49 CFR Parts 171-180) that establish 
requirements for ``high-hazard flammable train'' (HHFT). This proposed 
rule defines a HHFT as a train comprised of 20 or more carloads of a 
Class 3 flammable liquid and ensures that the rail requirements are 
more closely aligned with the risks posed by the operation of these 
trains. As discussed further in this preamble and in our analysis, this 
rule primarily impacts unit train shipments of ethanol and crude oil; 
because ethanol and crude oil are most frequently transported in high 
volume shipments, typically in trains with 20 or more cars of those 
commodities. Currently, as shipped, crude oil and ethanol are typically 
classified as Class 3 flammable liquids. The primary intent of this 
rulemaking is to propose revisions to the HMR that update and clarify 
the regulations to prevent and mitigate the consequences of a train 
accident involving flammable liquids, should one occur. Table 1 
identifies those affected by this NPRM and describes the regulatory 
changes.

               Table 1--Affected Entities and Requirements
------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Proposed requirement                    Affected entity
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Better classification and characterization  Offerors/Shippers of all
 of mined gases and liquids.                 mined gases and liquids.
 Written sampling and testing
 program for all mined gases and liquids,
 such as crude oil, to address:
    (1) frequency of sampling and testing;
    (2) sampling at various points along
     the supply chain;
    (3) sampling methods that ensure a
     representative sample of the entire
     mixture;
    (4) testing methods to enable complete
     analysis, classification, and
     characterization of material;
    (5) statistical justification for
     sample frequencies; and,
    (6) duplicate samples for quality
     assurance.
    Require offerer to certify that
     program is in place, document the
     testing and sampling program, and
     make program information available to
     DOT personnel, upon request.
Rail routing risk assessment..............  Rail Carriers, Emergency
                                             Responders.
     Requires carriers to perform
     a routing analysis that considers 27
     safety and security factors. The
     carrier must select a route based on
     findings of the route analysis. These
     planning requirements are prescribed
     in Sec.   172.820 and would be
     expanded to apply to HHFTs.
Notification to SERCs.
     Require trains containing one
     million gallons of Bakken crude oil
     to notify State Emergency Response
     Commissions (SERCs) or other
     appropriate state delegated entity
     about the operation of these trains
     through their States.
Reduced operating speeds.
     Restrict all HHFTs to 50-mph
     in all areas.
     PHMSA is requesting comment
     on three speed restriction options
     for HHFTs that contain any tank cars
     not meeting the enhanced tank car
     standards proposed by this rule:

[[Page 45018]]

 
        (1) a 40-mph maximum speed
         restriction in all areas
        (2) a 40-mph speed restriction in
         high threat urban areas\5\; and,
        (3) a 40-mph speed restriction in
         areas with a 100K+ population.
     PHMSA is also requesting
     comment on a 30-mph speed restriction
     for HHFTs that do not comply with
     enhanced braking requirements.
Enhanced braking.
     Require all HHFTs be equipped
     with alternative brake signal
     propagation systems. Depending on the
     outcome of the tank car standard
     proposal and implementation timing,
     all HHFTs would be operated with
     either electronic controlled
     pneumatic brakes (ECP), a two-way end
     of train device (EOT), or distributed
     power (DP).
Enhanced standards for both new and         Tank Car Manufacturers, Tank
 existing tank cars.                         Car owners, Shippers and
                                             Rail Carriers.
     Require new tank cars
     constructed after October 1, 2015
     (that are used to transport flammable
     liquids as part of a HHFT) to meet
     criteria for a selected option,
     including specific design
     requirements or performance criteria
     (e.g., thermal, top fittings, and
     bottom outlet protection; tank head
     and shell puncture resistance). PHMSA
     is requesting comment on the
     following three options for the DOT
     Specification 117:
        1. FRA and PHMSA Designed Car, or
         equivalent
        2. AAR 2014 Tank Car,\6\ or
         equivalent
        3. Jacketed CPC-1232,\7\ or
         equivalent
     Require existing tank cars
     that are used to transport flammable
     liquids as part of a HHFT, to be
     retrofitted to meet the selected
     option for performance requirements,
     except for top fittings protection.
     Those not retrofitted would be
     retired, repurposed, or operated
     under speed restrictions for up to
     five years, based on packing group
     assignment of the lading.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 2 further summarizes the three options for the DOT 
Specification 117. As noted in Table 1, PHMSA proposes to require one 
of these options for new tank cars constructed after October 1, 2015, 
if those tank cars are used as part of HHFT. In addition, for all three 
Options, PHMSA proposes the following timelines for tank cars used as 
part of HHFT: (1) For Packing Group I, DOT Specification 111 tank cars 
are not authorized after October 1, 2017; (2) for Packing Group II, DOT 
Specification 111 tank cars are not authorized after October 1, 2018; 
and (3) for Packing Group III, DOT Specification 111 tank cars are not 
authorized after October 1, 2020.
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    \5\ As defined in 49 CFR 1580.3--High Threat Urban Area (HTUA) 
means an area comprising one or more cities and surrounding areas 
including a 10-mile buffer zone, as listed in appendix A to Part 
1580 of the 49 CFR.
    \6\ On March 9, 2011 AAR submitted petition for rulemaking P-
1577, which was discussed in the ANPRM. In response to the ANPRM, on 
November 15, 2013, AAR and ASLRAA submitted as a comment 
recommendations for tank car standards that are enhanced beyond the 
design in P-1577. For the purposes of this rulemaking this tank car 
will be referred to as the ``AAR 2014 tank car.'' See http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=PHMSA-2012-0082-0090.
    \7\ In 2011, the AAR issued Casualty Prevention Circular (CPC) 
1232, which outlines industry requirements for additional safety 
equipment on certain DOT Specification 111 tanks ordered after 
October 1, 2011, and intended for use in ethanol and crude oil 
service.

                                                                           Table 2--Safety Features by Tank Car Option
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                                                                                                                                                                    Thermal
           Tank car              Bottom outlet     GRL      Head shield    Pressure relief  Shell thickness       Jacket      Tank material *    Top fittings      protection        Braking
                                    handle        (lbs)         type            valve                                                           protection **        system
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Option 1: PHMSA and FRA        Bottom outlet        286k  Full-height, \1/ Reclosing        \9/16\ inch      Minimum 11-      TC-128 Grade B,  TIH Top          Thermal          ECP brakes.
 Designed Tank Car.             handle removed             2\ inch thick    pressure         Minimum.         gauge jacket     normalized       fittings         protection
                                or designed to             head shield.     relief device.                    constructed      steel.           protection       system in
                                prevent                                                                       from A1011                        system and       accordance
                                unintended                                                                    steel or                          nozzle capable   with Sec.
                                actuation                                                                     equivalent.                       of sustaining,   179.18.
                                during a train                                                                The jacket                        without
                                accident.                                                                     must be                           failure, a
                                                                                                              weather-tight.                    rollover
                                                                                                                                                accident at a
                                                                                                                                                speed of 9 mph.

[[Page 45019]]

 
Option 2: AAR 2014 Tank Car..  Bottom outlet        286k  Full-height, \1/ Reclosing        \9/16\ inch      Minimum 11-      TC-128 Grade B,  Equipped per     Thermal          In trains with
                                handle removed             2\ inch thick    pressure         Minimum.         gauge jacket     normalized       AAR              protection       DP or EOT
                                or designed to             head shield.     relief device.                    constructed      steel.           Specifications   system in        devices.
                                prevent                                                                       from A1011                        Tank Cars,       accordance
                                unintended                                                                    steel or                          appendix E       with Sec.
                                actuation                                                                     equivalent.                       paragraph        179.18.
                                during a train                                                                The jacket                        10.2.1.
                                accident.                                                                     must be
                                                                                                              weather-tight.
Option 3: Enhanced CPC 1232    Bottom outlet        286k  Full Height \1/  Reclosing        \7/16\ inch      Minimum 11-      TC-128 Grade B,  Equipped per     Thermal          In trains with
 Tank Car.                      handle removed             2\ inch thick    pressure         Minimum.         gauge jacket     normalized       AAR              protection       DP or EOT
                                or designed to             head shield.     relief device.                    constructed      steel.           Specifications   system in        devices.
                                prevent                                                                       from A1011                        Tank Cars,       accordance
                                unintended                                                                    steel or                          appendix E       with Sec.
                                actuation                                                                     equivalent.                       paragraph        179.18.
                                during a train                                                                The jacket                        10.2.1.
                                accident.                                                                     must be
                                                                                                              weather-tight.
DOT 111A100W1................  Bottom Outlets       263K  Optional; Bare   Reclosing        \7/16\ inch      Jackets are      TC-128 Grade B,  Not required,    Optional.......  Not required.
Specification (Currently        are Optional.              Tanks half       pressure         Minimum.         optional.        normalized       but when
 Authorized).                                              height; Jacket   relief valve.                                      steel.*          Equipped per
                                                           Tanks full                                                                           AAR
                                                           height.                                                                              Specifications
                                                                                                                                                Tank Cars,
                                                                                                                                                appendix E
                                                                                                                                                paragraph
                                                                                                                                                10.2.1.
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* For the purposes of this figure, TC-128 Grade B normalized steel is used to provide a consistent comparison to the proposed options. Section 179.200-7 provides alternative materials which
  are authorized for the DOT Specification 111.
** Please note that the PHMSA does not propose to require additional top fittings protection for retrofits, because the costs are not supported by corresponding benefits. Newly constructed
  cars, however, are required to have additional top fittings protection. Except for additional top fittings protection, the requirements for newly constructed tank cars and retrofits are the
  same.

    The transportation of large volumes of flammable liquids poses a 
risk to life, property, and the environment. The volume of flammable 
liquids shipped by rail and in HHFTs has been increasing rapidly since 
2006, representing a growing risk. Therefore, we are reevaluating the 
structure of the HMR as they pertain to rail transportation. 
Approximately 68 percent of the flammable liquids transported by rail 
are comprised of crude oil or ethanol. The U.S. is now the global 
leader in crude oil production growth. According to the rail industry, 
in 2009, there were 10,800 carloads of crude oil originations 
transported by Class I railroads, and in 2013, there were over 400,000 
carloads of crude oil originations by Class I railroads, or 37 times as 
many in the U.S. \8\ Crude oil production from the Bakken region of the 
Williston Basin is now over one million barrels per day.\9\
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    \8\ Association of American Railroads. 2013. Moving Crude by 
Rail. December. Available online at: http://dot111.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Crude-oil-by-rail.pdf.
    \9\ Information regarding oil and gas production is available at 
the following URL: http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/drilling/#tabs-summary-2.
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    U.S. ethanol production has increased considerably during the last 
10 years and has generated similar growth in the transportation of 
ethanol by rail, according to a recent white paper by the Association 
of American Railroads (AAR).\10\ In 2008 there were around 292,000 rail 
carloads of ethanol. In 2011, that number increased over 40 percent, to 
409,000.\11\ Not surprisingly, this growth in rail traffic has been 
accompanied by an increase in the number of rail derailments and 
accidents involving ethanol.
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    \10\ Association of American Railroads. 2013. Railroads and 
Ethanol. Available online at https://www.aar.org/keyissues/Documents/Background-Papers/Railroads%20and%20Ethanol.pdf.
    \11\ http://www.stb.dot.gov/stb/industry/econ_waybill.html.
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    As the number of shipments of crude oil in HHFTs has increased, the 
number of mainline train accidents involving crude oil has increased 
from zero in 2010 to five in 2013 and thus far five in 2014.\12\ This 
increase comes at a time when, across the entire rail network, the 
number of train accidents and hazardous materials releases are 
decreasing; while total shipment volume has increased, the total number 
of train accidents has declined by 43 percent since 2003, and accidents 
involving a hazardous materials release has declined by 16 percent 
since 2003.\13\ The projected continued growth of domestic crude oil 
production, and the growing number of train accidents involving crude 
oil, PHMSA concludes that the potential for future severe train 
accidents involving crude oil in HHFTs has increased substantially. 
Such an increase raises the likelihood of higher-consequence train 
accidents.
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    \12\ Source: PHMSA Hazmat Inelegance Portal (HIP), February 
2014.
    \13\ Data from compiled by FRA's Office of Safety Analysis.
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    Recent accidents highlight the potentially severe consequences of 
accidents involving HHFTs carrying crude oil. On December 30, 2013, a 
train transporting grain derailed onto another track into the path of a 
train transporting crude oil, which had too little time to stop before 
it collided with the grain train, and then itself derailed and 
unintentionally released product, which ignited near Casselton, North

[[Page 45020]]

Dakota, prompting authorities to issue a voluntary evacuation of the 
city and surrounding area. On November 8, 2013, a train transporting 
crude oil to the Gulf Coast from North Dakota derailed in Aliceville, 
Alabama, spilling crude oil in nearby wetlands ignited. On July 6, 
2013, a catastrophic railroad accident occurred in Lac-M[eacute]gantic, 
Quebec, Canada, when an unsecured and unattended freight train 
transporting crude oil rolled down a descending grade and subsequently 
derailed, resulting in the unintentional release of lading from 
multiple tank cars. The subsequent fires and explosions, along with 
other effects of the accident, resulted in the deaths of 47 
individuals. In addition, the derailment caused extensive damage to the 
town center, a release of hazardous materials resulting in a massive 
environmental impact that will require substantial clean-up costs, and 
the evacuation of approximately 2,000 people from the surrounding area.
    Accidents involving HHFTs transporting ethanol can also cause 
severe damage. On August 5, 2012, a train derailed 18 of 106 cars, 17 
of which were carrying ethanol, near Plevna, MT. Twelve of the 17 cars 
released lading and began to burn, causing two grass fires, a highway 
near the site to be closed, and over $1 million in damages. On October 
7, 2011, a train derailed 26 loaded freight cars (including 10 loaded 
with ethanol) approximately one-half mile east of Tiskilwa, IL. The 
release of ethanol and resulting fire initiated an evacuation of about 
500 residents within a \1/2\-mile radius of the accident scene, and 
resulted in damages over $1.8 million. On June 19, 2009, near Rockford, 
IL, a train derailed 19 cars, all of which contained ethanol, and 13 of 
the derailed cars caught fire. The derailment destroyed a section of 
single main track and an entire highway-rail grade crossing. As a 
result of the fire that erupted after the derailment, a passenger in 
one of the stopped cars was fatally injured, two passengers in the same 
car received serious injuries, and five occupants of other cars waiting 
at the highway/rail crossing were injured. Two responding firefighters 
also sustained minor injuries. The release of ethanol and resulting 
fire initiated a mandatory evacuation of about 2,000 residents within a 
\1/2\-mile radius of the accident scene and damages of approximately 
$1.7 million. The EPA estimated that 60,000 gallons of ethanol spilled 
into an unnamed stream, which flowed near the Rock and Kishwaukee 
Rivers.
    The following table highlights the risk of HHFTs by summarizing the 
impacts of selected major train accidents involving trains of Class 3 
flammable liquid.

                                              Table 3--Major Crude Oil/Ethanol Train Accidents in the U.S.
                                                                       [2006-2014]
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                          Product
                                                          Number of     Speed at                            loss
                                  Date (MM/  Number  of   crude oil/   derailment   Material  and type    (gallons                       Type of train
            Location                 YY)      tank cars    ethanol      in miles         of train         of crude         Fire        accident or cause
                                              derailed       cars       per hour                             or                        of train accident
                                                          penetrated     (mph)                            ethanol)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LaSalle, CO.....................      05/14           5            1            9  Crude Oil..........        5,000  No.............  To Be Determined
                                                                                   (unit).............                                 (TBD).
Lynchburg, VA...................      04/14          17            2           23  Crude Oil..........       30,000  Yes............  TBD.
                                                                                   (unit).............
Vandergrift, PA.................      02/14          21            4           31  Crude Oil..........       10,000  No.............  TBD.
New Augusta, MS.................      01/14          26           25           45  Crude Oil..........       90,000  No.............  TBD.
Casselton, ND...................      12/13          20           18           42  Crude Oil..........      476,436  Yes............  Collision.
                                                                                   (unit).............
Aliceville, AL..................      11/13          26           25           39  Crude Oil..........      630,000  Yes............  TBD.
                                                                                   (unit).............
Plevna, MT......................      08/12          17           12           25  Ethanol............      245,336  Yes............  TBD.
Columbus, OH....................      07/12           3            3           23  Ethanol............       53,347  Yes............  TBD--NTSB
                                                                                                                                       Investigation.
Tiskilwa, IL....................      10/11          10           10           34  Ethanol............      143,534  Yes............  TBD--NTSB
                                                                                                                                       Investigation.
Arcadia, OH.....................      02/11          31           31           46  Ethanol............      834,840  Yes............  Rail Defect.
                                                                                   (unit).............
Rockford/Cherry Valley, IL......      06/09          19           13           19  Ethanol............      232,963  Yes............  Washout.
                                                                                   (unit).............
Painesville, OH.................      10/07           7            5           48  Ethanol............       76,153  Yes............  Rail Defect.
New Brighton, PA................      10/06          23           20           37  Ethanol............      485,278  Yes............  Rail Defect.
                                                                                   (unit).............
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note 1. The term ``unit'' as used in this chart means that the train was made up only of cars carrying that single commodity, as well as any required
  non-hazardous buffer cars and the locomotives.
Note 2. All accidents listed in the table involved HHFTs.
Note 3. All crude oil or crude oil/LPG accidents involved a train transporting over 1 million gallons of oil.

    While not all accidents involving crude oil and ethanol release as 
much product or have as significant consequences as those shown in this 
table, these accidents indicate the potential harm from future 
releases. Table 4 provides a brief summary of the justifications for 
each provision in this NPRM, and how each provision will address the 
safety risks described previously.

[[Page 45021]]



        Table 4--Rulemaking Provisions and Safety Justifications
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Provision                          Justification
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rail Routing.........................  PHMSA is proposing routing
                                        requirements to reduce the risk
                                        of a train accident. This
                                        proposal requires railroads to
                                        balance the risk factors to
                                        identify the route that poses
                                        the lower risk. As such, they
                                        may, in certain cases, choose a
                                        route that eliminates exposure
                                        in areas with high population
                                        densities but poses a risk for
                                        more frequent events in areas
                                        with very low densities. In
                                        other cases the risk of
                                        derailment may be so low along a
                                        section of track that, even
                                        though it runs through a densely
                                        populated area, it poses the
                                        lowest total risk when severity
                                        and likelihood are considered.
Classification of Mined Gas and        PHMSA is proposing to require a
 Liquid.                                sampling and testing program for
                                        mined gas and liquid, such as
                                        crude oil. PHMSA expects the
                                        proposed requirements would
                                        reduce the expected non-
                                        catastrophic damages and ensure
                                        that materials are properly
                                        classified in accordance with
                                        the HMR.
Notification to SERCs................  PHMSA is proposing to codify the
                                        May 7, 2014, DOT issued an
                                        Emergency Restriction/
                                        Prohibition Order in Docket No.
                                        DOT-OST-2014-0067 (EO or Order).
                                        Recent accidents have
                                        demonstrated the need for action
                                        in the form of additional
                                        communication between railroads
                                        and emergency responders to
                                        ensure that the emergency
                                        responders are aware of train
                                        movements carrying large
                                        quantities of crude oil through
                                        their communities.
Speed Restrictions...................  PHMSA is proposing to restrict
                                        the speed of HHFTs. Speed is a
                                        factor that may contribute to
                                        derailments. Speed can influence
                                        the probability of an accident,
                                        as lower speeds may allow for a
                                        brake application to stop the
                                        train before a collision. Speed
                                        also increases the kinetic
                                        energy of a train, resulting in
                                        a greater possibility of the
                                        tank cars being punctured in the
                                        event of a derailment. The
                                        proposed restrictions will
                                        reduce the frequency and
                                        severity of train accidents.
Braking..............................  To reduce the number of cars and
                                        energy associated with train
                                        accidents, PHMSA is proposing to
                                        require alternative brake signal
                                        propagation systems: Distributed
                                        power (DP), or two-way end of
                                        train devices (EOT); for tank
                                        car Option 1, electronic
                                        controlled pneumatic brakes
                                        (ECP)
Tank Car Specifications..............  PHMSA is proposing a new DOT
                                        Specification 117 tank car to
                                        address the risks associated
                                        with the rail transportation of
                                        ethanol and crude oil and the
                                        risks posed by HHFTs. All tank
                                        car Options for the DOT
                                        Specification 117 incorporate
                                        several enhancements to increase
                                        puncture resistance; provide
                                        thermal protection to survive a
                                        100-minute pool fire; and
                                        protect top fitting (new
                                        construction only) and bottom
                                        outlets during a derailment.
                                        Under all Options, the proposed
                                        system of design enhancements
                                        would reduce the consequences of
                                        a derailment of tank cars
                                        carrying crude oil or ethanol.
                                        There would be fewer car
                                        punctures, fewer releases from
                                        the service equipment (top and
                                        bottom fittings), and delayed
                                        release of flammable liquid from
                                        the tank cars through the
                                        pressure relief devices.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The consequences of train accidents and increase in the rail 
transportation of flammable liquids highlight the need to review 
existing regulations and industry practices related to such 
transportation. PHMSA and FRA are focused on reducing the risks posed 
by HHFTs and are taking action to prevent accidents from occurring and 
to mitigate the consequences when accidents do occur. PHMSA and FRA's 
actions to date demonstrate their focus on reducing risk associated 
with the rail transportation of large quantities of flammable liquids. 
PHMSA and FRA actions include: (1) Issuing FRA's Emergency Order No. 28 
(EO 28) (78 FR 48218) published on August 7, 2013 stressing train 
securement; (2) issuing two Joint Safety Advisories published on August 
7, 2013 (78 FR 48224) and November 20, 2013 (78 FR 69745) stressing the 
importance of security planning and proper characterization and 
classification of crude oil; (3) initiating a comprehensive review of 
operational factors that impact the transportation of hazardous 
materials by rail in a public meeting held on August 27-28, 2013 (78 FR 
42998); (4) referring safety issues related to EO 28 and the August 7, 
2013 Joint Safety Advisory to FRA's Railroad Safety Advisory Committee 
(RSAC); (5) issuing an emergency order on February 25, 2014, which was 
revised and amended on March 6, 2014 requiring that all rail shipments 
of crude oil that is properly classed as a flammable liquid in Packing 
Group (PG) III material be treated as a PG I or II material; \14\ (6) 
issuing an emergency order on May 7, 2014, requiring all railroads that 
operate trains containing one million gallons of Bakken crude oil to 
notify SERCs about the operation of these trains through their States; 
\15\ (7) issuing a Safety Advisory on May 7, 2014, urging carriers 
transporting Bakken crude oil by rail to select and use tank cars of 
the highest integrity to transport the material; \16\ and (8) 
publishing the September 6, 2013, advance notice of proposed rulemaking 
(ANPRM) responding to eight petitions for rulemaking and four NTSB 
Safety Recommendations related to the transportation of hazardous 
materials by rail (78 FR 54849).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ See Docket No. DOT-OST-2014-0025. See also http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/PHMSA/DownloadableFiles/Amended_Emergency_Order_030614.pdf.
    \15\ http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pv_obj_cache/pv_obj_id_D9E224C13963CAF0AE4F15A8B3C4465BAEAF0100/filename/Final_EO_on_Transport_of_Bakken_Crude_Oi_05_07_2014.pdf.
    \16\ http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pv_obj_cache/pv_obj_id_9084EF057B3D4E74A2DEB5CC86006951BE1D0200/filename/Final_FRA_PHMSA_Safety_Advisory_tank_cars_May_2014.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to these eight actions, PHMSA issued a Safety Alert on 
January 2, 2014, warning of potential crude oil variability and 
emphasizing the proper and sufficient testing to ensure accurate 
characterization and classification. The Safety Alert expressed PHMSA's 
concern that unprocessed crude oil may affect the integrity of 
packaging or present additional hazards related to corrosivity, sulfur 
content, and dissolved gas content.\17\ To address these risks, this 
NPRM is proposing additional requirements for a sampling plan that 
would include proper characterization, classification, and selection of 
a hazardous material's Packing Group. Further, the NPRM is proposing to 
expand the routing requirements under subpart I of part 172 of the HMR 
to include HHFTs. Through its speed, tank car, braking, and 
notification requirements, this NPRM is intended to take a 
comprehensive approach to the risks of HHFTs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ See http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pv_obj_cache/pv_obj_id_111F295A99DD05D9B698AE8968F7C1742DC70000/filename/1_2_14%20Rail_Safety_Alert.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PHMSA has prepared and placed in the docket a Regulatory Impact 
Analysis (RIA) addressing the economic impact of this proposed rule. 
Table 5 shows the costs and benefits by affected section and rule 
provision over a 20 year period, discounted at a 7% rate. Please note 
that because there is overlap in the risk reduction achieved between 
some of the proposed requirements listed in

[[Page 45022]]

Table 5, the total benefits and costs of the provisions cannot be 
accurately calculated by summing the benefits and costs of each 
proposed provision. For example, the benefits for tank car Option 1, 
the PHMSA and FRA Designed Car, include benefits that are also 
presented as part of the benefits for the proposed ``Braking'' 
requirements at 49 CFR 174.130. Table 6 shows an explanation of the 
comprehensive benefits and costs (i.e., the combined effects of 
individual provisions), and the estimated benefits, costs, and net 
benefits of each proposed scenario.
    Please also note that, given the uncertainty associated with the 
risks of crude oil and ethanol shipments, Table 5 contains a range of 
benefits estimates. The low end of the range of estimated benefits 
estimates risk from 2015 to 2034 based on the U.S. safety record for 
crude oil and ethanol from 2006 to 2013, adjusting for the projected 
increase in shipment volume over the next 20 years. Absent this 
proposed rule, we predict about 15 mainline derailments for 2015, 
falling to a prediction of about 5 mainline derailments annually by 
2034. The high end of the range of estimated benefits includes the same 
estimate of 5 to 15 annual mainline derailments predicted, based on the 
U.S. safety record, plus an estimate that the U.S. would experience an 
additional 10 safety events of higher consequence--nine of which would 
have environmental damages and monetized injury and fatality costs 
exceeding $1.15 billion per event and one of which would have 
environmental damages and monetized injury and fatality costs exceeding 
$5.75 billion--over the next 20 years.

        Table 5--20 Year Costs and Benefits by Stand-Alone Proposed Regulatory Amendments 2015-2034 \18\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                     Costs (7%)
            Affected section \19\                     Provision                Benefits (7%)         (millions)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
49 CFR 172.820..............................  Rail Routing+............  Cost effective if routing          $4.5
                                                                          were to reduce risk of
                                                                          an incident by 0.17%.
49 CFR 173.41...............................  Classification of Mined    Cost effective if this             16.2
                                               Gas and Liquid.            requirement reduces risk
                                                                          by 0.61%.
49 CFR 174.310..............................  Notification to SERCs....  Qualitative..............             0
                                              Speed Restriction: Option  $199 million-$636 million         2,680
                                               1: 40 mph speed limit
                                               all areas*.
                                              Speed Restriction: Option  $33.6 million-$108                  240
                                               2: 40 mph 100k people*.    million.
                                              Speed Restriction: Option  $6.8 million-$21.8                 22.9
                                               3: 40 mph in HTUAs*.       million.
                                              Braking: Electronic        $737 million-$1,759                 500
                                               Pneumatic Control with     million.
                                               DP or EOT.
49 CFR Part 179.............................  Option 1: PHMSA and FRA    $822 million-$3,256               3,030
                                               designed car @.            million.
                                              Option 2: AAR 2014 Tank    $610 million-$2,426               2,571
                                               Car.                       million.
                                              Option 3: Jacketed CPC-    $393 million-$1,570               2,040
                                               1232 (new const.).         million.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: ``*'' indicates voluntary compliance regarding crude oil trains in high-threat urban areas (HTUA).
``+'' indicates voluntary actions that will be taken by shippers and railroads.
``'' indicates that only tank car Option 1, the PHMSA and FRA designed car, has a requirement for ECP
  brakes. However, all HHFTs would be required to have DP or two-way EOT, regardless of which tank car Option is
  selected at the final rule stage.

     
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ All costs and benefits are in millions over 20 years, and 
are discounted to present value using a 7 percent rate.
    \19\ All affected sections of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(CFR) are in Title 49.

Table 6--20 Year Benefits and Costs of Proposal Combinations of Proposed
                  Regulatory Amendments 2015-2034 \20\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        Benefit Range          Cost
              Proposal                    (millions)        (millions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
PHMSA and FRA Design Standard + 40   $1,436-$4,386......          $5,820
 MPH System Wide.
PHMSA and FRA Design Standard + 40   $1,292-$3,836......           3,380
 MPH in 100K.
PHMSA and FRA Design Standard + 40   $1,269-$3,747......           3,163
 MPH in HTUA.
AAR 2014 Standard + 40 MPH System    $794-$3,034........           5,272
 Wide.
AAR 2014 Standard + 40 MPH in 100K.  $641-$2,449........           2,831
AAR 2014 Standard + 40 MPH in HTUA.  $616-$2,354........           2,614
CPC 1232 Standard + 40 MPH System    $584-$2,232........           4,741
 Wide.
CPC 1232 Standard + 40 MPH in 100K.  $426-$1,626........           2,300
CPC 1232 Standard + 40 MPH in HTUA.  $400-$1,527........           2,083
------------------------------------------------------------------------

     
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \20\ All costs and benefits are in millions, and are discounted 
to present value using a 7 percent rate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

II. Overview of Current Regulations Relevant to This Proposal

    Federal hazardous materials transportation law (Federal hazmat law; 
49 U.S.C. 5101-5128) authorizes the Secretary of Transportation 
(Secretary) to ``prescribe regulations for the safe transportation, 
including security, of hazardous material in intrastate, interstate, 
and foreign commerce.'' The Secretary has delegated this authority to 
PHMSA. 49 CFR 1.97(b). PHMSA is responsible for overseeing a hazardous 
materials safety program that minimizes the risks to life and property 
inherent in transportation in commerce. The HMR provide safety and 
security requirements for shipments valued at

[[Page 45023]]

more than $1.4 trillion annually.\21\ The HMR are designed to achieve 
three goals: (1) To ensure that hazardous materials are packaged and 
handled safely and securely during transportation; (2) to provide 
effective communication to transportation workers and emergency 
responders of the hazards of the materials being transported; and (3) 
to minimize the consequences of an incident should one occur. The 
hazardous material regulatory system is a risk management system that 
is prevention-oriented and focused on identifying a safety or security 
hazard, thus reducing the probability and quantity of a hazardous 
material release.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \21\ 2007 Commodity Flow Survey, Research and Innovative 
Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Under the HMR, hazardous materials are categorized by analysis and 
experience into hazard classes and packing groups based upon the risks 
that they present during transportation. The HMR specify appropriate 
packaging and handling requirements for hazardous materials based on 
such classification, and require an offeror to communicate the 
material's hazards through the use of shipping papers, package marking 
and labeling, and vehicle placarding. The HMR also require offerors to 
provide emergency response information applicable to the specific 
hazard or hazards of the material being transported. Further, the HMR 
mandate training for persons who prepare hazardous materials for 
shipment or who transport hazardous materials in commerce and require 
the development and implementation of plans to address security risks 
related to the transportation of certain types and quantities of 
hazardous materials in commerce, including additional planning 
requirements for transportation by rail (e.g., the routing of the 
material).
    The HMR also include operational requirements applicable to each 
mode of transportation. The Secretary has authority over all areas of 
railroad transportation safety (Federal railroad safety laws, 
principally 49 U.S.C. chapters 201-213), and delegates this authority 
to FRA. 49 CFR 1.89. FRA inspects and audits railroads, tank car 
facilities, and offerors for compliance with both FRA and PHMSA 
regulations. FRA also has an extensive, well-established research and 
development program to enhance all elements of railroad safety 
including hazardous materials transportation.
    As a result of the shared role in the safe and secure 
transportation of hazardous materials by rail, PHMSA and FRA work very 
closely when considering regulatory changes. Regarding rail safety and 
security, PHMSA and FRA take a system-wide, comprehensive approach 
consistent with the risks posed by the bulk transport of hazardous 
materials by rail. To address our concerns regarding the risks 
associated with mined liquids and gases (like crude oil), and HHFTs, we 
are focusing on three areas: (1) Proper classification and 
characterization; (2) operational controls to lessen the likelihood and 
consequences of accidents; and (3) improvements to tank car integrity. 
This approach is designed to minimize the occurrence of train accidents 
and mitigate the damage caused should an accident occur.
    As described throughout this NPRM, PHMSA and FRA have relied on a 
variety of regulatory and non-regulatory methods to address concerns 
regarding HHFTs. These efforts have included issuing guidance, 
initiating rulemakings, participating in transportation safety 
committees, holding public meetings with the regulated community and 
other stakeholders, enhancing enforcement efforts, reaching out to the 
public, and addressing tank car integrity and freight rail safety in 
general. All of these efforts have been consistent with our system 
safety approach. We are confident that collectively these actions have 
provided and will continue to provide valuable rail safety 
enhancements, information and guidance to the regulated community, and 
improve overall safety for the public.
    This overview section provides a general discussion of the current 
regulations that affect the safety of HHFTs. These issues include: (1) 
Proper classification and characterization of the hazardous materials 
offered for transportation; (2) packagings authorized for the materials 
transported in HHFTs; (3) the role of track integrity in preventing 
train accidents; (4) oil spill response plans; and (5) routing of 
trains based on an assessment of the safety and security risks along 
routes.

A. Classification and Characterization of Mined Liquids and Gases

    The proper classification and characterization of a hazardous 
material is a key requirement under the HMR, as it dictates which other 
requirements apply, such as specific operational controls and proper 
packaging selection. Classification is simply ensuring the proper 
hazard class and packing group (if applicable) are assigned to a 
particular material. Characterization is a complete description of the 
properties of a material during the transportation cycle. 
Characterization includes the identification of the effects a material 
has on both the reliability and safety of the packaging that contains 
it. Proper classification and characterization is especially important 
when dealing with a material such as mined liquids and gases, including 
crude oil, as these materials' properties are variable. Crude oil's 
properties are not easily understood and the characterization may vary 
considerably based on time, location, method of extraction, temperature 
at time of extraction or processing, and the type and extent of 
processing of the material. In contrast, the classification and 
characterization of manufactured products is generally well understood 
and consistent.
    Under Sec.  173.22 of the HMR, it is the offeror's responsibility 
to properly ``class and describe the hazardous material in accordance 
with parts 172 and 173 of the HMR.'' When a single material meets more 
than one hazard class, it must be classed based on the hazard 
precedence table in Sec.  173.2a. Once an offeror determines the hazard 
class of a material, the offeror must then select the most appropriate 
proper shipping name from the Sec.  172.101 Hazardous Materials Table 
(HMT).
    In the case of crude oil, relevant properties to properly classify 
a flammable liquid include: Flash point, and boiling point (See section 
173.120). The HMR does not specifically provide requirements for 
characterization tests however; relevant properties that may affect the 
characterization of crude oil include corrosivity, vapor pressure, 
specific gravity at loading and reference temperatures, and the 
presence and concentration of specific compounds such as sulfur. 
Characterization of certain properties enables an offeror to select the 
most appropriate shipping name, and identify key packaging 
considerations. Based on the shipping name the HMT provides the list of 
packagings authorized for use by the HMR. As indicated in Sec.  
173.24(e), even though certain packagings are authorized, it is the 
responsibility of the offeror to ensure that such packagings are 
compatible with their lading. Such information and determination of the 
authorized packaging also ensure that the appropriate outage is 
maintained in accordance with Sec.  173.24(a).
    Crude oil transported by rail is often derived from different 
sources and is then blended, complicating proper classification and 
characterization of the material. PHMSA and FRA audits of crude oil 
loading facilities, prior to the issuance of the February 26, 2014 
Emergency Restriction/Prohibition

[[Page 45024]]

Order, indicate that the classification of crude oil being transported 
by rail was often based solely on a generic Safety Data Sheet (SDS). 
The data on these sheets only provide a material classification and a 
range of material properties. This SDS information is typically 
provided by the consignee (the person to whom the shipment is to be 
delivered) to the offeror. In these instances, it is possible no 
validation of the crude oil properties took place. Further, FRA's 
audits indicate that SDS information is often not gleaned from any 
recently conducted analyses or from analyses of the many different 
sources (wells) of the crude oil.
    Improper classification and characterization can also impact 
operational requirements under the HMR. Offerors and carriers must 
ensure that outage is considered when loading a tank car. Section 
173.24b(a) of the HMR prescribes the minimum tank car outage for 
hazardous materials at one percent at a reference temperature that is 
based on the existence of tank car insulation. A crude oil offeror must 
know the specific gravity of the hazardous material at the reference 
temperature as well as the temperature and specific gravity of the 
material at that temperature when loaded. This information is then used 
to calculate the total quantity that can be safely loaded into the car 
to comply with the one percent outage requirement. If the outage is not 
properly calculated because the material's specific gravity is unknown 
(or is provided as a range), the tank car could be loaded such that if 
the temperature increases during transportation, the tank will become 
shell-full, increasing the likelihood of a leak from the valve fittings 
or manway, and increase risk during a train accident.
    Since 2004, approximately 10 percent of the one-time movement 
approval (OTMA) requests that FRA has received under the requirements 
of 49 CFR 174.50 have been submitted to move overloaded tank cars. Of 
these requests, 33 percent were tank cars containing flammable liquids. 
FRA notes that tank cars overloaded by weight are typically identified 
when the tank cars go over a weigh-in-motion scale at a railroad's 
classification yard. As previously indicated, crude oil and ethanol are 
typically moved in HHFTs, and the cars in these trains are generally 
moved as a single block in a ``through'' priority or ``key train.'' 
\22\ As a result, the train is not broken up in a classification yard 
for individual car routing purposes, and cars do not typically pass 
over weigh-in-motion scales in classification yards. Therefore, it is 
unlikely that FRA would receive many OTMA requests for overloaded tank 
cars containing crude oil, suggesting that there is a potential of 
underreporting. Overloads of general service flammable liquid tank cars 
should not be confused with any excess capacity issues. We do not have 
information that shippers are filling the excess capacity available to 
them.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \22\ On August 5, 2013, AAR published Circular No. OT-55-N. This 
document supersedes OT-55-M, issued October 1, 2012. The definition 
of a ``key train'' was revised to include ``20 car loads or portable 
tank loads of any combination of hazardous material.'' Therefore, 
the maximum speed of these trains is limited to 50 MPH. The document 
is available in the public docket for this proceeding and at the 
following URL: http://www.aar.com/CPC-1258%20OT-55-N%208-5-13.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Moreover, crude oil accounted for the most non-accident releases 
(NARs) \23\ by commodity in 2012, nearly doubling the next highest 
commodity (alcohols not otherwise specified, which accounts for a 
comparable annual volume transported by rail). FRA's data indicate that 
98 percent of the NARs involved loaded tank cars. Product releases 
through the top valves and fittings of tank cars when the hazardous 
material expands during transportation. This suggests that loading 
facilities may not know the specific gravity of the hazardous materials 
loaded into railroad tank cars, resulting in a lack of sufficient 
outage.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \23\ According to the AAR, a non-accident release (NAR) is the 
unintentional release of a hazardous material while in 
transportation, including loading and unloading while in railroad 
possession, which is not caused by a derailment, collision, or other 
rail-related accident. NARs consist of leaks, splashes, and other 
releases from improperly secured or defective valves, fittings, and 
tank shells and also include venting of non-atmospheric gases from 
safety release devices.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Commenters to the ANPRM noted incidents involving damage to tank 
cars in crude oil service in the form of severe corrosion of the 
internal surface of the tank, manway covers, and valves and fittings. A 
possible cause is contamination of the crude oil by materials used in 
the fracturing process that are corrosive to the tank car tank and 
service equipment. Therefore, when crude oil is loaded into tank cars, 
it is critical that the existence and concentration of specific 
elements or compounds be identified, along with the corrosivity of the 
materials to the tank cars and service equipment. Proper identification 
also enables an offeror, in coordination with the tank car owner, to 
determine if there is a need for an interior coating or lining, 
alternative materials of construction for valves and fittings, and 
performance requirements for fluid sealing elements, such as gaskets 
and o-rings. These steps will help ensure the reliability of the tank 
car until the next qualification event.
    For the reasons outlined above, proper classification and 
characterization of hazardous materials is critical to ensuring that 
materials are packaged and transported safely. The HMR do not prescribe 
a specific test frequency for classification and characterization of 
hazardous materials. However, as provided in Sec.  173.22, the 
regulations clearly intend for the frequency and type of testing to be 
based on an offeror's knowledge of the hazardous material, with 
specific consideration given to the volume of hazardous material 
shipped, the variety of the sources of the hazardous material, and the 
processes used to generate the hazardous material. Once an offeror has 
classified and characterized the material; selected the appropriate 
packaging; loaded the packaging; and marked, labeled, and placarded in 
accordance with the HMR, the offeror must ``certify'' the shipment.
    Section 172.204 of the HMR currently requires the offeror of the 
hazardous material to ``certify that the material is offered for 
transportation in accordance with this subchapter.'' Certification is a 
very important step in the transportation process. The certification 
indicates the HMR was followed and that all requirements have been met. 
The shipper's certification must include either of the following 
statements:

    This is to certify that the above-named materials are properly 
classified, described, packaged, marked and labeled, and are in 
proper condition for transportation according to the applicable 
regulations of the Department of Transportation.

or--

    I hereby declare that the contents of this consignment are fully 
and accurately described above by the proper shipping name, and are 
classified, packaged, marked and labeled/placarded, and are in all 
respects in proper condition for transport according to applicable 
international and national governmental regulations.

    As such, ultimately, the offeror is responsible for certifying a 
correct classification, and while the HMR do not specifically prescribe 
a frequency for classification, it requires an offeror to consider each 
hazard class in accordance with the defined HMR test protocol. As 
previously discussed, improper classification and characterization can 
have serious ramifications that could impact transportation safety.
    On January 23, 2014, in response to its investigation of the Lac-
M[eacute]gantic accident, the NTSB issued three recommendations to 
PHMSA and FRA.

[[Page 45025]]

Safety Recommendation R-14-6 requested that PHMSA require shippers to 
sufficiently test and document the physical and chemical 
characteristics of hazardous materials to ensure the proper 
classification, packaging, and record-keeping of products offered in 
transportation. These and other NTSB Safety Recommendation and the 
corresponding PHMSA responses are discussed in further detail in 
Section C of the background portion of this document.

B. Packaging

    For each proper shipping name, bulk packaging requirements are 
provided in Column (8C) of the HMT. For most flammable liquids, the 
authorized packaging requirements for a PG I material are provided in 
Sec.  173.243 and for PGs II and III in Sec.  173.242. The following 
table is provided as a general guide for the packaging options for rail 
transport provided by the HMR for a flammable and combustible liquids.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ Additional information on tank car specifications is 
available at the following URL: http://www.bnsfhazmat.com/refdocs/1326686674.pdf.

                     Table 7--Tank Car Options \24\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Flammable liquid,
     Flammable liquid, PG I         PG II  and III    Combustible Liquid
------------------------------------------------------------------------
DOT 103.........................  DOT 103...........  DOT 103.
DOT 104.........................  DOT 104...........  DOT 104.
DOT 105.........................  DOT 105...........  DOT 105.
DOT 109.........................  DOT 109...........  DOT 109.
DOT 111.........................  DOT 111...........  DOT 111.
DOT 112.........................  DOT 112...........  DOT 112.
DOT 114.........................  DOT 114...........  DOT 114.
DOT 115.........................  DOT 115...........  DOT 115.
DOT 120.........................  DOT 120...........  DOT 120.
                                  AAR 206W..........  AAR 206W.
                                  ..................  AAR 203W.
                                  ..................  AAR 211W.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note 1. Sections 173.241, 173.242, and 173.243 authorize the use of the
  above tank cars.
Note 2. DOT 103, 104,105, 109, 112, 114, and 120 tank cars are pressure
  tank cars (HMR; Part 179, Subpart C).
Note 3. DOT 111 and 115 tank cars are non-pressure tank cars (HMR; Part
  179, Subpart D).
Note 4. AAR 203W, AAR 206W, and AAR 211W tank cars are non-DOT
  specification tank cars that meet AAR standards. These tank cars are
  authorized under Sec.   173.241 of the HMR (see Special Provision B1,
  as applicable).
Note 5. DOT 114 and DOT 120 pressure cars are permitted to have bottom
  outlets and, generally, would be compatible with the DOT 111.

    The offeror must select a packaging that is suitable for the 
properties of the material and based on the packaging authorizations 
provided by the HMR. With regard to package selection, the HMR require 
in Sec.  173.24(b) that each package used for the transportation of 
hazardous materials be ``designed, constructed, maintained, filled, its 
contents so limited, and closed, so that under conditions normally 
incident to transportation . . . there will be no identifiable (without 
the use of instruments) release of hazardous materials to the 
environment [and] . . . the effectiveness of the package will not be 
substantially reduced.'' Under this requirement, offerors must consider 
how the properties of the material (which can vary depending on 
temperature and pressure) will affect the packaging.
    The DOT Specification 111 tank car is one of several cars 
authorized by the HMR for the rail transportation of many hazardous 
materials, including ethanol, crude oil and other flammable liquids. 
For summary of the design requirements of the DOT Specification 111 
tank car see table 2 in the executive summary. Provided in table 8 
below, are estimates of the types of tank car tanks and corresponding 
services.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \25\ Source: RSI presentation at the NTSB rail safety forum 
April 22, 2014, update provided on June 18, 2014.

       Table 8--Estimates for Current Fleet of Rail Tank Cars \25\
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Tank car category                       Population
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total  of Tank Cars............................         334,869
Total  of DOT 111..............................         272,119
Total  of DOT 111 in Flammable Liquid Service..          80,500
Total  of CPC 1232 in Flammable Liquid Service.          17,300
Total  of Tank Cars hauling Crude Oil..........          42,550
Total  of Tank Cars Hauling Ethanol............          29,780
CPC 1232 (Jacketed) in Crude Oil Service................           4,850
CPC 1232 (Jacketed) in Ethanol Service..................               0
CPC 1232 (Non-Jacketed) in Crude Oil Service............           9,400
CPC 1232 (Non-Jacketed) in Ethanol Service..............             480
DOT 111 (Jacketed) in Crude Oil Service.................           5,500
DOT 111 (Jacketed) in Ethanol Service...................             100
DOT 111 (Non-Jacketed) in Crude Oil Service.............          22,800
DOT 111 (Non-Jacketed) in Ethanol Service...............          29,200
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Rising demand for rail carriage of crude oil \26\ and ethanol \27\ 
increases the risk of train accidents involving those materials. Major 
train accidents often result in the release of hazardous materials. 
These events pose a significant danger to the public and the 
environment. FRA closely monitors train accidents involving hazardous 
materials and documents the damage sustained by all cars involved in 
the accident.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \26\ In 2013 there were approximately 400,000 originations of 
tank car loads of crude oil. In 2012, there were nearly 234,000 
originations. In 2011 there were nearly 66,000 originations. In 2008 
there were just 9,500 originations. Association of American 
Railroads, Moving Crude Petroleum by Rail, http://dot111.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Crude-oil-by-rail.pdf (December 2013).
    \27\ In 2011 there were nearly 341,000 originations of tank car 
loads of ethanol, up from 325,000 in 2010. In 2000 there were just 
40,000 originations. Association of American Railroads, Railroads 
and Ethanol, https://www.aar.org/keyissues/Documents/Background-Papers/Railroads%20and%20Ethanol.pdf. (April 2013).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In published findings from the June 19, 2009, incident in Cherry 
Valley,

[[Page 45026]]

Illinois, the NTSB indicated that the DOT Specification 111 tank car 
can almost always be expected to breach in the event of a train 
accident resulting in car-to-car impacts or pileups.\28\ In addition, 
PHMSA received numerous petitions encouraging rulemaking and both FRA 
and PHMSA received letters from members of Congress in both parties 
urging prompt, responsive actions from the Department. The Association 
of American Railroads (AAR) created the T87.6 Task Force to consider 
several enhancements to the DOT Specification 111 tank car design and 
rail carrier operations to enhance rail transportation safety. 
Simultaneously, FRA conducted research on long-standing safety concerns 
regarding the survivability of the DOT Specification 111 tank cars 
designed to current HMR standards and used for the transportation of 
ethanol and crude oil, focusing on issues such as puncture resistance 
and top fittings protection. The research indicated that special 
consideration is necessary for the transportation of ethanol and crude 
oil in DOT Specification 111 tank cars, especially in HHFTs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ National Transportation Safety Board, Railroad Accident 
Report--Derailment of CN Freight Train U70691-18 With Subsequent 
Hazardous Materials Release and Fire, http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2012/RAR1201.pdf (February 2012).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, PHMSA and FRA reviewed the regulatory history 
pertaining to flammable liquids transported in tank cars. Prior to 
1990, the distinction between authorized packaging, for flammable 
liquids in particular, was described in far more detail in Sec.  
173.119. Section 173.119 indicated that the packaging requirements for 
flammable liquids are based on a combination of flash point, boiling 
point, and vapor pressure. The regulations provided a point at which a 
flammable liquid had to be transported in a tank car suitable for 
compressed gases, commonly referred to as a ``pressure car'' (e.g., DOT 
Specifications 105, 112, 114 tank cars).
    On December 21, 1990, the Research and Special Programs 
Administration (RSPA), PHMSA's predecessor agency, published a final 
rule (Docket HM-181; 55 FR 52402), that comprehensively revised the HMR 
with regard to hazard communication, classification, and packaging 
requirements based on the United Nations (UN) Recommendations on the 
Transport of Dangerous Goods (UN Recommendations). Under Docket HM-181, 
RSPA aimed to simplify and streamline the HMR by aligning with 
international standards and implementing performance-oriented packaging 
standards. As previously stated, Sec.  173.119 specified that the 
packaging requirements for flammable liquids are based on a combination 
of flash point, boiling point, and vapor pressure. Section 173.119(f) 
specified that flammable liquids with a vapor pressure more than 27 
pounds per square inch absolute (psia) but less than 40 psia at 100 
[deg]F (at 40 psia, the material met the definition of a compressed 
gas), were only authorized for transportation in certain pressure cars. 
The older regulations recognized that flammable liquids exhibiting high 
vapor pressures, such as those liquids with dissolved gases, posed 
significant risks and required a more robust packaging.
    The packaging authorizations are currently indicated in the HMT and 
part 173, subpart F. DOT Specification 111 tank cars are authorized for 
low, medium and high-hazard liquids and solids (equivalent to Packing 
Groups III, II, I, respectively). Packing groups are designed to assign 
a degree of danger presented within a particular hazard class. Packing 
Group I poses the highest danger (``great danger'') and Packing Group 
III the lowest (``minor danger'').\29\ In addition, the general 
packaging requirements prescribed in Sec.  173.24 provide additional 
consideration for selecting the most appropriate packaging from the 
list of authorized packaging identified in column (8) of the HMT.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ Packing groups, in addition in indicating risk of the 
material, can trigger levels of varying requirements. For example 
packing groups can indicate differing levels of testing requirements 
for a non-bulk packaging such or the need for additional operational 
requirements such as security planning requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In 2011, the AAR issued Casualty Prevention Circular (CPC) 1232, 
which outlines industry requirements for certain DOT Specification 111 
tanks ordered after October 1, 2011, intended for use in ethanol and 
crude oil service (construction approved by FRA on January 25, 2011--
see the Background below for information regarding a detailed 
description of PHMSA and FRA actions to allow construction under CPC-
1232). Key tank car requirements contained in CPC-1232 include the 
following:
     PG I and II material tank cars to be constructed to AAR 
Standard 286; AAR Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices, 
Section C, Car Construction Fundamentals and Details, Standard S-286, 
Free/Unrestricted Interchange for 286,000 lb. Gross Rail Load (GRL) 
Cars (AAR Standard 286);
     Head and shell thickness must be \1/2\ inch for TC-128B 
non jacketed cars and \7/16\ inch for jacketed cars;
     Shells of non-jacketed tank cars constructed of A5l6-70 
must be \9/16\ inch thick;
     Shells of jacketed tank cars constructed of A5l6-70 must 
be \1/2\ inch thick;
     New cars must be equipped with at least \1/2\ inch half-
head shields;
     Heads and the shells must be constructed of normalized 
steel;
     Top fittings must be protected by a protective structure 
as tall as the tallest fitting; and
     A reclosing pressure relief valve must be installed.
    The CPC-1232 requirements are intended to improve the 
crashworthiness of the tank cars and include a thicker shell, head 
protection, top fittings protection, and relief valves with a greater 
flow capacity.

C. Track Integrity and the Safety of Freight Railroad Operations

    Train accidents are often the culmination of a sequence of events 
that are influenced by a variety of factors and conditions. Broken 
rails or welds, track geometry, and human factors such as improper use 
of switches are leading causes of derailments. For example, one study 
found that broken rails or welds resulted in approximately 670 
derailments between 2001 and 2010, which far exceed the average of 89 
derailments for all other causes.\30\ Rail defects have caused major 
accidents involving HHFTs, including accidents New Brighton, PA and 
Arcadia, OH.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ See ``Analysis of Causes of Major Train Derailment and 
Their Effect on Accident Rates'' http://ict.illinois.edu/railroad/CEE/pdf/Journal%20Papers/2012/Liu%20et%20al%202012.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PHMSA and FRA have a shared responsibility for regulating the 
transportation of hazardous materials by rail and take a system-wide, 
comprehensive approach to the risks posed by the bulk transport of 
hazardous materials by rail. This approach includes both preventative 
and mitigating measures. In this rulemaking PHMSA is proposing 
amendments to directly address the safe transportation of HHFTs. The 
focus of this NPRM is on mitigating the damages of train accidents, but 
the speed restriction, braking system and routing provisions could also 
prevent train accidents. This NPRM does not directly address 
regulations governing the inspection and maintenance of track. PHMSA 
and FRA find that existing regulations and on-going rulemaking 
efforts--together with this NPRM's proposals for speed, braking, and 
routing--sufficiently address safety issues involving rail defects and 
human

[[Page 45027]]

factors. Specifically, the expansion of routing analysis to include 
HHFTs would require consideration of the 27 safety and security factors 
(See table 10). These factors include track type, class, and 
maintenance schedule (which would address rail defects) as well as 
training and skill level of crews (which would address human factors).
    Pursuant to its statutory authority, FRA promulgates railroad 
safety regulations (49 CFR subtitle B, chapter II (parts 200-299)) and 
orders, enforces those regulations and orders as well as the HMR and 
the Federal railroad safety laws, and conducts a comprehensive railroad 
safety program. FRA's regulations promulgated for the safety of 
railroad operations involving the movement of freight address: (1) 
Railroad track; (2) signal and train control systems; (3) operating 
practices; (4) railroad communications; (5) rolling stock; (6) rear-end 
marking devices; (7) safety glazing; (8) railroad accident/incident 
reporting; (9) locational requirements for the dispatch of U.S. rail 
operations; (10) safety integration plans governing railroad 
consolidations, mergers, and acquisitions of control; (11) alcohol and 
drug testing; (12) locomotive engineer and conductor certification; 
(13) workplace safety; (14) highway-rail grade crossing safety; and 
other subjects.
    The FRA has many initiatives underway to address freight rail 
safety. Key regulatory actions are outlined below:
     Risk Reduction Program (2130-AC11)-FRA is developing an 
NPRM that will consider appropriate contents for Risk Reduction 
Programs by Class I freight railroads and how they should be 
implemented and reviewed by FRA. A Risk Reduction Program is a 
structured program with proactive processes and procedures developed 
and implemented by a railroad to identify hazards and to mitigate, if 
not eliminate, the risks associated with those hazards on its system. A 
Risk Reduction Program encourages a railroad and its employees to work 
together to proactively identify hazards and to jointly determine what 
action to take to mitigate or eliminate the associated risks. The ANPRM 
was published on December 8, 2010, and the comment period ended on 
February 7, 2011.
     Track Safety Standards: Improving Rail Integrity (2130-
AC28)--FRA published this rule on January 24, 2014 (79 FR 4234). FRA's 
final rule prescribes specific requirements for effective rail 
inspection frequencies, rail flaw remedial actions, minimum operator 
qualifications, and requirements for rail inspection records. The bulk 
of this regulation codified the industry's current good practices. In 
addition, it removes the regulatory requirements concerning joint bar 
fracture reporting. Section 403(c) of the Rail Safety Improvement Act 
of 2008 (RSIA) (Pub. L. 110-432, 122 Stat. 4848 (October 16, 2008)) (49 
U.S.C. 20142 note)) mandated that FRA review its existing regulations 
to determine if regulatory amendments should be developed that would 
revise, for example, rail inspection frequencies and methods and rail 
defect remedial actions and consider rail inspection processes and 
technologies. The final rule became effective on March 25, 2014. PHMSA 
and FRA seek public comment on the extent to which additional changes 
to track integrity regulations are justified for HHFT routes. When 
commenting, please include a specific proposal, explain the reason for 
any recommended change, and include the source, methodology, and key 
assumptions of any supporting evidence.
     Positive Train Control (PTC) (multiple rulemakings)--PTC 
is a processor-based/communication-based train control system designed 
to prevent train accidents. The RSIA mandates that PTC be implemented 
across a significant portion of the Nation's rail system by December 
31, 2015. See 49 U.S.C. 20157. PTC may be voluntarily developed and 
implemented by a railroad following the requirements of 49 CFR part 
236, Subpart H, Standards for Processor-Based Signal and Train Control 
Systems; or, may be, as mandated by the RSIA, developed and implemented 
by a railroad following the requirements of 49 CFR part 236, Subpart I, 
Positive Train Control Systems. With limited exceptions and exclusions, 
PTC is required to be installed and implemented on Class I railroad 
main lines (i.e., lines with over 5 million gross tons annually) over 
which any poisonous- or toxic-by-inhalation (PIH/TIH) hazardous 
materials are transported; and, on any railroad's main lines over which 
regularly scheduled passenger intercity or commuter operations are 
conducted. It is currently estimated this will equate to approximately 
70,000 miles of track and will involve approximately 20,000 
locomotives. PTC technology is capable of automatically controlling 
train speeds and movements should a train operator fail to take 
appropriate action for the conditions at hand. For example, PTC can 
force a train to a stop before it passes a signal displaying a stop 
indication, or before diverging on a switch improperly lined, thereby 
averting a potential collision. PTC systems required to comply with the 
requirements of Subpart I must reliably and functionally prevent:
     Train-to-train collisions;
     Overspeed derailments;
     Incursion into an established work zone; and
     Movement through a main line switch in the improper 
position.

D. Oil Spill Response Plans

    PHMSA's regulations (49 CFR part 130) prescribe prevention, 
containment and response planning requirements of the Department of 
Transportation applicable to transportation of oil \31\ by motor 
vehicles and rolling stock. The purpose of a response plan is to ensure 
that personnel are trained and available and equipment is in place to 
respond to an oil spill, and that procedures are established before a 
spill occurs, so that required notifications and appropriate response 
actions will follow quickly when there is a spill. We believe that 
most, if not all, of the rail community transporting oil, including 
crude oil transported as a hazardous material, is subject to the basic 
response plan requirement of 49 CFR 130.31(a) based on the 
understanding that most, if not all, rail tank cars being used to 
transport crude oil have a capacity greater than 3,500 gallons. 
However, a comprehensive response plan for shipment of oil is only 
required when the oil is in a quantity greater than 42,000 gallons per 
package. Tank cars of this size are not used to transport oil. As a 
result, the railroads do not file a comprehensive oil response plan. A 
comparison of a basic and comprehensive plan can be seen below in Table 
9. The shaded rows of the table indicate requirements that are not part 
of the basic plan but would be included in the comprehensive plan.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ For purposes of 49 CFR part 130, oil means oil of any kind 
or in any form, including, but not limited to, petroleum, fuel oil, 
sludge, oil refuse, and oil mixed with the wastes other than dredged 
spoil. 49 CFR 130.5. This includes non-petroleum oil such as animal 
fat, vegetable oil, or other non-petroleum oil.

[[Page 45028]]



                    Table 9--Comparison of Basic and Comprehensive Spill Plans by Requirement
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                 Type of plan
             Category                     Requirement        ---------------------------------------------------
                                                                        Basic                 Comprehensive
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Preparation......................  Sets forth the manner of   Yes.....................  Yes.
                                    response to a discharge..
Preparation......................  Accounts for the maximum   Yes.....................  Yes.
                                    potential discharge of
                                    the packaging..
Personnel/Equipment..............  Identifies private         Yes.....................  Yes.
                                    personnel and equipment
                                    available for response..
Personnel/Coordination...........  Identifies appropriate     Yes.....................  Yes.
                                    persons and agencies
                                    (including telephone
                                    numbers) to be
                                    contacted, including the
                                    NRC.
Documentation....................  Is kept on file at the     Yes.....................  Yes.
                                    principal place of
                                    business and at the
                                    dispatcher's office.
Coordination.....................  Reflects the requirements  No......................  Yes.
                                    of the National
                                    Contingency Plan (40 CFR
                                    Part 300) and Area
                                    Contingency Plans.
Personnel/Coordination...........  Identified the qualified   No......................  Yes.
                                    individual with full
                                    authority to implement
                                    removal actions, and
                                    requires immediate
                                    communications between
                                    the individual and the
                                    appropriate Federal
                                    official and the persons
                                    providing spill response
                                    personnel and equipment.
Personnel/Equipment/Coordination.  Identifies and ensures by  No......................  Yes.
                                    contract or other means
                                    the availability of
                                    private personnel, and
                                    the equipment necessary
                                    to remove, to the
                                    maximum extent
                                    practicable, a worst-
                                    case discharge
                                    (including that
                                    resulting from fire or
                                    explosion) and to
                                    mitigate or prevent a
                                    substantial threat of
                                    such a discharge.
Training.........................  Describes the training,    No......................  Yes.
                                    equipment, testing,
                                    periodic unannounced
                                    drills, and response
                                    actions of personnel, to
                                    be carried out under the
                                    plan to ensure safety
                                    and to mitigate or
                                    prevent discharge or the
                                    substantial threat of
                                    such a discharge.
Documentation....................  Is submitted (and          No......................  Yes.
                                    resubmitted in the event
                                    of a significant
                                    change), to the
                                    Administrator of FRA.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

E. Rail Routing

    For some time, there has been considerable public and Congressional 
interest in the safe and secure rail routing of security-sensitive 
hazardous materials (such as chlorine and anhydrous ammonia). The 
Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 
directed the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland 
Security, to publish a rule governing the rail routing of security-
sensitive hazardous materials. On December 21, 2006, PHMSA, in 
coordination with FRA and the Transportation Security Administration 
(TSA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), published an 
NPRM under Docket HM-232E (71 FR 76834), which proposed to revise the 
current requirements in the HMR applicable to the safe and secure 
transportation of hazardous materials by rail. Specifically, we 
proposed to require rail carriers to compile annual data on specified 
shipments of hazardous materials, use the data to analyze safety and 
security risks along rail routes where those materials are transported, 
assess alternative routing options, and make routing decisions based on 
those assessments.
    In that NPRM, we solicited comments on whether the proposed 
requirements should also apply to flammable gases, flammable liquids, 
or other materials that could be weaponized, as well as hazardous 
materials that could cause serious environmental damage if released 
into rivers or lakes. Commenters who addressed this issue indicated 
that rail shipments of Division 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 explosives; PIH 
materials; and highway-route controlled quantities of radioactive 
materials pose significant rail safety and security risks warranting 
the enhanced security measures proposed in the NPRM and adopted in a 
November 26, 2008 final rule (73 FR 20752). Commenters generally did 
not support enhanced security measures for a broader list of materials 
than were proposed in the NPRM.
    The City of Las Vegas, Nevada, did support expanding the list of 
materials for which enhanced security measures are required to include 
flammable liquids; flammable gases; certain oxidizers; certain organic 
peroxides; and 5,000 pounds or greater of pyrophoric materials. While 
DOT and DHS agreed that these materials pose certain safety and 
security risks in rail transportation, the risks were not as great as 
those posed by the explosive, PIH, and radioactive materials specified 
in the NPRM, and PHMSA was not persuaded that they warranted the 
additional safety and security measures. PHMSA did note, however, that 
DOT, in consultation with DHS, would continue to evaluate the 
transportation safety and security risks posed by all types of 
hazardous materials and the effectiveness of our regulations in 
addressing those risks and would consider revising specific 
requirements as necessary.
    The 2008 final rule requires rail carriers to select a practicable 
route posing the least overall safety and security risk to transport 
security-sensitive hazardous materials (73 FR 72182). The final rule 
implemented regulations requiring rail carriers to compile annual data 
on certain shipments of explosive, toxic by inhalation, and radioactive 
materials; use the data to analyze safety and security risks along rail 
routes where those materials are transported; assess alternative 
routing options; and make routing decisions based on those assessments. 
In accordance with Sec.  172.820(e), the carrier must select the route 
posing the least overall safety and security risk. The carrier must 
retain in writing all route review and selection decision 
documentation. Additionally, the rail carrier must identify a point of 
contact on routing issues involving the movement of covered materials 
and provide the contact information to the following:
    1. State and/or regional Fusion Centers that have been established 
to coordinate with state, local, and tribal officials on security 
issues and which are located within the area encompassed by the rail 
carrier's rail system; \32\ and
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \32\ http://www.dhs.gov/fusion-center-locations-and-contact-information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2. State, local, and tribal officials in jurisdictions that may be 
affected by a

[[Page 45029]]

rail carrier's routing decisions and who have contacted the carrier 
regarding routing decisions.
    Rail carriers must assess available routes using, at a minimum, the 
27 factors listed in Appendix D to Part 172 of the HMR to determine the 
safest, most secure routes for security-sensitive hazardous materials.

Table 10--Factors To Be Considered in the Performance of This Safety and
                         Security Risk Analysis
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Volume of hazardous material  Rail traffic density  Trip length for
 transported.                                        route.
Presence and characteristics  Track type, class,    Track grade and
 of railroad facilities.       and maintenance       curvature.
                               schedule.
Presence or absence of        Presence or absence   Number and types of
 signals and train control     of wayside hazard     grade crossings.
 systems along the route       detectors.
 (``dark'' versus signaled
 territory).
Single versus double track    Frequency and         Proximity to iconic
 territory.                    location of track     targets.
                               turnouts.
Environmentally sensitive or  Population density    Venues along the
 significant areas.            along the route.      route (stations,
                                                     events, places of
                                                     congregation).
Emergency response            Areas of high         Presence of
 capability along the route.   consequence along     passenger traffic
                               the route,            along route (shared
                               including high        track).
                               consequence targets.
Speed of train operations...  Proximity to en-      Known threats,
                               route storage or      including any
                               repair facilities.    threat scenarios
                                                     provided by the DHS
                                                     or the DOT for
                                                     carrier use in the
                                                     development of the
                                                     route assessment.
Measures in place to address  Availability of       Past accidents.
 apparent safety and           practicable
 security risks.               alternative routes.
Overall times in transit....  Training and skill    Impact on rail
                               level of crews.       network traffic and
                                                     congestion.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    These factors address safety and security issues, such as the 
condition of the track and supporting infrastructure; the presence or 
absence of signals; past incidents; population density along the route; 
environmentally-sensitive or significant areas; venues along the route 
(stations, events, places of congregation); emergency response 
capability along the route; measures and countermeasures already in 
place to address apparent safety and security risks; and proximity to 
iconic targets. The HMR require carriers to make conscientious efforts 
to develop logical and defendable systems using these factors.
    FRA enforces the routing requirements in the HMR and is authorized, 
after consulting with PHMSA, TSA, and the Surface Transportation Board, 
to require a railroad to use an alternative route other than the route 
selected by the railroad if it is determined that the railroad's route 
selection documentation and underlying analysis are deficient and fail 
to establish that the route chosen poses the least overall safety and 
security risk based on the information available (49 CFR 209.501).
    On January 23, 2014, in response to its investigation of the Lac-
M[eacute]gantic accident, the NTSB issued three recommendations to both 
PHMSA and FRA. Recommendation R-14-4 requested PHMSA work with FRA to 
expand hazardous materials route planning and selection requirements 
for railroads to include key trains transporting flammable liquids as 
defined by the AAR Circular No. OT-55-N and, where technically 
feasible, require rerouting to avoid transportation of such hazardous 
materials through populated and other sensitive areas.

III. Recent Actions Addressing HHFT Risk

    PHMSA and FRA have used a variety of regulatory and non-regulatory 
methods to address the risks of the bulk transport of flammable 
liquids, including crude oil and ethanol, by rail in HHFTs. These 
efforts include issuing guidance, conducting rulemakings, participating 
in rail safety committees, holding public meetings with the regulated 
community, enhancing enforcement efforts, and reaching out to the 
public. All of these efforts are consistent with our system-wide 
approach. We are confident these actions provide valuable information 
and guidance to the regulated community and enhance public safety. In 
the following, we discuss in detail these efforts and the NTSB 
recommendations related to HHFTs.

A. Regulatory Actions

    On May 14, 2010, PHMSA published a final rule under Docket HM-233A 
(75 FR 27205) that amended the HMR by incorporating provisions 
contained in certain widely used or longstanding special permits having 
an established safety record. As part of this rulemaking, PHMSA 
authorized certain rail tank cars, transporting hazardous materials, to 
exceed the gross weight on rail limitation of 263,000 pounds (263,000 
lb. GRL) upon approval of FRA.
    On January 25, 2011, FRA published a Federal Register notice of 
FRA's approval (76 FR 4250) pursuant to PHMSA's May 14, 2010 final 
rule. The notice established detailed conditions for the manufacturing 
and operation of certain tank cars in hazardous materials service, 
including the DOT-111, that weigh between 263,000 and 286,000 pounds. 
Taken as a whole, the PHMSA rulemaking and the FRA notice serves as the 
mechanism for tank car manufacturers to build a 286,000-pound tank car. 
As such, rail car manufacturers currently have the authority to 
manufacture the enhanced DOT Specification 111 tank car (e.g., CPC-1232 
tank car outlined in ``II. Overview of Current Regulations Relevant to 
this Proposal'') under the conditions outlined, in the January 25, 2011 
notice.
    The notice grants a blanket approval for tank cars to carry up to 
286,000 lb. GRL, when carrying non-PIH materials, subject to certain 
requirements. FRA divided these additional requirements into the 
following three categories:
    1. Existing tank cars that were authorized under a PHMSA special 
permit for greater than 263,000 lb. GRL, FRA's approval requires the 
following:
    a. Compliance with various terms of the existing special permits;
    b. Tank cars constructed, rebuilt, or modified to meet AAR Standard 
S-259 \33\ must be operated only in controlled interchange;
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ Both S-259 and S-286 are mechanical (underframes, trucks, 
wheels, axles, brake system, draft system, a car body fatigue) 
design requirements for operation of tank cars at a gross rail load 
of 286,000 pounds. S-259 preceded S-286.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    c. Tank cars constructed, rebuilt, or modified to meet AAR Standard 
S-286 may operate in unrestricted interchange; and
    d. Tank car owners must determine which standard applies, ensure 
tank

[[Page 45030]]

cars are marked appropriately, and maintain and file associated 
records.
    2. Tank cars that have been built, rebuilt, or otherwise modified 
pursuant to AAR Standards S-259 or S-286 for greater than 263,000 
pounds gross weight on rail, but are not authorized under a PHMSA 
special permit, FRA's approval requires the following:
    a. Tank cars constructed, rebuilt, or modified to meet AAR Standard 
S-259 must be operated only in controlled interchange;
    b. Tank cars constructed, rebuilt, or modified to meet AAR Standard 
S-286 may operate in unrestricted interchange;
    c. Tank cars must satisfy design specifications listed in the 
notice, including materials of construction, thickness, and jacketing; 
and
    d. Tank car owners must determine which standard and additional 
specification requirements apply, ensure tank cars are marked 
appropriately, and maintain and file associated records.
    3. New tank cars, manufactured after the notice was published, to 
carry more than 263,000 pounds gross weight on rail, FRA's approval 
requires the following:
    a. Tank cars must be constructed in accordance with AAR Standard S-
286; and
    b. Tank cars must satisfy design specifications listed in the 
notice, including puncture resistance and service equipment.
    Any manufacturer choosing to design a car that does not meet the 
conditions of FRA's 2011 approval must request a new approval from FRA 
in accordance with Sec.  179.13 of the HMR.
    Following the publication of the PHMSA rule and the subsequent FRA 
approval notice, PHMSA received a petition for rulemaking (P-1577) from 
the AAR on March 9, 2011, requesting changes to PHMSA's specifications 
for tank cars (namely the DOT Specification 111 tank car) used to 
transport PG I and II materials. DOT recognized the improvements of the 
P-1577 tank car relative to the DOT Specification 111 tank car, but 
challenged the industry to consider additional improvements in puncture 
resistance, thermal protection, top fitting protection, bottom outlet 
protection, and braking, as well as railroad operations. As a result, 
the AAR Tank Car Committee (TCC) constituted the T87.6 Task Force. The 
task force was charged with (1) reevaluating the standards in P-1577 
and considering additional design enhancements for tank cars used to 
transport crude oil, ethanol and ethanol/gasoline mixtures as well as 
(2) considering operating requirements to reduce the risk of train 
accidents involving tank cars carrying crude oil classified as PG I and 
II, and ethanol.
    FRA chaired this task force and expected the activity would lead to 
a more comprehensive approach than requested by P-1577. The task force 
promised to address the root cause, severity, and consequences of train 
accidents, and its recommendations were finalized on March 1, 2012. The 
T87.6 Task Force recommended requirements for a pressure relief device 
with a start of discharge setting of 75 psig, and a minimum flow 
capacity of 27,000 SCFM.
    The task force did not address many of the recommendations provided 
by FRA, including the following:
    Tank car design and use:
     Thermal protection to address breaches attributable to 
exposure to fire conditions;
     Roll-over protection to prevent damage to top and bottom 
fittings and limit stresses transferred from the protection device to 
the tank shell;
     Hinged and bolted manways to address a common cause of 
leakage during accidents and Non-Accident Releases (NARs);
     Bottom outlet valve elimination; and
     Increasing outage from 1 percent to 2 percent to improve 
puncture resistance.
    Rail Carrier Operations:
     Rail integrity (e.g., broken rails or welds, misaligned 
track, obstructions, track geometry, etc.) to reduce the number and 
severity of train accidents;
     Alternative brake signal propagation systems ECP, DP, and 
two-way EOT device to reduce the number of cars and energy associated 
with train accidents;
     Speed restrictions for key trains containing 20 or more 
loaded tank cars (on August 5, 2013, AAR issued Circular No. OT-55-N 
addressing this issue); and
     Emergency response to mitigate the risks faced by response 
and salvage personnel, the impact on the environment, and delays to 
traffic on the line.
    After considering the disparity between the various stakeholders 
and the lack of actionable items by the task force, PHMSA and FRA 
initiated the development of an ANPRM to consider revisions to the HMR 
by improving the crashworthiness of railroad tank cars and improve 
operations. The ANPRM would respond to petitions for rulemaking 
submitted by industry and safety recommendations issued by the NTSB. 
Between April 2012 and October 2012, PHMSA received an additional three 
petitions (P-1587, P-1595 and P-1612) and one modification of a 
petition (P-1612) on rail safety issues. The additional petitions were 
submitted by concerned communities and various industry associations 
requesting further modification to the tank car standards.
    On September 6, 2013, PHMSA published the ANPRM (78 FR 54849) 
seeking public comments on whether issues raised in eight petitions 
\34\ and four NTSB Safety Recommendations would enhance safety, revise, 
and clarify the HMR with regard to rail transport. Specifically, we 
requested comments on important amendments that would do the following: 
(1) Enhance the standards for DOT Specification 111 tank cars used to 
transport PG I and II flammable liquids; (2) explore the feasibility of 
additional operational requirements to enhance the safe transportation 
of Packing Group I and II flammable liquids; (3) afford FRA greater 
discretion to authorize the movement of non-conforming tank cars; (4) 
correct regulations that allow an unsafe condition associated with 
pressure relief valves (PRV) on rail cars transporting carbon dioxide, 
refrigerated liquid; (5) revise outdated regulations applicable to the 
repair and maintenance of DOT Specification 110, DOT Specification 106, 
and ICC 27 tank car tanks (ton tanks); and (6) except rupture discs 
from removal if the inspection itself would damage, change, or alter 
the intended operation of the device.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \34\ In addition to the four tank car related petitions, PHMSA 
also received four additional petitions relating to rail operational 
requirements which were contained in the September 2013 ANPRM.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On November 5, 2013, PHMSA published a 30-day extension of the 
comment period for the ANPRM (78 FR 66326). We received a request to 
extend the comment period to 90 days from the Sierra Club on behalf of 
Climate Parents, Columbia Riverkeeper, ForestEthics, Friends of Earth, 
Natural Resources Defense Council, Oil Change International, San 
Francisco Baykeeper, Spokane Riverkeeper, Washington Environmental 
Council, and the Waterkeeper Alliance. The request indicated that the 
primary basis for extension was to allow the public a meaningful review 
of these proposed changes in rail safety requirements, especially 
regarding tank cars transporting crude oil and tar sands, while 
highlighting several recent tank car train accidents. The request also 
indicated that the government shutdown in October 2013 prevented 
communication with DOT staff for review of the technical proposals 
during

[[Page 45031]]

the initial 60-day comment period. Although PHMSA normally considers an 
initial 60-day comment period sufficient time to review and respond to 
rulemaking proposals, due to PHMSA's desire to collect meaningful input 
from a number of potentially affected stakeholders, PHMSA extended the 
comment period by 30 days.
    Comments submitted in response to the ANPRM indicate that public 
interest in the issues raised by the ANPRM is significant. PHMSA 
received over 100 individual submissions of comments, including the 
signatures of over 152,000 stakeholders, expressing views regarding 
tank car and operational standards for flammable liquids. The comments 
were from local communities, cities, and towns; rail carriers; 
offerors; suppliers of equipment; tank car manufacturers; environmental 
groups; NTSB; and the U.S. Congress. PHMSA reviewed the public comments 
and used the information gathered to aid in the development of this 
proposed rule.

B. Emergency Orders and Non-Regulatory Actions

    In addition to the rulemaking activity described above, FRA took 
action, in the form of an emergency order, following the Lac-
M[eacute]gantic derailment. On August 7, 2013, FRA published EO 28 (78 
FR 48218) to address safety issues related to securement of certain 
hazardous materials trains; specifically, trains with--
    (1) Five or more tank carloads of any one or any combination of 
materials poisonous by inhalation as defined in Title 49 CFR 171.8, and 
including anhydrous ammonia (UN1005) and ammonia solutions (UN3318); or
    (2) 20 rail carloads or intermodal portable tank loads of any one 
or any combination of materials listed in (1) above, or, any Division 
2.1 flammable gas, Class 3 flammable liquid or combustible liquid, 
Class 1.1 or 1.2 explosive,\35\ or hazardous substance listed in 49 CFR 
173.31(f)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \35\ Should have read ``Division'' instead of ``Class.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EO 28 prohibits railroads from leaving trains or vehicles 
transporting the specified quantities of the specified types of 
hazardous materials unattended on mainline track or siding outside of a 
yard or terminal unless the railroad adopts and complies with a plan 
that provides sufficient justification for leaving them unattended 
under specific circumstances and locations. The order also requires 
railroads to develop specific processes for securing, communicating, 
and documenting the securement of unattended trains and vehicles 
subject to the Order, including locking the controlling locomotive cab 
door or removing the reverser and setting a sufficient number of hand 
brakes before leaving the equipment unattended. In addition, the order 
requires railroads to review, verify, and adjust as necessary existing 
requirements and instructions related to the number of hand brakes to 
be set on unattended trains; conduct train securement job briefings 
among crewmembers and employees; and develop procedures to ensure 
qualified employees inspect equipment for proper securement after 
emergency response actions that involve the equipment.
    The quantities of specific hazardous materials addressed in EO 28 
were further addressed under the AAR Circular No. OT-55-N, Recommended 
Railroad Operating Practices for Transportation of Hazardous Materials, 
effective August 5, 2013.\36\ AAR Circular No. OT-55-N supersedes AAR 
Circular No. OT-55-M, issued October 1, 2012. In OT-55-N, AAR revised 
the definition of ``key train'' in two specific areas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \36\ The document is available in the public docket for this 
proceeding and at the following URL: http://www.aar.com/CPC-1258%20OT-55-N%208-5-13.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (1) The definition of ``key train'' was revised from ``five tank 
carloads of Poison or Toxic Inhalation Hazard (PIH or TIH) (Hazard Zone 
A, B, C, or D), anhydrous ammonia (UN1005), or ammonia solutions 
(UN3318)'' to one tank carload.
    (2) The ``key train'' definition was amended by adding ``20 
carloads or portable tank loads of any combination of hazardous 
material.''
    Any train that meets the ``key train'' definition is limited to a 
50-mph speed restriction under AAR Circular No. OT-55-N. In addition, 
any route defined by a railroad as a key route shall meet certain 
standards described in OT-55-N, including the following:
     Wayside defective wheel bearing detectors at a maximum of 
40 miles apart, or an equivalent level of protection;
     Main track on key routes should be inspected by rail 
defect detection and track geometry inspection cars or by any 
equivalent level of inspection at least twice each year;
     Sidings on key routes should be inspected at least once a 
year, and main track and sidings should have periodic track inspections 
to identify cracks or breaks in joint bars; and
     Track used for meeting and passing key trains should be 
FRA Class 2 track or higher.
    As previously discussed, EO 28 prohibits railroads from leaving 
trains or vehicles transporting the specified hazardous materials 
unattended on mainline track or siding outside of a yard or terminal 
unless the railroad adopts and complies with a plan that provides 
sufficient justification for leaving them unattended under specific 
circumstances and locations.
    EO 28 was supplemented with a PHMSA and FRA joint safety advisory 
published the same day (78 FR 48224). The joint safety advisory 
addressed causes of the Lac-M[eacute]gantic derailment, provided DOT 
safety and security recommendations, and announced PHMSA and FRA 
participation in an Emergency RSAC meeting to address rail safety 
concerns.
    On August 27-28, 2013, PHMSA and FRA held a public meeting to 
review the requirements in the HMR applicable to rail operations (78 FR 
42998). PHMSA and FRA conducted this meeting as part of a comprehensive 
review of operational factors that impact the safety of the 
transportation of hazardous materials by rail. This meeting provided 
the opportunity for public input on a wide range of rail safety 
requirements including operational rail requirements. PHMSA and FRA 
reviewed the transcript and public comments, all of which support a 
comprehensive review of these requirements. Additional information 
gathered from the public meeting, particularly regarding the 
modernization of Part 174 of the HMR, will be addressed in a future 
rulemaking.
    On August 29, 2013, FRA convened an emergency meeting to initiate a 
series of RSAC working groups to discuss and work through specific 
tasks resulting from the Lac-M[eacute]gantic derailment. RSAC members 
discussed the formulation of task statements regarding appropriate 
train crew size, hazard classes, and quantities of hazardous materials 
that should trigger additional operating procedures, including 
attendance and securement requirements. On April 9, 2014 RSAC approved 
by a majority vote the Hazardous Materials Working Group's consensus 
recommendations.\37\ Table 11 provides the RSAC recommendations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ https://rsac.fra.dot.gov/meetings/Railroad%20Safety%20Advisory%20Committee%20Hazardous%20Materials%20Issues%20Recommendation%20VOTE.pdf.

[[Page 45032]]



  Table 11--RSAC Consensus Recommendations From the Hazardous Materials
                          Issues Working Group
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Subject                          Recommendation
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Definition of residue.............  Propose to amend the definition of
                                     Residue as follows:
                                    Residue means the hazardous material
                                     remaining in a packaging, including
                                     a tank car, after its contents have
                                     been unloaded to the maximum extent
                                     practicable and before the
                                     packaging is either refilled or
                                     cleaned of hazardous material and
                                     purged to remove any hazardous
                                     vapors. The extent practicable
                                     means an unloading facility has
                                     unloaded a bulk package using
                                     properly functioning service
                                     equipment and plant process
                                     equipment.
Guidance document language for      Proposed wording for a recommended
 securement of tank cars on          practice document. Securement and
 private track.                      security of loaded hazardous
                                     materials cars on private track:
                                    ``It has come to FRA's attention
                                     that cuts of loaded hazardous
                                     materials cars are being stored on
                                     track that is exclusively leased,
                                     and meets the definition of private
                                     track, but that may not be adjacent
                                     to a shipper or consignee facility.
                                     These stored cars are of great
                                     concern to the general public
                                     living in nearby communities. The
                                     cars are being stored in other
                                     locations simply for available
                                     space reasons--there isn't
                                     available storage space closer to a
                                     consignee facility. If the cars are
                                     stored on track that meets the
                                     definition of ``private track''
                                     they are considered to be no longer
                                     in transportation, and the
                                     hazardous materials regulations do
                                     not apply. Nonetheless, FRA
                                     strongly recommends the following
                                     as best practices that may enhance
                                     the safety and security of stored
                                     hazardous materials cars.''
                                    ``FRA recommends that companies
                                     (party in control of private track
                                     as defined in Sec.   171.8) review
                                     the private track locations where
                                     cuts of hazardous materials cars
                                     (20 or more cars) are regularly
                                     stored to determine the following:
                                    1. Whether additional attendance,
                                     monitoring, or other security
                                     measures may be appropriate;
                                    2. Whether an adequate and
                                     appropriate number of handbrakes
                                     are set on the cuts of cars that
                                     will ensure that there is no
                                     unintended movement of the cars;
                                    3. Whether all of the hazard
                                     communication information
                                     (placards, emergency response
                                     information) be maintained as they
                                     would if the cars were in
                                     transportation, and that this
                                     information may be available to
                                     emergency responders if
                                     requested.''
PHMSA re-engage their regulatory    In 2003, the Research and Special
 authority over certain aspects of   Programs Administration (RSPA), the
 loading, unloading and storage of   predecessor agency to PHMSA,
 tank cars containing hazardous      clarified its regulatory
 materials.                          jurisdiction over the loading,
                                     unloading, and storage of hazardous
                                     materials. 68 Fed. Reg. 61906
                                     (October 30, 2003). The intent was
                                     to clarify where transportation
                                     began and ended, and thus, where
                                     PHMSA jurisdiction began and ended.
                                     In the rail mode, certain aspects
                                     of the storage, loading, and
                                     unloading of hazardous materials to
                                     and from rail tank cars were no
                                     longer regulated, and those
                                     requirements were removed from the
                                     CFR. The thought was that the
                                     loading, unloading, and storage
                                     were more appropriately workplace
                                     issues better addressed by an
                                     agency such as OSHA. PHMSA
                                     continued to regulate certain ``pre-
                                     transportation functions'' that it
                                     believed were clearly tied to
                                     transportation safety, such as the
                                     securement of closures on rail tank
                                     cars after loading but before
                                     offering the package to a carrier.
                                     This proposal is not intended to
                                     change the current regulation of
                                     OSHA over workplace safety issues
                                     related to loading, unloading, and
                                     storage of railroad tank cars.
                                    As certain industries that ship
                                     hazardous materials by rail have
                                     evolved, and as some loading,
                                     unloading, storage, and
                                     transportation practices have
                                     changed, DOT believes it may be
                                     appropriate to re-engage on these
                                     subjects. DOT believes that there
                                     may be aspects of these procedures
                                     that directly affect transportation
                                     safety, and that it would be
                                     appropriate for to regulate them.
Align definition of Appendix A      Appendix A to Emergency Order 28
 train with ``Key Train'' from OT-  Any train transporting:
 55-N.                              1. One or more tank car loads of
                                     materials poisonous by inhalation
                                     as defined in 49 CFR 171.8, and
                                     including anhydrous ammonia (UN
                                     1005) and ammonia solutions (UN
                                     3318); or
                                    2. 20 or more rail car loads or
                                     intermodal portable tank loads of
                                     any material listed in (1) above,
                                     or bulk car loads Division 2.1
                                     flammable gases, Class 3 flammable
                                     liquids, or hazardous substances
                                     listed in 49 CFR 173.31(f)(2); or
                                     rail car loads of packages of
                                     Division 1.1 or 1.2 explosives.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PHMSA solicits information and comment on any alternate approaches 
that may be contained in or considered as part of any recommendation 
from the RSAC to FRA regarding the proposals in this NPRM.
    FRA and PHMSA are active participants and observers of the AAR Tank 
Car Committee. This committee is comprised of the AAR, railroads, tank 
car owners, manufacturers, and shippers, with active participation from 
U.S. and Canadian regulators. The AAR Tank Car Committee works together 
to develop technical standards for how tank cars, including those used 
to transport hazardous materials, are designed and constructed. PHMSA 
also participates as a working member in API's Classification and 
Loading of Crude Oil Standard Development Working Group.
    On November 20, 2013, PHMSA and FRA issued a follow-up Joint Safety 
Advisory to reinforce the importance of proper characterization, 
classification, and selection of a packing group for Class 3 (flammable 
liquid) materials, and the corresponding regulations for safety and 
security planning. The Advisory reinforced the Department's position 
that we expect rail offerors and rail carriers to revise their safety 
and security plans required by the HMR, including the required risk 
assessments, to address the safety and security issues identified in 
FRA's Emergency Order No. 28 and the August 7, 2013, joint Safety 
Advisory (78 FR 69745). The Advisory was supplemented with enhanced 
enforcement operations by FRA to ensure compliance with the applicable 
requirements.
    On January 2, 2014, PHMSA issued a Safety Alert warning of crude 
oil variability and emphasized proper and sufficient testing to ensure 
accurate characterization and classification of this hazardous 
material. Proper characterization and classification of a hazardous 
material are integral for the HMR to accomplish its safety purpose. 
Characterization and classification ultimately determine the 
appropriate and permitted packagings for a given hazardous material. 
This alert addressed the initial findings of Operation Classification, 
a compliance initiative involving unannounced inspections and testing 
of crude oil samples to verify

[[Page 45033]]

that offerors of the materials have properly classified and described 
the hazardous materials. The alert expressed PHMSA's concern that 
unprocessed crude oil may affect the integrity of the packaging or 
present additional hazards, related to corrosivity, sulfur content, and 
dissolved gas content. It also noted that preliminary testing, focused 
on the classification and packing group assignments that have been 
selected and certified by offerors of crude oil and PHMSA, had found it 
necessary to expand the scope of their sampling and analyses to measure 
other factors that would affect the proper characterization and 
classification of the materials.
    PHMSA and FRA launched Operation Classification in August 2013 to 
verify that crude oil is being properly classified in accordance with 
Federal regulations. Activities included unannounced inspections, data 
collection and sampling at strategic terminal and loading locations for 
crude oil. PHMSA investigators tested samples from various points along 
the crude oil transportation chain; from cargo tanks that deliver crude 
oil to rail loading facilities, from storage tanks at the facilities, 
and from pipelines connecting storage tanks to rail cars that would 
move the crude across the country. On February 4, 2014, PHMSA announced 
the first results from Operation Classification, which indicated that 
some crude oil taken from cargo tanks en route to rail loading 
facilities was not properly classified. Based on some of the test 
results, 11 of the 18 samples taken from cargo tanks delivering crude 
oil to the rail loading facilities were assigned to packing groups that 
incorrectly indicated a lower risk than what was actually being 
transported. PHMSA issued three Notices of Probable Violations to the 
companies involved as a result, proposing civil penalties totaling 
$93,000. Operation Classification is part of a larger Department-wide 
effort named Operation Safe Delivery. Operation Safe Delivery is an 
effort to ensure the safe transportation of crude oil moving by rail 
using a comprehensive approach, including prevention, mitigation and 
response.
    On January 9, 2014, the Secretary issued a ``Call to Action,'' to 
actively engage all the stakeholders in the crude oil industry, 
including CEOs of member companies of the American Petroleum Institute 
and CEOs of the railroads. In a meeting held on January 16, 2014, the 
Secretary and the Administrators of PHMSA and FRA requested that 
offerors and carriers identify prevention and mitigation strategies 
that can be implemented quickly.
    Specifically, the Call to Action discussed issues including proper 
classification and characterization of hazardous materials, operational 
controls and track maintenance that could prevent accidents, and tank 
car integrity improvements that could mitigate the effect of accidents 
should one occur. The meeting was an open and constructive dialogue on 
how, collaboratively, industry and government can make America's 
railways safer.
    As a result of this meeting, the rail and crude oil industries 
agreed to voluntarily consider or implement potential improvements 
including speed restrictions in high consequence areas, alternative 
routing, the use of distributive power to improve braking, and 
improvements in emergency response preparedness and training. On 
January 22, 2014 the Secretary sent a letter to the attendees recapping 
the meeting and stressing the importance of this issue.\38\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \38\ See Call to Action Follow-up letter http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/PHMSA/DownloadableFiles/Files/Letter_from_Secretary_Foxx_Follow_up_to_January_16.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The rail and crude oil industries committed to consider and address 
several issues and, within 30 days, provide details regarding the 
specific actions that shippers and carriers will take immediately to 
improve safety in the transportation of petroleum crude oil. 
Specifically, the AAR agreed to consider, and provide additional 
details about, the following:
     The use of existing Federal protocols for routing 
hazardous materials, such as Toxic-by-Inhalation hazardous materials 
(TIH), for petroleum crude oil unit train shipments;
     The use of speed restrictions where appropriate on crude 
oil unit trains traveling through high consequence areas;
     The use of distributed power on unit petroleum crude oil 
trains; and
     Increasing and improving track, mechanical, and other rail 
safety inspections.
    The API recommended and agreed to consider the following:
     Share expertise and testing information with DOT, notably 
PHMSA, regarding the characteristics of petroleum crude oil in the 
Bakken region;
     Work on identifying best practices to ensure that 
appropriate and comprehensive testing and classification of petroleum 
crude oil being transported by rail is performed; and
     Collaborate with PHMSA on improving its analysis of 
petroleum crude oil characteristics.
    Both AAR and API agreed to consider the following:
     Improve emergency responder capabilities and training to 
address petroleum crude oil train accidents; and
     Recommission the AAR's Rail Tank Car Standards Committee 
to reach consensus on additional changes proposed to the AAR rail tank 
car standard CPC 1232s, to be considered by DOT, as appropriate, in the 
rulemaking process.
    On January 17, 2014, PHMSA launched a Web page entitled Operation 
Safe Delivery: Enhancing the Safe Transport of Flammable Liquids.\39\ 
This site describes the Department's efforts to enhance the safe 
transport of flammable liquids by rail and acts as a valuable resource 
for shippers and transporters of those materials. The site will be 
continuously updated to provide progress reports on industry 
commitments as part of the Call to Action and additional Departmental 
activities related to the rail safety initiative. The page also 
displays PHMSA's rail safety action plan. The site has already received 
considerable traffic, and seems to be an educational resource for the 
regulated community.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \39\ http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/hazmat/osd/calltoaction.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On February 21, 2014, in response to the Secretary's Call to 
Action:
    API committed to the following:
    1. To assemble top experts to develop a comprehensive industry 
standard for testing, characterizing, classifying, and loading and 
unloading crude oil in rail tank cars. API is moving as quickly as 
possible with the goal of publishing this standard in six months. Its 
standards process is open, transparent and accredited by the American 
National Standards Institute, the same organization that accredits 
similar programs at several U.S. national laboratories. All 
stakeholders are invited to participate, including PHMSA.
    2. Work with PHMSA, the railroad industry, and emergency responders 
to enhance emergency response communications and training. API recently 
joined Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response, known 
as TRANSCAER\R\, which is a voluntary national outreach effort that 
assists communities in preparing for and responding to incidents.
    API continues to work with PHMSA and other representatives from the 
Department of Transportation to share information and expertise on 
crude oil

[[Page 45034]]

characteristics. They have also offered to help PHMSA review the data 
collected through Operation Classification.
    3. API continues to work with the railroad industry, railcar 
manufacturers, and other stakeholders to address tank car design. Their 
industry has been building next generation tank cars since 2011 that 
exceed federal standards. These new cars make up nearly 40 percent of 
the crude oil tank car fleet and will be 60 percent by the end of 2015. 
They are currently engaged in a holistic and data-driven examination to 
determine whether additional design changes would measurably improve 
safety without inadvertently shifting risk to other areas.
    AAR and its member railroads committed to the following:
    1. By no later than July 1, 2014, railroads will apply any 
protocols developed by the rail industry to comply with the existing 
route analysis requirements of 49 CFR 172.820(c)-(f) and (i) to the 
movement of trains transporting 20 or more loaded railroad tank cars 
containing petroleum crude oil (Key Crude Oil Train).
    2. Rail carriers will continue to adhere to a speed restriction of 
50 mph for any Key Crude Oil Trains. By no later than July 1, 2014, 
railroads will adhere to a speed restriction of 40 mph for any Key 
Crude Oil Train with at least one `DOT Specification 111' tank car 
loaded with crude oil or one non-DOT specification tank car loaded with 
crude oil while that train travels within the limits of any high-threat 
urban area as defined by 49 CFR 1580.3. For purposes of AAR's 
commitments, `DOT Specification 111' tank cars are those cars that meet 
DOT Specification 111 standards but do not meet the requirements of 
CPC-1232 or any new standards adopted by DOT after the date of this 
letter.
    3. By April, 2014, railroads will equip all Key Crude Oil Trains, 
operating on main track with either distributed power locomotives or an 
operative two-way telemetry end of train device as defined by 49 CFR 
232.5.
    4. Effective March 25, 2014, railroads will perform at least one 
additional internal rail inspection than is required by 49 CFR 
213.237(c) each calendar year on main line routes it owns or has been 
assigned responsibility for maintaining under 49 CFR 213.5 over which 
Key Crude Oil Trains are operated. Railroads will also conduct at least 
two track geometry inspections each calendar year on main line routes 
it owns or is responsible for maintaining under 49 CFR 213.5 over which 
Key Crude Oil Trains are operated.
    5. By no later than July 1, 2014, railroads will commence 
installation and will complete such installations as soon as 
practicable, of wayside defective bearing detectors at least every 40 
miles along main line routes it owns or has been assigned 
responsibility or maintaining under 49 CFR 213.5 over which Key Crude 
Oil Trains are operated, unless track configuration or other safety 
considerations dictate otherwise.
    6. AAR and the railroads will create an inventory of emergency 
response resources along routes over which Key Crude Oil Trains operate 
for responding to the release of large amounts of petroleum crude oil 
in the event of an incident. This inventory will include locations for 
the staging of emergency response equipment and, where appropriate, 
contacts for the notification of communities. Upon completion of the 
inventory, the railroads will provide DOT with access to information 
regarding the inventory and will make relevant information from the 
inventory available to appropriate emergency responders upon request.
    7. Railroads will commit in the aggregate a total of approximately 
$5 million to develop and provide a hazardous material transportation 
training curriculum applicable to petroleum crude oil transport for 
emergency responders and to fund a portion of the cost of this training 
through the end of 2014. One part of the curriculum will be for local 
emergency responders in the field; and more comprehensive training will 
be conducted at the Transportation Technology Center, Inc., (TTCI) 
training facility in Pueblo, Colorado. AAR will work with emergency 
responders in developing, by July 1, 2014, the training program that 
meets the needs of emergency responders.
    8. Railroads will continue to work with communities through which 
Key Crude Oil Trains move to address on a location-specific basis 
concerns that the communities may raise regarding the transportation of 
petroleum crude oil through those communities and take such action as 
the railroads deem appropriate.
    The American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) 
offered the following:
    1. ASLRRA will recommend to its members that unit trains of crude 
oil (20 cars or more) operate at a top speed of no more than 25 mph on 
all routes.
    2. ASLRRA will work with its member railroads and the Class I 
railroads to develop a program of best practices to assure a seamless 
system of timely and effective emergency response to crude oil spills 
no matter where on the national rail system an incident may occur.
    3. ASLRRA will recommend that its member railroads sign master 
service agreements with qualified environmental cleanup providers to 
ensure prompt and effective remediation in all areas subjected to 
unintentional discharge of crude oil. In addition, ASLRRA will work 
with the AAR and Class I railroads to eliminate any gaps in 
coordination or response systems when both large and small railroads 
are involved.
    4. ASLRRA will support and encourage the development of new tank 
car standards including but not limited to adoption of the \9/16\ inch 
tank car wall that will meet the needs of all stakeholders and enhance 
the safety of the transportation of crude oil by rail.
    5. Contingent upon securing a six to twelve month pilot-project 
grant from the FRA, the ASLRRA plans to expedite the most significant 
project in its 100 year history to reduce the risks of accidents, 
incidents, and regulatory noncompliance in the small railroad industry. 
If grant funding is provided, ASLRRA will create the Short Line Safety 
Institute which will:
    a. Work jointly with the FRA to develop and implement a pilot 
safety inspection and evaluation project for short line railroads.
    b. Work with the FRA Office of Research and Development Human 
Factors Division (1) to create an assessment process to evaluate the 
current safety and compliance attainment levels on small railroads, (2) 
to contract and train expert qualified inspectors, and (3) to develop 
training, assessment and reporting document systems.
    c. Work with FRA to create benchmarks and objectives to measure the 
progress and effectiveness of the Short Line Safety Institute safety 
inspection programs.
    d. Begin with a focus on the transportation of crude oil by small 
railroads and thereafter expand to the transportation of all 
commodities for Class III railroads.
    The Railway Supply Institute Committee on Tank Cars (RSICTC), 
although not part of the Call to Action plan, committed to the 
following:
    In response to the Secretary's Call to Action, RSICTC states:

    Although RSICTC was not included in the January 16, 2014 
meeting, the issue of tank car safety cannot be resolved without 
input from the owners and manufacturers of the tank cars. The RSICTC 
members and other AAR task force stakeholders have met repeatedly to 
review this issue with only

[[Page 45035]]

limited forward progress. As key stakeholders, RSICTC members have 
reviewed the follow-up letter, and reached consensus on a set of 
guiding principles to respond to your request. On February 5, 2014, 
the RSICTC wrote AAR to provide a written copy of these principles 
in advance of the first meeting of the reconvened AAR Tank Car 
Committee Task Force T87.6 (`T87.6 Task Force').

    RSICTC continued:

    In order to provide a timely response to your January 22, 2014 
follow-up letter, we recommend the reconvened T87.6 Task Force focus 
on and adopt the following principles, for ultimate submission to 
the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 
(``PHMSA''), which represent the consensus of the tank car 
manufacturing and leasing industry:
    1. Newly ordered tank cars, ordered after a date certain agreed 
upon by PHMSA and the industry, to be used to transport crude oil or 
ethanol must have a jacket, full height head shield and thermal 
protection.
    2. Tank cars built to the CPC-1232 standard (both jacketed and 
non-jacketed) will be allowed to remain in unrestricted service for 
their full statutory life, with possible modification to those 
existing tank cars limited to pressure relief valves and bottom 
outlet valve handles, based on future regulatory requirements or 
industry standards.
    3. Legacy tank cars (non-CPC-1232 compliant) used for Class 3, 
PG III materials will be allowed to remain in unrestricted service 
for their full statutory life, with possible modification to those 
existing tank cars limited to pressure relief valves and bottom 
outlet valve handles, based on future regulatory requirements or 
industry standards.
    4. Until such a time when standards applicable to legacy tank 
cars are developed, non-CPC-1232 compliant tank cars may not be 
newly assigned into crude oil or ethanol service.
    5. Modification requirements for legacy tank cars used for Class 
3, PG I and II service (including crude oil and ethanol) need to be 
developed based on the nature of the risks associated with various 
products.
    6. Priority should be placed on modifying legacy tank cars used 
for crude oil and ethanol. Timelines for modifying legacy tank cars 
used for other Class 3, PG I and II service should be based on a 
risk assessment.
    7. It is possible that some types of crude oil may require 
packaging in a DOT tank car class other than a DOT Specification 111 
and RSI wishes to participate in that evaluation process.

    The voluntary actions taken by industry as a result of the Call to 
Action are necessary steps to improve safety. In this NPRM we are 
proposing to adopt and expand on the key voluntary actions taken with 
regard to speed restrictions, braking, and routing for HHFTs, in 
addition to, classification verification requirements.
    On February 25, 2014, DOT issued an Emergency Restriction/
Prohibition Order requiring those who offer crude oil for 
transportation by rail to ensure that the product is properly tested 
and classified in accordance with Federal safety regulations, which was 
superseded by a revised and amended Order on March 6, 2014, clarifying 
the requirement.\40\ The March 6th Amended Emergency Restriction/
Prohibition Order requires that all rail shipments of crude oil that is 
properly classed as a flammable liquid in Packing Group (PG) III 
material be treated as a PG I or II material, until further notice. The 
Amended Emergency Order also authorized PG III materials to be 
described as PG III for the purposes of hazard communication.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ See Docket No. DOT-OST-2014-0025. See also http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/PHMSA/DownloadableFiles/Amended_Emergency_Order_030614.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On May 7, 2014, DOT published another Emergency Restriction/
Prohibition Order requiring all railroads that operate trains 
containing one million gallons of Bakken crude oil to notify SERCs 
about the operation of these trains through their States.\41\ 
Specifically, this notification should identify each county, or a 
particular state or commonwealth's equivalent jurisdiction (e.g., 
Louisiana parishes, Alaska boroughs, Virginia independent cities), in 
the state through which the trains will operate. On the same day, FRA 
and PHMSA issued a safety advisory recommending that offerors and 
carriers of Bakken crude oil use tank car designs with the highest 
level of integrity available in their fleets.\42\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \41\ http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pv_obj_cache/pv_obj_id_D9E224C13963CAF0AE4F15A8B3C4465BAEAF0100/filename/Final_EO_on_Transport_of_Bakken_Crude_Oi_05_07_2014.pdf.
    \42\ http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pv_obj_cache/pv_obj_id_9084EF057B3D4E74A2DEB5CC86006951BE1D0200/filename/Final_FRA_PHMSA_Safety_Advisory_tank_cars_May_2014.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. NTSB Safety Recommendations

    As previously discussed, in addition to the efforts of PHMSA and 
FRA, the NTSB has taken a very active role in addressing the risks 
posed by the transportation of large quantities of flammable liquids by 
rail. On January 23, 2014 the NTSB issued to PHMSA Safety 
Recommendations R-14-4 through R-14-6. These recommendations are 
derived from the NTSB's participation in the Transportation Safety 
Board of Canada's (TSB) investigation of the July 6, 2013 Lac-
M[eacute]gantic derailment. In the letter, NTSB urges PHMSA and FRA to 
take action to address routing, oil spill response plans, and 
identification and classification of flammable liquids by rail. In 
these recommendations, the NTSB recognizes that rail shipments of 
flammable liquids have sharply increased in recent years as the United 
States experiences unprecedented growth in oil production. The letter 
is available for review in the public docket for this rulemaking.
    As noted below, NTSB has issued recommendation R-14-5, for PHMSA to 
revise spill response planning thresholds contained in Title 49 Code of 
Federal Regulations Part 130 to require comprehensive response plans to 
effectively provide for the carriers' ability to respond to worst-case 
discharges resulting from accidents involving unit trains or blocks of 
tank cars transporting oil and petroleum products. PHMSA is not 
addressing this recommendation through this NPRM. However, we are 
concurrently issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in PHMSA 
Docket Number PHMSA-2014-0105 to gather more information on this topic 
from railroads, first responders, state and local jurisdictions, and 
all other interested parties.
    Previously, on March 2, 2012, the NTSB issued Railroad Accident 
Report RAR-12-01, available for review in the public docket for this 
rulemaking. In that report, NTSB determined that one of the probable 
causes of the June 19, 2009 train accident in Cherry Valley, Illinois, 
in which several derailed cars released ethanol and caught fire, 
fatally injuring a passenger in a stopped automobile at the grade 
crossing where the derailment occurred and seriously injuring two other 
passengers in the automobile, was the washout of the track structure at 
the grade crossing and failure to notify the train crew of the known 
washout. NTSB also determined that inadequate design features of a DOT 
Specification 111 rail tank car made it susceptible to damage and 
catastrophic loss of hazardous material during the train accident and, 
thus, contributed to the severity of the incident. On March 2, 2012, 
the NTSB issued Safety Recommendations R-12-5 thru R-12-8, which 
recommended that PHMSA take action to enhance newly manufactured and 
existing tank cars used for the transportation for ethanol and crude 
oil in PG I and II. (Safety Recommendation R-12-8 was closed by the 
NTSB on September 20, 2012).\43\ In addition, NTSB reiterated Safety 
Recommendation R-07-4 and urged PHMSA to require that railroads 
immediately provide to emergency responders accurate, real-time

[[Page 45036]]

information regarding the identity and location of all hazardous 
materials on a train.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \43\ See: http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/staticfiles/PHMSA/DownloadableFiles/Files/NTSB%20Files/R-12-8-Acceptable-Response.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    These accidents demonstrate that major loss of life, property 
damage, and environmental consequences can occur when large volumes of 
crude oil or other flammable liquids are transported in a HHFT involved 
in an accident. Table 12 provides a summary of the NTSB Safety 
Recommendations and identifies the effect of this action on those 
recommendations:

                               Table 12--Rail-related NTSB Safety Recommendations
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          NTSB  recommendation                              Summary                     Addressed in this rule?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
R-07-4..................................  Recommends that PHMSA, with the assistance  No.
                                           of FRA, require that railroads
                                           immediately provide to emergency
                                           responders accurate, real-time
                                           information regarding the identity and
                                           location of all hazardous materials on a
                                           train.
R-12-5..................................  Recommends that PHMSA require all newly-    Yes.
                                           manufactured and existing general service
                                           tank cars authorized for transportation
                                           of denatured fuel ethanol and crude oil
                                           in PGs I and II have enhanced tank head
                                           and shell puncture resistance systems and
                                           top fittings protection that exceed
                                           existing design requirements for DOT
                                           Specification 111 tank cars.
R-12-6..................................  Recommends that PHMSA require all bottom    Yes.
                                           outlet valves used on newly-manufactured
                                           and existing non-pressure tank cars are
                                           designed to remain closed during
                                           accidents in which the valve and
                                           operating handle are subjected to impact
                                           forces.
R-12-7..................................  Recommends that PHMSA require all newly-    No.*
                                           manufactured and existing tank cars
                                           authorized for transportation of
                                           hazardous materials have center sill or
                                           draft sill attachment designs that
                                           conform to the revised AAR design
                                           requirements adopted as a result of
                                           Safety Recommendation R-12-9.
R-12-8..................................  Recommends that PHMSA inform pipeline       Closed.**
                                           operators about the circumstances of the
                                           accident and advise them of the need to
                                           inspect pipeline facilities after
                                           notification of accidents occurring in
                                           railroad rights-of-way.
R-14-1..................................  Recommends that FRA work with PHMSA to      Yes.
                                           expand hazardous materials route planning
                                           and selection requirements for railroads
                                           under the HMR to include key trains
                                           transporting flammable liquids as defined
                                           by the Association of American Railroads
                                           Circular No. OT-55-N and, where
                                           technically feasible, require rerouting
                                           to avoid transportation of such hazardous
                                           materials through populated and other
                                           sensitive areas.
R-14-2..................................  Recommends that FRA develop a program to    No.***
                                           audit response plans for rail carriers of
                                           petroleum products to ensure that
                                           adequate provisions are in place to
                                           respond to and remove a worst-case
                                           discharge to the maximum extent
                                           practicable and to mitigate or prevent a
                                           substantial threat of a worst-case
                                           discharge.
R-14-3..................................  Recommends that FRA audit shippers and      Yes.
                                           rail carriers of crude oil to ensure they
                                           are using appropriate hazardous materials
                                           shipping classifications, have developed
                                           transportation safety and security plans,
                                           and have made adequate provision for
                                           safety and security.
R-14-4..................................  Recommends that PHMSA work with FRA to      Yes.
                                           expand hazardous materials route planning
                                           and selection requirements for railroads
                                           under Title 49 Code of Federal
                                           Regulations 172.820 to include key trains
                                           transporting flammable liquids as defined
                                           by the AAR Circular No. OT-55-N and,
                                           where technically feasible, require
                                           rerouting to avoid transportation of such
                                           hazardous materials through populated and
                                           other sensitive areas.
R-14-5..................................  Recommends that PHMSA revise the spill      No.***
                                           response planning thresholds contained in
                                           Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part
                                           130 to require comprehensive response
                                           plans to effectively provide for the
                                           carriers' ability to respond to worst-
                                           case discharges resulting from accidents
                                           involving unit trains or blocks of tank
                                           cars transporting oil and petroleum
                                           products.
R-14-6..................................  Recommends that PHMSA require shippers to   Yes.
                                           sufficiently test and document the
                                           physical and chemical characteristics of
                                           hazardous materials to ensure the proper
                                           classification, packaging, and record-
                                           keeping of products offered in
                                           transportation.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Under R-12-9, NTSB recommends that AAR: Review the design requirements in the AAR Manual of Standards and
  Recommended Practices C-III, ``Specifications for Tank Cars for Attaching Center Sills or Draft Sills,'' and
  revise those requirements as needed to ensure that appropriate distances between the welds attaching the draft
  sill to the reinforcement pads and the welds attaching the reinforcement pads to the tank are maintained in
  all directions in accidents, including the longitudinal direction. These design requirements have not yet been
  finalized by the AAR.
** On July 31, 2012, PHMSA published in the Federal Register (77 FR 45417) an advisory bulletin to all pipeline
  operators alerting them to the circumstances of the Cherry Valley derailment and reminding them of the
  importance of assuring that pipeline facilities have not been damaged either during a railroad accident or
  other event occurring in the right-of-way. This recommendation was closed by NTSB on September 20, 2012. This
  action is accessible at the following URL: http://phmsa.dot.gov/pipeline/regs/ntsb/closed.
*** PHMSA in consultation with FRA is concurrently publishing an ANPRM (Docket Number PHMSA-2014-0105) that will
  address these recommendations.


[[Page 45037]]

IV. Comments on the ANPRM

    A. Commenter Key. As of June 2014, Table 13 provides a list of 
comments posted to the docket.

                         Table 13--Commenter Key
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
(017) Allen Maty.......................  (018) Emanuel Guerreiro.
(019) Brant Olson......................  (021) Eugene Matzan/Commercial
                                          Wheel System.
(022) City of Loves Park...............  (023) Senator Charles Schumer.
(024) Village Board of Iverness, IL....  (025) City of Wood Dale, IL.
(026) Barrington Township, IL..........  (027) Village of Mt. Prospect,
                                          IL.
(028) Carol Stream, IL.................  (029) Village of Schiller Park,
                                          IL.
(030) City of Plano, IL................  (031) City of Frankfort, IL.
(032) Village of Hainesville, IL.......  (033) City of Crest City
                                          Council, IL.
(034) Village of Vernon Hills,.........  (035) Village of Glendale
                                          Heights.
(036) Village of South Barrington, IL..  (037) Volpe National
                                          Transportation Systems Center
                                          (Volpe), Research and
                                          Innovative Technology
                                          Administration, DOT.
(038) Volpe National Transportation      (039) Village of Gilberts, IL.
 Systems Center (Volpe).
(040) Village of Wadsworth, IL.........  (041) City of Braidwood, IL.
(042) Bartlett Fire Protection           (043) Rolling Meadows, IL.
 District, IL.
(044) Compressed Gas Association (CGA):  (045) City of Warrenville, IL.
 P-1519.
(046) City of Highland Park, IL........  Village of Oswego, IL.
(048) Anonymous........................  (049) Trudy McDaniel.
(050) Village of Mokena, IL............  (052) Village of North Aurora,
                                          IL.
(053) Metro West Council of Government,  (054) Village of Elburn, IL.
 Aurora, IL.
(055) Village of Hampshire, IL.........  (056) Village of Wayne, IL.
(057) Village of Green Oaks, IL........  (058) Village of Western
                                          Springs, IL.
(059) Village of Hinckley, IL..........  (060) Village of Diamond, IL.
(061) Village of Lake Barrington, IL...  (062) Vermont League of Cities
                                          and Towns, Montpelier,
                                          Vermont.
(063) City of Prospect, IL.............  (064) Fred Millar.
(065) Megan Joyce......................  (066) Christopher Lish.
(067) Village of Kaneville, IL.........  (068) Village of North
                                          Barrington, IL.
(069) Village of Tower Lakes, IL.......  (070) Barrington Area Council
                                          of Governments (BACOG),
                                          Barrington, IL.
(072) Rail Users Network (RUN).........  (074) Village of Deer Park, IL.
(075) Robert Hodge.....................  (076) Skagit Audubon, Mount
                                          Vernon, WA.
(077) Sheet Metal, Air, Rail,            (078) Anonymous.
 Transportation Union (SMART).
(079) Growth Energy, Washington, DC....  (080) Village of Burlington,
                                          IL.
(081) City of St. Charles, IL..........  (082) Village of Hoffman
                                          Estates, IL.
(083) Village of Hawthorn Woods, IL....  (084) Village of Hanover Park,
                                          IL.
(085) Village of Maple Park, Kane and    (086) City of Carbondale, IL.
 Dekalb Counties, IL.
(087) Village of Campton Hills, IL.....  (089) CREDO Action (CREDO).
(090) Association of American Railroads  (091) James Jackson.
 (AAR) and the American Short Line and
 Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA).
(092) Eldon Jacobson...................  (093) The Regional Answer to
                                          Canadian National (TRAC).
(094) Eva Lee..........................  (095) Cuba Township, IL.
(096) Village of Chicago Ridge, IL.....  (098) Railway Supply Institute
                                          (RSI).
(099) Solvay USA (Solvay)..............  (100) U.S. Chemical Safety
                                          Board (USCSB).
(101) Sierra Club: 23,200 commenters...  (102) Mary Ruth Holder.
(103) Michael Bailey...................  (104) Phyllis Dolph.
(105) Nathan Luke......................  (106) Russell Pesko.
(107) Michael Reich....................  (108) David C. Breidenbach.
(109) The Fertilizer Institute (TFI)...  (110) Village of Barrington, IL
                                          and the TRAC Coalition.
(111) David C. Breidenbach.............  (112) Montana Department of
                                          Environmental Quality (MTDEQ).
(113) City of Lake Forest, IL..........  (114) Maine Municipal
                                          Association, Augusta, ME
                                          (MMA).
(115) City of Northlake, IL............  (116) Village of Minoa, NY.
(117) City of Coon Rapids, MN..........  (118) Village of Grayslake, IL.
(119) Eastman Chemical Company (ECC)...  (120) City of Fort Collins, CO.
(121) CREDO Action (CREDO; replaces      (122) Oil Change International
 089): 66,064 commenters.                 (OCI): 8,727 commenters.
(123) The Chlorine Institute (CI)......  (124) Renewable Fuels
                                          Association (RFA).
(125) Village of Berkeley, IL..........  (126) Watco Companies L.L.C.
                                          (Watco).
(127) The National Industrial            (128) Institute of Makers of
 Transportation League (NITL).            Explosives (IME).
(129) Hess Corporation (Hess)..........  (130) North American Freight
                                          Car Association (NAFCA).
(131) New Progressive Alliance (NPA)...  (132) The Greenbrier Companies,
                                          Inc. (Greenbrier).
(133) The Railway Supply Institute       (134) GLNX Corporation (GLNX).
 Committee on Tank Cars (RSICTC).
(135.1) Dow Chemical Company (Dow).....  (135.2) Dow Chemical Company
                                          and Union Pacific Railroad
                                          (DCCUPR).
(136) American Chemistry Council (ACC).  (137) Dangerous Goods Advisory
                                          Council (DGAC).
(138) Forest Ethics: 1,489 commenters..  (139) American Petroleum
                                          Institute (API).
(140) National Transportation Safety     (141) Petroleum Association of
 Board (NTSB).                            Wyoming (PAW).
(142) Anonymous........................  (143) Rein Attemann.
(144) Natural Resources Defense Council  (145) Lloyd Burton, PHD.
 (NRDC).

[[Page 45038]]

 
(146) City of Madison, WI..............  (147) City of Northlake, IL.
(148) Shell Chemical LP (Shell)........  (149) The Accurate Tank Advisor
                                          (ATA).
(150) Senator Charles E. Schumer.......  (151) Call to Action Meeting
                                          Documentation.
(152) City of Elmhurst, IL.............  (153) The Sierra Club: 52,615
                                          commenters.
(154) Leif Jorgensen...................  (155) U.S. DOT/PHMSA Meeting
                                          Record.
(156) Railway Supply Institute Comments  (157) BNSF Meeting Record.
(158) Department of Law City of Chicago  (159) City of Chicago Comments.
(160) Irv Balto Comments...............  (161) Irv Balto Comments.
(162) EO 12866 Meeting w/API 05.19.14..  (163) Meeting w/American
                                          Chemistry Council 05.12.14.
(164) Meeting w/Growth Energy and RFA    (165) Meeting w/North Dakota
 05.12.14.                                Petroleum Council 05.12.14.
(166) Meeting w/Quantum Energy 05.21.14  (176) Meeting w/Statoil
                                          05.12.14.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Summary of Comments Relevant to the Proposed Amendments in this NPRM

    In response to the September 6, 2013 ANPRM, PHMSA received 113 
comments representing over 152,000 signatories related to the eight 
petitions for rulemaking and four NTSB recommendations referenced in 
the ANPRM and applicable to the transportation of hazardous materials 
in commerce. PHMSA solicited public comment on whether the potential 
amendments would enhance safety and clarify the HMR with regard to rail 
transport. Specifically, these potential amendments, if adopted, would 
do the following: (1) Relax regulatory requirements to afford FRA 
greater discretion to authorize the movement of non-conforming tank 
cars; (2) impose additional requirements that would correct an unsafe 
condition associated with pressure relief valves (PRV) on rail cars 
transporting carbon dioxide, refrigerated liquid; (3) relax regulatory 
requirements applicable to the repair and maintenance of DOT 
Specification 110, DOT Specification 106, and ICC 27 tank car tanks 
(ton tanks); (4) relax regulatory requirement for the removal of 
rupture discs for inspection if the removal process would damage, 
change, or alter the intended operation of the device; and (5) impose 
additional requirements that would enhance the standards for DOT 
Specification 111 tank cars used to transport PG I and II hazardous 
materials. This NPRM addresses the four petitions for rulemaking that 
are related to the DOT Specification 111 tank car (P-1577, P-1587, P-
1595, and P-1612). The NTSB recommendations directly relate to the 
enhancement of DOT Specification 111 tank cars.
    We received comment submissions from local communities, cities, and 
towns; rail carriers; offerors; suppliers of equipment; tank car 
manufacturers; environmental groups; NTSB; and members of the U.S. 
Congress. The comments provide many potential solutions to the risks 
associated with HHFTs. A common theme among the commenters is that they 
support changes that will prevent another catastrophic train accident. 
Table 14 provides a brief summary based on key concerns of groups of 
commenters:

                       Table 14--General Overview of Comments Received on the HM-251 ANPRM
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Group of  commenters                Number of  comments                   Comment summary
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Local communities, cities, towns........  61 municipal and state       Provided overwhelming support for:
                                           government entities.         Higher integrity tank car
                                                                        construction standards;
                                                                        Revised operational procedures;
                                                                        and
                                                                        Standards applicable to newly
                                                                        constructed and existing DOT 111 tank
                                                                        cars transporting any Packing Group I
                                                                        and II materials.
Concerned public........................  223 individual commenters..  Provided overwhelming support for:
                                                                        Petition P-1587 (Barrington,
                                                                        IL); and
                                                                        NTSB Safety Recommendations that
                                                                        requires higher integrity construction
                                                                        and operational standards for new and
                                                                        existing DOT-111 tank cars.
Rail carriers...........................  AAR, American Short Line     In their comments AAR and ASLRRA proposed
                                           and Regional Railroad        additional enhancements to its original
                                           Association, GNLX            petition for rulemaking (P-1577) such
                                           Corporation.                 as:
                                                                        Mandating the jacketed version
                                                                        of the specifications discussed in the
                                                                        petition for flammable liquids;
                                                                        For flammable liquids, requiring
                                                                        high-flow capacity pressure relief
                                                                        devices;
                                                                        Requiring thermal blankets or
                                                                        thermal coatings when constructing or
                                                                        modifying tank cars used to transport
                                                                        all packing group I and II materials and
                                                                        flammable liquids in packing group III;
                                                                        and
                                                                        The employment of designs that
                                                                        ensure bottom outlet valves will remain
                                                                        closed when the operating handles are
                                                                        subject to impact forces.
Offerors................................  Multiple...................  Commenters solicit PHMSA and FRA to:
                                                                        Address accident root causes and
                                                                        to keep tank cars on the track;
                                                                        Conduct suggested initiatives,
                                                                        including improvements in inspection and
                                                                        track maintenance protocols;
                                                                        Utilize available technology to
                                                                        assist in reducing human error (e.g.,
                                                                        Positive Train Control); and
                                                                        Improve communication systems
                                                                        for rail operations.

[[Page 45039]]

 
Tank Car manufacturers..................  Watco, Railway Supply        The consensus among manufacturers of tank
                                           Institute, SMART,            cars is as follows:
                                           Greenbrier Companies,        The increase of tank shell
                                           North American Freight Car   thickness and application of tank head
                                           Association.                 protection will substantially improve
                                                                        the puncture resistance of DOT-111 tank
                                                                        cars and provide better protection in
                                                                        the event of a derailment;
                                                                        Improved puncture resistance
                                                                        will result in less product release and,
                                                                        thus, smaller fires in the event of a
                                                                        train accident;
                                                                        The P-1577 (Petition) tank car's
                                                                        enhancements include a pressure relief
                                                                        device with a higher exit flow and lower
                                                                        trigger point. This change to the
                                                                        pressure relief device will improve the
                                                                        potential for this equipment to operate
                                                                        as intended in a fire situation; and
                                                                        Enhancement is consistent with
                                                                        the T87.6 Task Force's recommendation.
                                                                        If any fire exposure should occur, the
                                                                        enhanced pressure relief system will
                                                                        serve to reduce the probability of a
                                                                        high-energy release event.
                                                                        Tank car requirements for new
                                                                        cars should be more extensive than the
                                                                        retrofit requirements for existing cars.
Environmental groups....................  Over 152,000 signatories...  Support of NTSB Safety Recommendations
                                                                        by:
                                                                        Expressing concern over the
                                                                        responsibility of local governments
                                                                        having to provide emergency response
                                                                        units to manage the impact of
                                                                        derailments in communities across the
                                                                        country; and
                                                                        Expressing concern over the
                                                                        significant costs to society associated
                                                                        with clean-up and environmental
                                                                        remediation.
NTSB....................................  ...........................  Urges PHMSA to:
                                                                        Take immediate action to require
                                                                        a safer package for transporting
                                                                        flammable hazardous materials by rail;
                                                                        and
                                                                        Take regulatory action that
                                                                        applies to new construction and the
                                                                        existing tank car fleet
                                                                        With FRA, take action to address
                                                                        routing, oil spill response plans, and
                                                                        identification and classification of
                                                                        flammable liquids by rail.
Congressional interest..................  13 U.S. House and Senate     Urges PHMSA to:
                                           members.                     Take immediate action to require
                                                                        a safer package for transporting
                                                                        flammable hazardous materials by rail.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The most frequent comments received in response to the ANPRM 
follow. These issues included operational controls that could be 
implemented to address rail safety issues and how the existing fleet of 
cars would be affected in the event of the adoption of a new tank car 
standard (e.g., retrofitting). These specific issues and some of the 
comments received are summarized below.
    Operational issues--RSICTC commented that, ``[t]he overall safety 
of hazardous material transportation by rail cannot be achieved by 
placing the sole burden of that goal on the designs of tank cars. 
Therefore while the industry supports safety-enhancing improvements to 
the designs of tank cars, it also supports operational enhancements 
that will address these root causes.'' Similarly, equipment suppliers 
encouraged FRA to publish its final rule on rail integrity. Further, 
the API states in its comments that, ``broken rails or welds caused 
more major derailments than any other factor. According to task force 
87.6, broken rails or welds resulted in approximately 670 derailments 
between 2001 and 2010.'' Further, it states, ``RSICTC also supports the 
work of the task force to examine additional operational enhancements 
such as the alternative brake signal propagations systems, speed 
restrictions for ``Key Trains''--unit trains containing 20 or more 
loaded tank cars of PG I and II hazardous materials, enhanced track 
inspection programs and improvements to the emergency response 
system.''
    Retrofits--While the P-1577 tank car enhancements will 
significantly improve safety for newly manufactured tank cars, RSICTC 
strongly urges PHMSA to promulgate a separate rulemaking for existing 
tank cars that is uniquely tailored to the needs of the existing DOT-
111 tank car fleet. Further, it states, ``Should modifications be made 
to the existing jacketed DOT-111s, we again urge PHMSA to allow these 
modified cars to remain in active service for the duration of their 
regulatory life.'' RSICTC also submits that PHMSA adopt a ten-year 
program allowing compliance to be achieved in phases through 
modification, re-purposing or retirement of unmodified tank cars in 
Class 3, PG I and II flammable liquid service. Tank car modifications 
supported by RSICTC include adding head shields, protecting top and 
bottom fittings and adding pressure release valves or enhancing 
existing pressure release valves. Greenbrier, a tank car manufacturer, 
commented that, ``the most vital of these modifications is addition of 
a trapezoidal or conforming half-height head shield to prevent 
penetration of tank cars by loose rails. Together with the top and 
bottom fittings protections and enhanced release valves, the 
improvements can significantly limit the likelihood of breaching the 
tank car.'' Further, Greenbrier is of the opinion that the ten-year 
timeline suggested by RSICTC is excessive and unmodified tank cars 
could and should be removed from hazardous materials service much 
sooner. API and other commenters state in their comments that they are 
strongly opposed to mandating any retrofits beyond the higher-flow 
pressure relief device recommended by the T87.6 Task Force for thermal 
protection due to the lack of economic and logistical feasibility.

V. Discussion of Comments and Section-by-Section Review

    The vast majority of commenters request prompt action by PHMSA to 
address the risk associated with HHFTs. PHMSA agrees that in light of 
the recent accidents involving HHFTs prompt action must be taken to 
address these trains. Therefore, we limit our

[[Page 45040]]

discussion of the comments received in response to the ANPRM to those 
issues related to HHFTs. The remaining comments to the ANPRM and our 
August 27-28, 2013 public meeting will be addressed in a future 
rulemaking. Comments are available in the public docket for this NPRM, 
viewable at http://www.regulations.gov or DOT's Docket Operations 
Office (see ADDRESSES section above).

A. High-Hazard Flammable Train

    In the ANPRM we asked several questions regarding AAR Circular No. 
OT-55-N. Specifically, we asked if it adequately addressed the concerns 
of the T87.6 Task Force, especially regarding speed restrictions. We 
also asked if we should incorporate the ``key train'' requirements 
contained in AAR Circular No. OT-55-N into the HMR, or if it should be 
expanded to include trains with fewer than 20 cars.
    Several commenters indicate that additional operational 
requirements should be based upon the definition for a ``key train'' as 
provided by AAR Circular No. OT-55-N. In addition, NTSB Recommendation 
R-14-4 states,

    Work with the Federal Railroad Administration to expand 
hazardous materials route planning and selection requirements for 
railroads under Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations 172.820 to 
include key trains transporting flammable liquids as defined by the 
Association of American Railroads Circular No. OT-55-N and, where 
technically feasible, require rerouting to avoid transportation of 
such hazardous materials through populated and other sensitive 
areas.

    Based on the Appendix A to Emergency Order No. 28 and the revised 
definition of a ``key train'' under AAR Circular No. OT-55-N, PHMSA is 
proposing to add a definition of ``high-hazard flammable train'' to 
Sec.  171.8. Under the proposed definition, the term would mean a 
single train containing 20 or more tank carloads of Class 3 (flammable 
liquid) material.
    Section 173.120 of the HMR defines a flammable liquid as a liquid 
having a flash point of not more than 60 [deg]C (140[emsp14][deg]F), or 
any material in a liquid phase with a flash point at or above 37.8 
[deg]C (100[emsp14][deg]F) that is intentionally heated and offered for 
transportation or transported at or above its flash point in a bulk 
packaging, with certain exceptions. For transportation purposes, 
examples of commodities that typically meet this definition are 
acetone, crude oil, ethanol gasoline, and ethyl methyl ketone. A Class 
3 (flammable liquid) material is further assigned to Packing Group I, 
II, or III, based on its degree of danger, that is, great, medium, or 
minor, respectively.
    Because crude oil is a mined liquid, its flash point and initial 
boiling point are variable and, as such, can be assigned to Packing 
Groups I, II, or III. Because ethanol is not a mined liquid, its 
initial boiling point and flash point are known (78 [deg]C and 9 [deg]C 
respectively). Thus, ethanol is assigned to Packing Group II. That 
said, our analysis finds that only crude oil and ethanol shipments 
would be affected by the limitations of this rule as they are the only 
known Class 3 (flammable liquid) materials transported in trains 
consisting of 20 cars or more.
    While both the Appendix A to Emergency Order No. 28 and the revised 
definition of a ``key train'' under AAR Circular No. OT-55-N include 
Division 2.1 (flammable gas) material and combustible liquids, PHMSA is 
not proposing to include them in the definition of ``high-hazard 
flammable train'' in this NPRM. By doing so, the existing fleet of DOT 
Specification 111 tank cars can be repurposed and continue to be used 
for flammable liquids when not being transported in a HHFT and 
combustible liquids which pose a lower risk than other flammable 
liquids. PHMSA and FRA seek comment on the definition of a ``high-
hazard flammable train'', PHMSA and FRA seek public comment on the 
following discussions and questions. When commenting, please reference 
the specific portion of the proposal, explain the reason for any 
recommended change, and include the source, methodology, and key 
assumptions of any supporting evidence.
    1. PHMSA expects that the definition of HHFT would change the 
operating practices and tank car packaging primarily for trains that 
carry crude oil and ethanol. To what extent would definition of HHFT 
affect the operating practices and tank car packaging trains carrying 
other Class 3 flammable liquids?
    2. Within the definition of HHFT, to what extent would adding or 
removing hazardous materials or packing groups within a hazardous 
material class affect the benefits and costs of this rule? In 
particular, what are the benefits and costs of including Division 2.1 
(flammable gas) material and combustible liquids within the definition 
of HHFT?[bond]
    3. To what extent do the covered hazardous materials, including 
crude oil and ethanol, have differing risks when they are in HHFTs?
    As described in the Overview section of this preamble, above, we 
believe that most, if not all, of the rail community transporting oil, 
including crude oil transported as a hazardous material, is subject to 
the basic response plan requirement of 49 CFR 130.31(a), based on the 
understanding that most, if not all, rail tank cars being used to 
transport crude oil have a capacity greater than 3,500 gallons. 
However, a comprehensive response plan for shipment of oil is only 
required when the oil is in a quantity greater than 42,000 gallons per 
package. Accordingly, the number of railroads required to have a 
comprehensive response plan is much less, or possibly non-existent, 
because a very limited number of rail tank cars in use would be able to 
transport a volume of 42,000 gallons in a single package.\44\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \44\ The 2014 AAR's Universal Machine Language Equipment 
Register (UMLER) numbers showed 5 tank cars listed with a capacity 
equal to or greater than 42,000 gallons, and none of these cars were 
being used to transport oil or petroleum products.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on this difference in plans and the recent occurrence of 
high-profile accidents involving crude oil, the NTSB and TSB have 
recommended in Safety Recommendation R-14-5 that the Department and 
PHMSA reconsider the threshold quantity for requiring the development 
of a comprehensive response plan for the shipment of oil.
    While PHMSA will not be specifically addressing Oil Spill Response 
Plans in this rulemaking, we will be addressing this topic in this 
advance notice of proposed rulemaking under docket number PHMSA-2014-
0105 (RIN 2137-AF08). In this ANPRM we will be seeking comment on the 
Oil Spill Prevention and Response Plans as they relate to the rail 
transport of large quantities of oil. Specifically, we seek comment on 
threshold quantity for a comprehensive plan to Sec.  130.31 and other 
issues related to the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Plans as they 
relate to rail transport.

B. Notification to State Emergency Response Commissions of Petroleum 
Crude Oil Train Transportation

    As previously discussed, on May 7, 2014, DOT issued an Emergency 
Restriction/Prohibition Order in Docket No. DOT-OST-2014-0067 
(Order).\45\ That Order required each railroad transporting 1,000,000 
gallons or more of Bakken crude oil in a single train in commerce 
within the U.S. provide certain information in writing to the SERC for 
each state in which it operates such a train. The notifications made 
under the Order must include estimated frequencies of affected trains 
transporting Bakken crude oil through

[[Page 45041]]

each county in the state, the routes over which it is transported, a 
description of the petroleum crude oil and applicable emergency 
response information, and contact information for at least one 
responsible party at the host railroads. In addition, the Emergency 
Order requires that railroads provide copies of notifications made to 
each SERC to FRA upon request and, make updated notifications when 
Bakken crude oil traffic materially changes within a particular county 
or state (a change of 25 percent or greater from the estimate conveyed 
to a state in the current notification). DOT issued the Order under the 
Secretary's authority to abate imminent hazards at 49 U.S.C. 5121(d). 
The Order was issued in response to the crude oil railroad accidents 
previously described, and is in effect until DOT rescinds the Order. 
This proposal, if adopted in a final rule in this rulemaking 
proceeding, would supplant the requirements in the Order.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ http://www.dot.gov/briefing-room/emergency-order.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In this NPRM, PHMSA is proposing to codify and clarify the 
requirements of the Order in the HMR, and is requesting public comment 
on the various facets of this proposal. As previously discussed, the 
amount of crude oil shipments via railroad tank car is increasing 
rapidly. The transportation of any hazardous materials is inherently 
dangerous, and transporting crude oil can be dangerous if the crude oil 
is released into the environment because of its flammability. This risk 
of ignition is compounded in the context of rail transportation of 
crude oil. It is commonly shipped in HHFTs that may consist of over 100 
loaded tank cars, and there appear to be uniquely hazardous 
characteristics of crude oil, as previously discussed in this preamble. 
With the rising demand for rail carriage of crude oil throughout the 
U.S., the risk of rail accidents and incidents increases with the 
increase in the volume and the length of haul of the crude oil shipped. 
Based on a waybill sample, the total distance field was used to 
estimate the average length of haul crude oil. PHMSA found that crude 
oil travels over 1,000 miles on the rail network. As also previously 
discussed, there have been several significant train accidents in the 
U.S. and Canada over the last year resulting in deaths, injuries, 
property and environmental damage that involved crude oil shipments. 
These accidents have demonstrated the need for action in the form of 
additional communication between railroads and emergency responders to 
ensure that the emergency responders are aware of train movements 
carrying large quantities of crude oil through their communities.
    For purposes of this NPRM, PHMSA is proposing regulatory text that 
would address the same trains as affected by the Emergency Order (i.e., 
trains transporting 1,000,000 gallons or more of Bakken crude oil). 
Considering the typical 30,000-gallon capacity railroad tank car used 
for the transport of crude oil, a 1,000,000-gallon threshold for a unit 
train would require notification to SERC's or other appropriate state 
delegated entities for unit trains composed of approximately 35 cars of 
crude oil.\46\ For purposes of the Emergency Order, DOT assumed this 
was a reasonable threshold when considering that the major incidents 
described above all involved trains consisting of more than 70 railroad 
tank cars carrying petroleum crude oil, or well above the Order's 
threshold of 1,000,000 gallons or more of petroleum crude oil being 
transported in a single train. In setting this threshold quantity of 
1,000,000 gallons in the Order, DOT also relied on a Federal Water 
Pollution Control Act mandate for regulations requiring a comprehensive 
spill response plan to be prepared by an owner or operator of an 
onshore facility.\47\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ This approximation assumes that the tank cars would not be 
entirely filled to capacity.
    \47\ See 40 CFR 112.20. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, 
as amended by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, directs the President, 
at section 311(j)(1)(C) (33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(1)(C)) and section 
311(j)(5) (33 U.S.C. 1321(j)(5)), respectively, to issue regulations 
``establishing procedures, methods, and equipment and other 
requirements for equipment to prevent discharges of oil and 
hazardous substances from vessels and from onshore facilities and 
offshore facilities, and to contain such discharges.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the Order, DOT determined that SERCs were the most appropriate 
point of contact to convey written notifications regarding the 
transportation of trains transporting large quantities of Bakken crude 
oil. Each state is required to have a SERC under the Emergency Planning 
and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA). 42 U.S.C. 11001(a). 
The EPCRA is intended to help local entities plan for emergencies 
involving hazardous substances.\48\ Generally, SERCs are responsible 
for supervising and coordinating with the local emergency planning 
committees (LEPC) in states, and are best situated to convey 
information regarding hazardous materials shipments to LEPCs and state 
and local emergency response agencies.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ http://www2.epa.gov/epcra.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After issuance of the Order, DOT received questions from railroads 
regarding whether Fusion Centers could be utilized to make the 
notifications required by the Emergency Order. Railroads share 
information with Fusion Centers under existing Sec.  172.820 of the 
HMR, PHMSA's regulation governing additional planning requirements for 
transportation by rail of certain hazardous materials. DOT also 
received inquiries regarding the Order's implications for Tribal 
Emergency Response Commissions (TERCs). TERCs have the same 
responsibilities as SERCs, with the Chief Executive Office of the Tribe 
appointing the TERC.\49\ In response, DOT issued a Frequently Asked 
Questions (FAQs) guidance document to address these inquiries.\50\ In 
that FAQs document, DOT explained that if a State agrees that it would 
be advantageous for the information required by this Emergency Order to 
be shared with a Fusion Center or other State agency involved with 
emergency response planning and/or preparedness, as opposed to the 
SERC, a railroad may share the required information with that agency 
instead of the SERC. DOT also explained that railroads were not 
required to make notification under the Order to TERCs, but, rather, 
that DOT would be reaching out to Tribal leaders to inform them that 
TERCs could coordinate with the appropriate SERC in a state for access 
to data supplied under the Emergency Order.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \49\ http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2013-08/documents/epcra_fact_sheet.pdf.
    \50\ http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/Details/L05237.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After issuance of the Order, railroads were concerned that routing 
and traffic information required to be provided to SERCs regarding 
affected crude oil would be made public under individual states' open 
records laws. DOT has since engaged in discussions with railroads and 
states to address this concern. As explained in the FAQs document, DOT 
prefers that this information be kept confidential, and acknowledged 
that railroads may have an appropriate claim that this information 
constitutes confidential business information, but that such claims may 
differ by state depending on each state's applicable laws. DOT 
encouraged the railroads to work with states to find the most 
appropriate means for sharing this information (including Fusion 
Centers or other mechanisms that may have established confidentiality 
protocols). However, the EO and DOT's subsequent guidance did not 
require that states sign confidentiality agreements to receive this 
information, and DOT did not designate the information as Sensitive 
Security Information (SSI) under the procedures governing such at 49 
CFR Part 15. PHMSA understands that despite confidentiality concerns, 
railroads are complying with the

[[Page 45042]]

requirements of the Order and have provided the required information to 
States.
    With regard to the identification of Bakken crude oil versus crude 
oil extracted from other geographic locations, DOT acknowledges that 
the HMR's current shipping paper requirements do not distinguish Bakken 
crude oil from crude oil sourced in other locations. This may present 
compliance and enforcement difficulties, particularly with regard to 
subsequent railroads transporting petroleum crude after interchange(s) 
with an originating or subsequent carrier. DOT explained in the FAQs 
document that railroads and offerors should work together to develop a 
means for identifying Bakken crude oil prior to transport, such as a 
Standard Transportation Commodity Code number, that identifies the 
crude oil by its geographic source. DOT also stated that for purposes 
of compliance with the Emergency Order, crude oil tendered to railroads 
for transportation from any facility directly located within the 
Williston Basin (North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana in the United 
States, or Saskatchewan or Manitoba in Canada) is Bakken crude oil. 
PHMSA notes it may be possible in any final rule action that this 
proposed new Sec.  174.310 could be expanded to include threshold 
quantities of all petroleum crude oils or all HHFTs (versus only trains 
transporting threshold quantities of Bakken crude oil).
    PHMSA therefore seeks public comment on the following discussions 
and questions. When commenting, please reference the specific portion 
of the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and 
include the source, methodology, and key assumptions of any supporting 
evidence.
    1. Whether codifying the requirements of the Order in the HMR is 
the best approach for the notification requirements, and whether 
particular public safety improvements could be achieved by requiring 
the notifications be made by railroads directly to emergency 
responders, or to emergency responders as well as SERCs or other 
appropriate state delegated entities.
    2. Whether the 1,000,000-gallon threshold is appropriate, or 
whether another threshold such as the 20-car HHFT threshold utilized in 
this NPRM's other proposals is more appropriate. If you believe that a 
threshold other than 1,000,000 gallons is appropriate, please provide 
any information on benefits or costs of the change, including for small 
railroads.
    3. Comments regarding parallel notification requirements for any 
affected TERCs.
    4. Comments regarding the other topics addressed in the FAQ's 
document. In particular, PHMSA seeks comments on the confidential 
treatment of data contained in the notifications to SERCs, and the 
adoption of a means for identifying Bakken crude oil prior to rail 
transportation.
    5. Whether PHMSA should place restrictions in the HMR on the 
disclosure of the notification information provided to SERCs or to 
another state or local government entity.
    6. Whether such information should be deemed SSI, and the reasons 
indicating why such a determination is appropriate, considering safety, 
security, and the public's interest in information.
    7. What burden reduction would result from not having to 
distinguish the source of the crude oil? What increase in burden would 
result from the expanded applicability?

C. Rail Routing

    We did not solicit comments on routing requirements for HHFTs in 
the September 6, 2013 ANPRM. However, many government agencies and 
citizens alike expressed concerns regarding the risks posed by such 
rail traffic through their communities. Further, the issue was raised 
during the RSAC hazardous materials working group meetings and the 
Secretary's Call to Action. As a result of those efforts, the industry 
has taken steps to extend the routing requirements in Sec.  172.820 of 
the HMR to certain HHFTs transporting crude oil. AAR indicates that 
railroads will focus on the risks related to population density along 
routes by reducing train speed. Based on AAR's response to the Call to 
Action, railroads will operate trains at 40 mph by July 1, 2014, for 
any HHFT with at least one non-CPC 1232 DOT Specification 111 tank car 
loaded with crude oil or one non-DOT specification tank car loaded with 
crude oil while that train travels within the limits of any high-threat 
urban area as defined by 49 CFR 1580.3.
    We note that under AAR Circular No. OT-55-N, any train that meets 
the ``key train'' definition is subject to a 50-mph speed restriction. 
Further, any route defined by a railroad as a key route shall meet 
certain standards described in OT-55-N. Wayside defective wheel bearing 
detectors shall be placed at a maximum of 40 miles apart, or an 
equivalent level of protection may be installed based on improvements 
in technology. Main track on key routes shall be inspected by rail 
defect detection and track geometry inspection cars or by any 
equivalent level of inspection at least twice each year. Sidings on key 
routes shall be inspected at least once a year, and main track and 
sidings shall have periodic track inspections to identify cracks or 
breaks in joint bars. Further, any track used for meeting and passing 
key trains shall be FRA Class 2 track or higher. If a meet or pass must 
occur on less than Class 2 track due to an emergency, one of the trains 
shall be stopped before the other train passes. PHMSA and FRA request 
comments on the requirements of AAR Circular No. OT-55-N specifically 
in regard to track inspection. These comments may be considered for 
future regulatory action.
    This NPRM proposes to modify Sec.  172.820 to apply to any HHFT, as 
PHMSA proposes to define this term in Sec.  171.8 (See discussion in 
HHFT section.). The routing requirements discussed in this NPRM reflect 
the practices recommended by the NTSB in recommendation R-14-4, and are 
in widespread use across the rail industry for security-sensitive 
hazardous materials (such as chlorine and anhydrous ammonia). As a 
result, rail carriers must assess available routes using, at a minimum, 
the 27 factors listed in Appendix D to Part 172 of the HMR to determine 
the safest, most secure routes for security-sensitive hazardous 
materials. See the Section (D) ``Overview of Current Regulations 
Relevant to this Proposal'' of this preamble for more information on 
routing.
    PHMSA seeks public comment on the following discussions and 
questions. When commenting, please reference the specific portion of 
the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and 
include the source, methodology, and key assumptions of any supporting 
evidence.
    1. To what extent would the routing requirements change the 
operational practices for small railroads, which PHMSA expects to have 
limited routing options? What are the benefits and costs of applying 
these requirements to small railroads?
    2. How has the voluntary compliance with the routing requirements 
in response to the Call to Action changed the operational practices for 
crude oil shipments?

D. Classification and Characterization of Mined Liquids and Gases

    As previously discussed, the proper classification and 
characterization of a hazardous material is critical under the HMR, as 
it dictates which additional requirements apply, such as the proper

[[Page 45043]]

operational controls and proper packaging selection.
    Under the HMR, it is critical that the offeror of a material ensure 
that a hazardous material has been classified and characterized 
correctly. The classification of a hazardous material triggers the 
corresponding packaging and hazard communication. Under Sec.  173.22 of 
the HMR, it is the offeror's responsibility to properly ``class and 
describe the hazardous material in accordance with parts 172 and 173 of 
this subchapter.'' When a single material meets more than one hazard 
class the shipping name must be selected based on the hazard precedence 
table in Sec.  173.2a. Once an offeror has determined the hazard class 
of the material, the offeror must select the most appropriate proper 
shipping name from the HMT.
    In the case of crude oil, relevant properties to properly classify 
a flammable liquid include: flash point, and boiling point (See section 
173.120). The HMR do not specifically provide requirements for 
characterization tests however; relevant properties that may affect the 
characterization of crude oil include corrosivity, vapor pressure, 
specific gravity at loading and reference temperatures, and the 
presence and concentration of specific compounds such as sulfur. 
Characterization of certain properties enables an offeror to select the 
most appropriate shipping name, and identify key packaging 
considerations. Based on the shipping name the HMT provides the list of 
packagings authorized for use by the HMR. As indicated in Sec.  
173.24(e), even though certain packagings are authorized, it is the 
responsibility of the offeror to ensure that such packagings are 
compatible with their lading. Such information and determination of the 
authorized packaging also ensure that the appropriate outage is 
maintained in accordance with Sec.  173.24(a).
    In the September 6, 2013 ANPRM, we did not request comments on the 
classification of crude oil. Nonetheless, one commenter, David C. 
Breidenbach, provided several comments regarding the volatility of 
``gassy'' crude oil. Mr. Breidenbach's comments suggested the need to 
conduct pre-movement sampling and safety certification, require 
pressurized DOT Specification 112 tank cars for certain PG I crude oil, 
and ensure that field operators adjust well head separators to remove 
gas and develop gas processing infrastructure.
    Classification and characterization were raised during an RSAC 
hazardous materials working group meeting, in the Secretary's Call to 
Action, under Operation Classification, in the agencies' Joint Safety 
Advisories, and in the amended and restated March 6, 2014 DOT Emergency 
Order. PHMSA's January 2, 2014 Safety Alert warns of crude oil 
variability and emphasizes proper and sufficient testing to ensure 
accurate characterization and classification. The Safety Alert 
expresses PHMSA's concern that unprocessed crude oil may affect the 
integrity of packaging or present additional hazards related to 
corrosivity, sulfur content, and dissolved gas content. Proper 
classification of crude oil has been a major focus of the PHMSA and FRA 
initiative referred to as Operation Classification and the Secretary's 
Call to Action. Further, the Department's February 25, 2014 Emergency 
Order, as revised on March 6, 2014, requires those who offer crude oil 
for transportation by rail to ensure that the product is properly 
tested and classified in accordance with Federal safety regulations. As 
a result of comments, concerns, and government and industry emphasis on 
proper classification, in this NPRM, PHMSA proposes changes to the HMR 
that clarify and enhance the current classification requirements for 
mined gases and liquids.
    The HMR require both the proper classification of hazardous 
materials and the selection and use of proper packaging. Packaging 
groups are designed to assign a degree of danger presented within a 
particular hazard class. Packing Group I poses the highest danger 
(``great danger'') and Packing Group III the lowest (``minor danger''). 
PHMSA is proposing to revise the bulk packaging sections Sec. Sec.  
173.241, 173.242, and 173.243 to provide the timeline for continued use 
of existing DOT Specification 111 tank cars in HHFT service in 
accordance with the following table:

 Table 15--Timeline for Continued Use of DOT Specification 111 Tank Cars
                             in HHFT Service
------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Packing group                 DOT 111 not authorized after
------------------------------------------------------------------------
I......................................  October 1, 2017.
II.....................................  October 1, 2018.
III....................................  October 1, 2020.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on the RSI's presentation to the NTSB on tank car production 
capacity, it is anticipated that 33,800 tank cars could be manufactured 
per year. In addition, PHMSA assumes that the current fleet size in 
HHFT service is 72,000. PHMSA used this data to provide a phase out 
period for DOT Specification 111 tank cars in certain HHFT service that 
would ensure that sufficient time was provided to avoid a fleet 
shortage in HHFT service. PHMSA requests comments on the proposed 
timelines for discontinuing use of DOT Specification 111 tank cars in 
HHFT service.
    In Recommendation R-14-6 the NTSB recognized the importance of 
sufficient testing and documentation of the physical and chemical 
characteristics of hazardous materials to ensure the proper 
classification, packaging, and record-keeping of products offered in 
transportation. We agree with NTSB. Classification decisions are 
essential for the selection of proper equipment (tank, service 
equipment, interior lining or coating) and the use, maintenance, and 
qualification of the equipment when shipping hazardous materials. 
Proper classification is also essential for accommodating the risk-
based implementation schedule for increased tank car requirements 
described below. The statement on a shipping paper is the offeror's 
certification that a hazardous material is properly classified, 
described, packaged, marked and labeled, and in proper condition for 
transportation according to applicable DOT regulations. Packaging 
decisions are based on the information provided by the offeror. 
Incorrect classification and characterization of hazardous material may 
lead to failures throughout the transportation system.
    Examples where improper information from an offeror may result in 
unsafe transportation conditions are found throughout the HMR.
     Section 180.509(i) requires an owner of the interior 
lining or coating of a tank car transporting a material that is 
corrosive or reactive to the tank to ensure an inspection adequate to 
detect defects or other conditions that could reduce the design level 
of reliability and safety of the tank.
     Section 180.509(i) also requires the owner of a tank car 
used to transport a hazardous material to ensure the lining conforms to 
Sec. Sec.  173.24(b)(2) and (b)(3) of the HMR. Further, the owner 
``must use its knowledge of the service life of each coating or lining 
and commodity combination to establish an appropriate inspection 
interval for that coating or lining and commodity combination.''
     Under Sec.  180.509(k) an owner of service equipment 
``must analyze the service equipment inspection and test results for 
any given lading and, based on the analysis, adjust the inspection and 
test frequency to ensure that the design level of reliability and 
safety of the equipment is met.''

[[Page 45044]]

     Appendix D to Part 180 identifies hazardous materials 
corrosive to tanks or service equipment, stating ``While every effort 
was made to identify materials deemed corrosive to the tank or service 
equipment, owners and operators are cautioned that this list may not be 
inclusive.'' Tank car owners and operators are reminded of their duty 
to ensure that no in-service tank will deteriorate below the specified 
minimum thickness requirements in this subchapter. See Sec.  
180.509(f)(3).
    The properties of mined gases and liquids, including crude oil, are 
variable based on time, method, and location of extraction. Whereas 
manufactured goods often undergo a strict quality assurance process to 
ensure characteristics are within defined parameters, mined gases and 
liquids do not. Unlike manufactured goods, organic materials from oil 
and gas production represent a unique challenge in regards to 
classification. Differences in the chemical makeup of the raw material 
can vary over time and geographical location. Typically, organic 
materials from oil and gas production at a well head are passed through 
a ``separator'' to remove the gas, sediment, and water from the crude. 
As such, there are multiple hazardous materials that are commonly 
shipped from the well-site including: Crude, natural gas condensate, 
and natural gas liquid.
    Given this variability, there is a responsibility under Sec.  
173.22 of the HMR for an offeror to ensure the proper characterization 
and classification of their materials. Proposed Sec.  173.41 would 
explicitly require a sampling and testing program for mined gases and 
liquids, including crude oil. Under proposed Sec.  173.41(a), this 
program must address the following key elements that are designed to 
ensure proper classification and characterization of crude oil:
     Frequency of sampling and testing to account for 
appreciable variability of the material, including the time, 
temperature, means of extraction (including any use of a chemical),\51\ 
and location of extraction;
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \51\ This accounting for the method of extraction would not 
require disclosure of confidential information.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Sampling at various points along the supply chain to 
understand the variability of the material during transportation;
     Sampling methods that ensure a representative sample of 
the entire mixture, as packaged, is collected;
     Testing methods to enable complete analysis, 
classification, and characterization of the material under the HMR;
     Statistical justification for sample frequencies;
     Duplicate samples for quality assurance purposes; and
     Criteria for modifying the sampling and testing program.
    The sampling and testing program should account for appreciable 
differences in the material as a result of time, temperature, etc., but 
need not measure ordinary and minor differences in materials. If an 
offeror assigns all of its materials to the most stringent packing 
group classification, this may serve as one possible justification for 
a lower frequency of testing. The offeror would still need to justify 
less frequent testing of other properties such as corrosivity. Sampling 
along the length of the supply chain will be used to understand the 
processing and transportation effects but may be less frequent than 
final testing prior to rail car loading.
    As a result of Secretary Foxx's call to Action, on February 21, 
2014 the API agreed to pursue various actions including to work with 
PHMSA and other representatives from the Department of Transportation 
to share information and expertise on crude oil characteristics. API 
created a working group on entitled the ``API Classification & Loading 
of Crude Oil Work Group.'' Within this working group were two task 
groups: ``Crude Oil Classification Task Group'' and the ``Crude Oil 
Quantity & Quality Measurement Task Group.''
    A six month schedule was launched in early 2014, with working 
groups meeting every two weeks throughout the country. The goal of this 
group was to develop a consensus industry standard for crude oil 
testing, sampling and unloading. PHMSA personnel have been active 
participants in these meetings. In June 2014 the API working group 
finalized a draft standard ``Recommend Practices 3000'' (RP 3000). RP 
3000 provides industry best practices, including those regarding 
testing and sampling methods. The draft standard is currently in the 
balloting process with API members and is on a path to finalization and 
thus in not considered in the rulemaking. PHMSA is encouraged by the 
development of such an industry standard and API's continued work in 
the standard and beyond to improve the accuracy of classification of 
materials and the overall safety or operational rail requirements. Once 
finalized PHMSA may consider adoption of such a standard and in 
addition those in the regulated community may petition for the 
incorporation of such standard through the processes outlined in 
section 106.95 of the HMR.
    Proposed Sec.  173.41(b) would link the certification requirements, 
as prescribed in Sec.  172.204, to the sampling and testing program. 
Specifically, by certifying the shipment in accordance with Sec.  
172.204, the offeror of the hazardous material is certifying compliance 
with the sampling and testing program for mined gases and liquids 
described above. Based on comments to the ANPRM, we considered 
regulatory changes related to the vapor pressure of a flammable liquid. 
As mentioned in the Background section of this preamble, above, prior 
to 1990 the HMR clearly indicated that the packaging requirements for 
flammable liquids are based on a combination of flash point, boiling 
point, and vapor pressure. The regulations provided a point at which a 
flammable liquid had to be transported in a tank car suitable for 
compressed gases, commonly referred to as a ``pressure car'' (e.g., DOT 
Specifications 105, 112, 114, and 120 tank cars). Specifically, Sec.  
173.119(f) indicated that flammable liquids with a vapor pressure that 
exceeded 27 psia but less than 40 psia at 100 [deg]F (at 40 psia, the 
material met the definition of a compressed gas), were only authorized 
for transportation in one of the authorized pressure cars. The older 
regulations recognized that those flammable liquids that exhibited high 
vapor pressures, such as those liquids with dissolved gases, require 
additional care in packaging. We are not currently proposing any 
regulatory changes related to vapor pressure of a material. However, 
PHMSA seeks comments from the regulated community on the role of vapor 
pressure in the classification, characterization, and packaging 
selection process for a flammable liquid and whether regulatory changes 
to establish vapor pressure thresholds for packaging selection are 
necessary.
    Proposed Sec.  173.41(c) would require that the sampling and 
testing program be documented in writing and retained while it remains 
in effect. It should be noted the while the sampling and testing 
program is required be documented in writing and retained while it 
remains in effect we are not require a specified retention requirement 
for the actual testing records. We acknowledge testing results will be 
supplemental materials to support the requirements of the sampling and 
testing program. The proposed requirement specifies that the sampling 
and testing program must be reviewed and revised and/or updated as 
necessary to reflect changing circumstances. The most recent version

[[Page 45045]]

of the sampling and testing program, or portions thereof, must be 
provided to the employees who are responsible for implementing it. When 
the sampling and testing program is updated or revised, all employees 
responsible for implementing it must be notified and all copies of the 
sampling and testing program must be maintained as of the date of the 
most recent revision. If a sampling and testing program is updated, 
revised or superseded, documentation of the program that was updated, 
revised, or superseded must be retained for 5 additional years.
    Proposed Sec.  173.41(d) would mandate that each person required to 
develop and implement a sampling and testing program must maintain a 
copy of the sampling and testing program documentation (or an 
electronic file thereof) that is accessible at, or through, its 
principal place of business and must make the documentation available 
upon request, at a reasonable time and location, to an authorized 
official of DOT.
    It should be noted above in early 2014 API created a working group 
on entitled the ``API Classification & Loading of Crude Oil Work 
Group.'' The goal of this group was to develop a consensus industry 
standard (RP 3000) that would address testing and sampling of crude 
oil. PHMSA personnel have been active participants in these meetings. 
PHMSA is encouraged by the development of such an industry standard and 
API's continued work in the standard and beyond to improve the accuracy 
of classification of materials and the overall safety or operational 
rail requirements. Once finalized PHMSA may consider adoption of such a 
standard and in addition those in the regulated community may petition 
for the incorporation of the standard through the processes outlined in 
section 106.95 of the HMR.
    PHMSA seeks public comment on the following discussions and 
questions. When commenting, please reference the specific portion of 
the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and 
include the source, methodology, and key assumptions of any supporting 
evidence.
    (1.) What are the differences in the process and costs for 
classification of mined gases compared to mined liquids such as crude 
oil?
    (2.) How much variability exists across a region due to location, 
time, temperature, or mining methods for gases and liquids?
    (3.) Would more or less specificity regarding the components of a 
sampling and testing program aid offerers of shipments to be in 
compliance with proposed Sec.  173.41?
    (4.) Do the guidelines provides sufficient clarity to offerors to 
understand whether they are in compliance with these requirements?
    (5.) How could PHMSA provide flexibility and relax the sampling and 
testing requirements for offerors who voluntarily use the safest 
packaging and equipment replacement standards?

E. Additional Requirements for High-Hazard Flammable Trains

    In the September 6, 2013 ANPRM we outlined the additional safety 
enhancements, which may include both rail car design and rail carrier 
operational changes that were considered by the T87.6 Task Force, and 
we provided the public an opportunity to comment. Below are the key 
considerations of the task force from both a tank car design and 
operations standpoint.

    Table 16--Key Considerations and Findings of the T87.6 Task Force
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                             Tank car design
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thermal protection to address breaches attributable to exposure to fire
 conditions.
Findings--Modeling of tank cars exposed to pool fire conditions using a
 version of AFFTAC current at the time the TF was active, and using pure
 ethanol as a surrogate, indicate thermal protection and a jacket was
 not necessary for a tank car to survive 100 minutes in a pool fire. A
 pressure relieve valve with a flow capacity of 27,000 SCFM with a start
 to discharge pressure of 75 psig was needed to ensure the tank car
 survived 100 minutes.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Roll-over protection to prevent damage to top and bottom fittings and
 limit stresses transferred from the protection device to the tank
 shell.
Findings--Research comparing the top fittings protection required for
 the CPC-1232 compliance car and the protection required in the HMR for
 certain tank cars based on dynamic loads was considered preliminary and
 not sufficient to base a recommendation.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hinged and bolted manways to address a common cause of leakage during
 accidents and Non-Accident Releases (NARS);
Findings--Representatives of the shipping community expressed the
 following concerns regarding the elimination of hinged and bolted
 manways.
     The existing infrastructure at the loading and unloading
     facilities has been designed make use of the 20'' manway.
     Through the manway the facilities recover vapor, inspect
     the interior of the cars, obtain samples of heels in the tanks,
     insert a stinger used to dissipate energy of a fluid moving at a
     high flow rate, gauge the volume in the car during loading, access
     the car for periodic and ad hoc cleaning. In some cases all of the
     loading/unloading appurtenances have been incorporated onto a
     housing that fits over the manway.
     If a bolted pressure plate like assembly is required the
     loaded volume may be determined using existing technology. The
     specific gravity of crude oil varies from 0.6 to 1.0 limiting the
     usefulness of a magnetic gauging device.
Alternatives to hinged and bolted securement are currently under
 development and testing.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bottom outlet valve (BOV) elimination;
Findings--The working group concluded elimination of the allowance for
 BOVs is not a viable option in the near term. The Task Force then
 considered enhanced protection of the bottom outlet valve. Appendix E
 of the AAR's Tank Car Specifications provides the standards for bottom
 discontinuity protection. In order to move forward with this concept,
 the design criteria will need to be developed. Time constraints
 prohibit this task force from advancing this concept. Also, inspection
 of the 10 cars involved in a recent derailment indicates the bottom
 outlet protection functions as designed and no valve were significantly
 damaged.
AAR TCC created a docket T10.5 and a task force to evaluate bottom
 outlet performance. Task force T87.6 recommends that the TCC add
 development of design criteria for enhanced bottom outlet protection to
 the T10.5 charge. The following are other ideas being investigated by
 T10.5 that are germane to T87.6.
     Shipment of the car without the BOV handle attached and
     development of a standard/universal handle attachment.
     Eliminate use of overly strong handle.
     Incorporating operating stops on valve bodies.

[[Page 45046]]

 
     The working group will also engage BOV manufacturers to
     determine if valve configurations or design be altered to prevent
     damage documented in recent derailments.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Increasing outage from 1 percent to 2 percent to improve puncture
 resistance.
Increasing the minimum allowed outage was a difficult option to evaluate
 because the commodities are loaded below the reference temperature and
 the outage at the loading temperature is well above the regulatory
 minimum. It was reported Ethanol was loaded to an outage of
 approximately 4%. The American Petroleum Institute (API) surveyed a
 number of its members to learn the outage of ethanol as received. The
 outages ranged from 2.86% to 6.23%.
To further evaluate the benefit of this option, the AFFTAC subgroup
 performed simulations to determine the benefit (to survivability in a
 pool fire) offered by increased outage. Based on the results of the
 simulation a tank car with 2% outage had an insignificant change in
 performance when exposed to a pool fire.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Rail Carrier Operations
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rail integrity (e.g., broken rails or welds, misaligned track,
 obstructions, track geometry, etc.) to reduce the number and severity
 of derailments;
Findings--The Task Force urged groups charged with addressing track
 integrity issues to aggressively work toward a quick and meaningful
 resolution. In addition, the Task Force urged developers and suppliers
 of rail flaw detection technology to continue to make the advancement
 and production of the technologies a priority.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alternative brake signal propagation systems ECP, DP, and two-way EOT to
 reduce the number of cars and energy associated with derailments;
Findings--Based on the simulation results and analysis of the data it
 was concluded the alternatives considered provided marginal benefits.
 Moreover the identified obstacles to implementation represent a
 considerable time and cost investment and the predicted benefits would
 not be realized for months or years in the future. As such, this
 working group will not make a recommendation related to alternative
 brake signal propagation systems.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Speed restrictions for key trains containing 20 or more loaded tank cars
 (on August 5, 2013, AAR issued Circular No. OT-55-N addressing this
 issue);
Findings--The working group recommended that OT-55 not be modified due
 to the adverse impact on cycle times and the resulting increase in the
 number of tank cars which would be required to transport these
 commodities in the same time frame. Most of the benefit of the reduced
 speed restriction is already in place, since five of the seven Class 1
 railroads already handle unit trains of these commodities as key
 trains.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Emergency response to mitigate the risks faced by response and salvage
 personnel, the impact on the environment, and delays to traffic on the
 line.
Findings--The Task Force supports the RFA's proposed recommendation and
 in turn, recommends the AAR request updates from the RFA regarding the
 availability of mobile stores of AR-AFFF.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As part of PHMSA and FRA's systematic approach to rail hazardous 
materials transportation safety, in this NPRM, in addition to new tank 
car design standards, PHMSA is proposing operational requirements for 
HHFTs. Some of these operational requirements are consistent with the 
T87.6 Task Force and discussed in further detail below.
a. Speed Restriction
    Speed is a factor that may contribute to derailments. Speed can 
influence the probability of an accident, as it may allow for a brake 
application to stop the train before a collision. Speed also increases 
the kinetic energy of a train resulting in a greater possibility of the 
tank cars being punctured in the event of a derailment.
    The laws of physics indicate that if an accident occurred at 40 mph 
instead of 50 we should expect a reduction of kinetic energy of 36%. 
After consultations with engineers and subject matter experts, we can 
assume that this would translate to the severity of an accident being 
reduced by 36%. A slower speed may allow a locomotive engineer to 
identify a safety problem ahead and stop the train before an accident 
occurs, which could lead to accident prevention. PHMSA only quantifies 
benefits in this proposed rule from mitigating the severity of 
accidents. With respect to prevention, PHMSA notes that reduced speeds 
will reduce the risk of accidents on net, though some risks could 
increase under limited circumstances.
    PHMSA and FRA used a ten mile speed differential in calculating an 
effectiveness rate for the 40 mph speed restriction options, which 
assumes that at the time of an accident trains would be going 10 mph 
slower if the speed restriction were at 40 mph rather than 50 mph. 
Braking is often applied before an accident occurs, and the speed 
differential at the time of an accident that results from trains 
operating at top speeds of 50 mph and 40 mph could be different than 10 
mph. Furthermore, in some cases, other restrictions on speed or 
congestion could affect speed at the time of the accident. PHMSA lacks 
a basis to modify the assumption that speeds would be 10 mph different 
at the time of accidents and seeks comment on how we may better 
determine how speed restrictions would affect actual speed at the time 
of an accident.
    A simulation program, Train Energy & Dynamics Simulator (TEDS) was 
used to study the dynamics and energy levels of trains under a variety 
of operational conditions. Specifically, TEDS was used to determine the 
stopping distance and the rate of dissipation of kinetic energy (KE) of 
a generic, 100 tank car train on level tangent track equipped with the 
candidate brake signal propagation systems. The simulations were used 
to determine the relative performance of the different systems. The 
model was validated using brake signal propagation data from Wabtec and 
data from a BNSF test performed in 2008.
    This modeling tool was then used to determine the remaining energy 
to be dissipated and the speed at selected locations in the train when 
that tank car reached a defined point specified as the Point of 
Derailment (POD). By comparing the results for each technology, 
assumptions were made for the difference in number of cars reaching the 
point of derailment, remaining kinetic energy of all of the cars in the 
train at a set time interval, and conditional probability of release 
(CPR) of the train. This modeling supported the conclusion that a 10 
mph speed reduction would reduce the harm of a derailment by 36%.

[[Page 45047]]

    PHMSA anticipates the reductions in the speed of trains that employ 
less safe tank cars will prevent fatalities and other injuries, and 
limit the amount of property damage done in an accident. PHMSA expects 
fewer safety benefits would be realized from a reduction in speed as 
the tank car fleet is enhanced as proposed in this NPRM.
    As noted above, T87.6 Task Force considered this issue but did not 
recommend action, primarily because of the ``adverse impact on cycle 
times and the resulting increase in the number of tank cars which would 
be required to transport these commodities in the same time frame.''
    However, given the increasing risks of HHFTs, in the ANPRM we asked 
several questions regarding AAR Circular No. OT-55-N. Specifically, we 
asked if the Circular adequately addressed speed restrictions. The 
majority of the commenters indicated that the current voluntary 50-mph 
speed restriction is acceptable. Further, during the industry Call to 
Action, the rail and crude oil industries agreed to consider further 
voluntary improvements, including speed restrictions in high 
consequence areas, similar to the requirements that are established by 
the routing requirements in Part 172, Subpart I of the HMR. As a result 
of those efforts, AAR indicates that railroads began operating certain 
trains at 40 mph on July 1, 2014. This voluntary restriction applies to 
any HHFT with at least one non-CPC 1232 DOT Specification 111 tank car 
loaded with crude oil or one non-DOT specification tank car loaded with 
crude oil while that train travels within the limits of any high-threat 
urban area (HTUA) as defined by 49 CFR 1580.3.
    In their comments, AAR and the ASLRRA stated,

    Following Lac-M[eacute]gantic, AAR's and ASLRRA's members 
reviewed their operating practices with respect to the 
transportation of hazardous materials. The decision was made to 
expand OT-55, the industry circular on recommended operating 
practices, to encompass all hazardous materials, including flammable 
liquids. OT-55's operating restrictions now apply to trains 
containing one car of a TIH material, spent nuclear fuel, or high-
level radioactive waste or 20 cars of any combination of other 
hazardous materials. The 20-car threshold was chosen in recognition 
that in the context of Lac-M[eacute]gantic, the concern is over a 
pool fire involving multiple cars. In addition, crude oil and 
ethanol typically are shipped in unit trains.

    Further, AAR and the ASLRRA stated,

    OT-55 has existed for two decades and has been adhered to by the 
railroad industry. There is no need to incorporate its provisions 
into the hazardous materials regulations. With respect to the 50-mph 
speed limit, that is the regulatory limit for TIH.\52\ AAR and 
ASLRRA are unaware of any analysis justifying a lower speed limit 
and is concerned that a lower speed limit will have the 
counterproductive effect of causing shippers to divert freight to 
other transportation modes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \52\ 49 CFR 174.86(b).

    Proposed Sec.  174.310(a)(4) would establish a 50-mph maximum speed 
restriction for HHFTs. It was suggested that there is no need to 
incorporate the speed restrictions of OT-55. OT-55 is a recommended 
practice and, as such, does not carry the weight of law. A subscribing 
railroad can, without concern of a penalty, move these trains at speeds 
exceeding the industry standard and as discussed previously, increase 
the energy and likelihood of catastrophic damage to tank cars involved 
in a train accident. Codifying this voluntary commitment will ensure 
that the benefits of these speed restrictions are realized 
indefinitely. Without codification of these requirements the speed 
restrictions could be subsequently lifted prematurely and increase 
risk. Additionally, in the event that a rail carrier cannot comply with 
the proposed braking requirements discussed in the Alternative Brake 
Propagation Systems section of this NPRM, the rail carrier would not be 
permitted to operate HHFTs at speeds exceeding 30-mph.
    Finally, we are proposing three Options for a 40-mph speed 
restriction for any HHFT unless all tank cars containing flammable 
liquids meet or exceed the proposed standards for the DOT Specification 
117 tank car. We request comments on which Option would have greatest 
net social benefits and whether the 40-mph speed restriction is 
necessary. Those 40-mph speed limit options are as follows:

Option 1: 40 mph Speed Limit All Areas

    All HHFTs are limited to a maximum speed of 40 mph, unless all 
tank cars meet or exceed the proposed performance standards for the 
DOT Specification 117 tank car.

Option 2: 40 mph in Areas With More Than 100,000 People

    All HHFTs--unless all tank cars containing flammable liquids 
meet or exceed the proposed standards for the DOT Specification 117 
tank car--are limited to a maximum speed of 40 mph while operating 
in an area that has a population of more than 100,000 people, unless 
all tank cars meet or exceed the proposed standards for the DOT 
Specification 117 tank car. An area that has a population of more 
than 100,000 people would be defined using municipal borders, as 
determined by census population data. The 40 mph limitation to 
maximum speed would apply when any part of a HHFT is operating 
within that municipal border. PHMSA estimates that approximately 10% 
of the track miles for crude oil and ethanol traffic are traversed 
in cites with a population greater than 100,000 people. We seek 
comments on this assumption. Therefore, only 10% of the track miles 
would be impacted.

Option 3: 40 mph in HTUAs

    All HHFTs--unless all tank cars containing flammable liquids 
meet or exceed the proposed standards for the DOT Specification 117 
tank car--are limited to a maximum speed of 40 mph while the train 
travels within the limits of HTUAs, unless all tank cars meet or 
exceed the proposed standards for the DOT Specification 117 tank 
car. PHMSA estimates that approximately 2% of the track miles for 
crude oil and ethanol traffic are traversed in HTUAs. We seek 
comments on this assumption. Therefore, only 2% of the track miles 
would be affected.

    PHMSA has prepared and placed in the docket a RIA addressing the 
economic impact of this proposed rule. In the RIA we provide an 
analysis of speed restrictions, including the Options for the 40-mph 
speed limit. Our analysis has several limitations, which are listed in 
the RIA. The analysis extrapolates from the geometric characteristics 
of a single 124-mile subdivision, which may not be representative of 
crude and ethanol routes. In addition, we do not estimate any effects 
from speed reductions on other types of rail traffic throughout the 
rail network (e.g., passenger trains, intermodal freight, and general 
merchandise).
    PHMSA seeks public comment on the following discussions and 
questions. When commenting, please reference the specific portion of 
the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and 
include the source, methodology, and key assumptions of any supporting 
evidence.
    1. What would the effects be of a 40-mph speed limit for HHFTs on 
other traffic on the network, including passenger and intermodal 
traffic, under each of the three described Options?
    2. PHMSA estimates the value of an hour of train delay to be $500. 
What are the costs per hour of delayed HHFT traffic, and what are the 
costs of delays for other types of traffic on the network?
    3. PHMSA estimates that a 40-mph speed limit, from 50-mph, will 
reduce the severity of a HHFT accidents by 36 percent,\53\ due to the 
reduction in kinetic energy by 36 percent. What other factors, in 
addition to kinetic energy

[[Page 45048]]

changes, would refine the methodology for calculating potential risk 
reduction?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \53\ Kinetic energy varies directly with the square of speed 
(velocity).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    4. To what extent would a 40-mph speed limit in select areas cause 
rail traffic to be diverted to other lines, and what are the benefits 
and costs of this potential diversion?
    5. To what extent would a 40-mph speed limit cause rail traffic, 
particularly intermodal traffic, to be diverted onto truck or other 
modes of transit as a result of rail delays, and what are the benefits 
and costs of this potential diversion?
    6. How might the extrapolation from the 124-mile subdivision to the 
entire rail network produce over- or underestimates of the effects of 
speed restrictions for HHFT routes?
    7. What other geographic delineations--in addition to HTUAs and 
cities with 100,000 people or more--should PHMSA consider as an Option 
for a 40-mph speed restriction in the absence of a proposed DOT 117 
tank car?
    8. How would the safety benefits of the proposed speed limits 
change if combined with the proposed braking systems?
    9. What would be the benefits and costs of excluding existing 
Jacketed CPC-1232 cars from the proposed 40 mph speed restrictions, 
under each speed Option, if PHMSA selects a more stringent tank car 
specification than the Enhanced Jacketed CPC-1232?
    10. What would be the benefits and costs of limiting the proposed 
40 mph speed restrictions, under each Option, only to DOT 111 tank cars 
carrying a particular hazardous material (e.g., only crude oil)?
b. Alternative Brake Signal Propagation Systems
    T87.6 Task Force did not recommend additional braking requirements, 
stating that based on the simulation results and analysis of the data 
it was concluded the additional alternatives considered provided 
marginal benefits. Moreover the identified obstacles to implementation 
represent a considerable time and cost investment and the predicted 
benefits would not be realized for months or years in the future. The 
group did acknowledge that an alternative signal transmission system, 
such as an intermediate EOT device, may be a promising option.
    However, given the increasing risks of HHFTs, in the September 6, 
2013 ANPRM we specifically requested comments pertaining to alternative 
brake signal propagation systems to reduce the number of cars and 
energy associated with derailments.
    ECP (Electronic Controlled Pneumatic brake system) simultaneously 
sends a braking command to all cars in the train, reducing the time 
before a car's pneumatic brakes are engaged compared to conventional 
brakes. The system also permits the train crew to monitor the 
effectiveness of the brakes on each individual car in the train and 
provides real-time information on the performance of the entire braking 
system of the train. ECP brake system technology also reduces the wear 
and tear on brake system components and can significantly reduce fuel 
consumption. All cars in a train must be equipped with ECP before a 
train can operate in ECP brake mode.
    DP (Distributed Power) is a system that provides control of a 
number of locomotives dispersed throughout a train from a controlling 
locomotive located in the lead position. The system provides control of 
the rearward locomotives by command signals originating at the lead 
locomotive and transmitted to the remote (rearward) locomotives. A 
locomotive located \2/3\ of the way through a train consist may be able 
to produce braking rates for the train that are close to those produced 
by ECP brakes. The braking rates, however, are more effective when 
derailments occur at the head of the train rather than closer to the 
back of the train. Further, T87.6 Task Force found that, in practice, 
rail carriers intentionally introduce a delay in emergency brake 
application that negatively affects the overall benefits from enhance 
signal transmission.
    One commenter, API, indicates that DP serves as a means to increase 
the speed of application of the airbrakes as the braking signal would 
reach the cars throughout the train more rapidly. Further, API 
indicates that some railroads have already begun using DP and it serves 
as the fastest way to send braking signals to all of the cars. In 
addition, API indicates that accidents resulting from brake failure in 
one engine could be averted if another engine supports the air brakes 
on the entire train. API encourages PHMSA to evaluate DP and the 
development of a mid-train signaling device.
    The two-way EOT device includes two pieces of equipment linked by 
radio that initiate an emergency brake application command from the 
front unit located in the controlling locomotive, which then activates 
the emergency air valve at the rear of the train within one second. The 
rear unit of the device sends an acknowledgment message to the front 
unit immediately upon receipt of an emergency brake application 
command. A two way EOT device is more effective than conventional 
brakes because the rear cars receive the brake command more quickly.
    FRA conducted simulations to better understand the effect on energy 
dissipation and stopping distance of different brake signal propagation 
systems; conventional brakes, DP configurations, and ECP. The 
simulations were performed using the TEDS program, developed by Sharma 
& Associates to study the dynamics and energy levels under a variety of 
operating conditions. Derailments involving trains equipped with two 
way EOT devices were not specifically simulated. In simulated 
derailment speeds of 50 and 60 mph, at approximately the 9th car there 
is a divergence in the kinetic energy of individual railcars at the 
point of derailment between ECP, DP (EOT), and conventional brake 
systems. At those speeds, if a derailment occurs at the first car, 
changes in the brake signal propagation system will only be realized 
after the 10th car. At a derailment speed of 40 mph the divergence 
occurs at the 7th car. The following graphs show the reduction in 
kinetic energy as a function of train speed and a tank car's position 
in a train for each of the brake signal propagation systems described 
above.
    Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4 below are based on the following assumptions:
     Each train includes three locomotives at 415,000 lbs., 100 
cars at 263,000 lbs., train length 6,164 ft.
     DP has two locomotives at front and one at rear of train.
     DP \2/3\ has two locomotives at front of the train, and 
one placed two thirds from the front.
     Dynamic brakes were assumed to be inactive for the purpose 
of the 18 percent effectiveness rate of DP, thus it is a fair statement 
to say DP at the end of the train without the benefit of dynamic brakes 
is equivalent to EOT. Therefore, for the purposes of our analysis, we 
assumed EOT is as effective as DP when it is located at the end of the 
train.\54\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \54\ The specifics of this model will be placed in the docket 
for this rulemaking upon completion. This assumption would tend to 
underestimate the benefits of ECP brakes, because it enhances the 
safety level of the estimated baseline.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 45049]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP01AU14.008


[[Page 45050]]


[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP01AU14.009

    The following graph provides the results of a comparison of the 
simulations of derailments at 40 and 50 mph. The data are the kinetic 
energy versus position in a train operating with conventional brakes. 
The trend line of the difference in energy per car is shown. The trend 
line is relatively flat, but the slope begins to increase slightly 
after the 15th car. This demonstrates that the slower the initial train 
speed, the greater the effect of braking on the ability of the train to 
dissipate energy.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP01AU14.010

    The results of these simulations suggest that alternative brake 
signal propagation systems decrease brake signal propagation time 
relative to the conventional brake system. Specifically, FRA 
simulations estimated that:
     Using its methodology to evaluate the probability of tank 
car puncture DOT calculated that a derailment involving a train made up 
of Option 1 tank cars (equipped with ECP brakes) will result in 36 
percent fewer cars puncturing than the same train with conventional 
brakes. As such DOT estimates that ECP brakes would reduce the severity 
of a HHFT accident by an estimated 36 percent, compared to conventional 
brakes.
     Figures 1, 2 and 3 show that the ability for trains 
operating with two-way EOT device and DP brake systems to dissipate 
energy is between the abilities of those operating with ECP and 
conventional brake systems. Accordingly, DOT estimates that two-way EOT 
or DP would reduce the severity of a HHFT accident by 18 percent (half 
of the 36% estimated for ECP brakes), compared to conventional brakes.

[[Page 45051]]

    Based on Sharma's modeling, the effectiveness of ECP was determined 
to be 36%, and DP was calculated (not simulated) to determine 
effectiveness of about 18 percent. However, as both DP and EOT 
effectiveness were calculated based on a number of factors and previous 
model runs, PHMSA and FRA will place a technical supplement into the 
rulemaking docket to provide greater detail on the inputs and 
assumptions underlying the model.
    In this NPRM we are proposing to require each HHFT to be equipped 
with an enhanced brake signal propagation system. We are proposing an 
implementation schedule that minimizes the impacts on rail carriers. 
Specifically, subject to one exception, we are proposing to require the 
following:
     HHFTs to be equipped with a two-way EOT device as defined 
in 49 CFR 232.5 or a distributed power system as defined in 49 CFR 
229.5,, by October 1, 2015.
     After October 1, 2015, a tank car manufactured in 
accordance with proposed Sec.  179.202 or Sec.  179.202-11 for use in a 
HHFT must be equipped with ECP brakes.
     After October 1, 2015, HHFTs comprised entirely of tank 
cars manufactured in accordance with proposed Sec.  179.202 and Sec.  
179.202-11 (for Tank Car Option 1. the PHMSA and FRA Designed Car, 
only), except for required buffer cars, must be operated in ECP brake 
mode as defined by 49 CFR 232.5.
    To reduce the burden on small carriers that may not have the 
capital available to install new braking systems, we are proposing an 
exception. If a rail carrier does not comply with the proposed braking 
requirements above, the carrier may continue to operate HHFTs at speeds 
not to exceed 30 mph. We will continue to monitor braking performance 
and may consider other regulatory or non-regulatory actions in the 
future on restrictions for specific containers or trains.
    An ECP brake system permits the train crew to monitor the 
effectiveness of the brakes on each individual car in the train and 
provides real-time information on the performance of the entire braking 
system of the train. ECP brake system technology also reduces the 
degradation on brake system components and can significantly reduce 
fuel consumption. Due to these added benefits, we believe that adding 
ECP brake technology to these captive fleet trains will have greater 
net social benefits than requiring only DP or EOT devices.
    PHMSA seeks public comment on the following discussions and 
questions. When commenting, please reference the specific portion of 
the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and 
include the source, methodology, and key assumptions of any supporting 
evidence.
    1. What is the annual capacity of tank car and locomotive 
manufacturing and retrofit facilities to install or implement ECP, DP, 
and EOT systems on the HHFT fleet? To what extent will implementation 
issues arise?
    2. PHMSA estimates that ECP brakes cost $3,000 per new tank car, 
$5,000 per retrofitted tank car, and $79,000 per locomotive. To what 
extent do these estimates reflect the market prices for ECP?
    3. PHMSA estimates that ECP brakes would reduce accident severity 
by 36 percent compared to conventional brakes with EOT devices and by 
18 percent compared to locomotives with DP or another EOT device. To 
what extent do other simulation models, besides those used by FRA, or 
the results of ECP pilot programs validate these results?
    4. PHMSA expects that all railroads already have two-way EOT 
devices, have DP, or operate at speeds lower than 30-mph, so PHMSA 
estimates no benefits or costs for the 30-mph limit in the absence of 
advanced braking systems. Do any railroads that operate at speeds 
greater than 30-mph also not have two-way EOT devices or DP?
    5. How would the safety benefits of the proposed braking systems 
change if combined with the proposed speed limits and tank car 
standards?

F. New Tank Cars for High-Hazard Flammable Trains

    In the September 6, 2013 ANPRM we requested comments pertaining to 
new construction requirements for DOT Specification 111 tank cars used 
in flammable liquid service. Though commenters differ on the 
applicability of a new construction requirement to all flammable 
liquids, all support prompt action to address new construction of tank 
cars.
    In Recommendation R-12-5, NTSB recommends that we,

    Require that all newly-manufactured and existing general service 
tank cars authorized for transportation of denatured fuel ethanol 
and crude oil in PGs I and II have enhanced tank head and shell 
puncture resistance systems and top fittings protection that exceed 
existing design requirements for DOT Specification 111 tank cars.

    Several commenters requested that PHMSA not adopt standards of 
construction for newly constructed tank cars beyond those of the CPC-
1232. Additionally, most commenters, including API, were strongly 
against any retrofits of existing tank cars beyond minor modifications. 
For example, according to API,

    ``There are approximately 15,000 cars built to the CPC-1232 
standard currently in flammable liquid service. According to RSI, 
Approximately 36,000 more cars will be built to the CPC-1232 
industry standard for crude oil service by December 2015. The 
industry has reached consensus on the P-1577 standard for tank cars 
in crude oil and ethanol service, and it is therefore important to 
issue regulations on these cars.''

    We address retrofits of existing cars in the next section. This 
section describes requirements for newly constructed tank cars used in 
HHFT.
    In this NPRM, we are proposing three Options for newly manufactured 
tank cars that will address the risks associated with the rail 
transportation of Class 3 flammable liquids in HHFTs. Tank cars built 
to the proposed new standard will be designated ``DOT Specification 
117.'' In addition, we are proposing a performance standard for the 
design and construction of tank cars equivalent to the DOT 
Specification 117. A tank car that meets the performance criteria will 
be assigned to ``DOT Specification 117P.'' We propose to require new 
tank cars constructed after October 1, 2015 that are used to transport 
Class 3 flammable liquids in HHFT to meet the specification 
requirements for the DOT Specification 117 tank car or the proposed 
performance specifications. The proposed performance standard is 
intended to encourage innovation in the design of tank car, use of new 
materials, and incorporation of new appurtenances.
    In addition, tank car manufacturers have the option to build a DOT 
Specification 117 tank car, as outlined in the proposed specification 
requirements. Both the prescribed specifications and the performance 
standard were developed to provide improved crashworthiness relative to 
the DOT Specification 111 tank car. In addition to proposing revisions 
to Part 179 of the HMR to include the DOT Specification 117 and 117P 
requirements, we are also proposing revisions to the bulk packaging 
authorizations in Sec. Sec.  173.241, 173.242, and 173.243 to include 
the DOT Specification 117 and 117P tank car as an authorized packaging 
for those hazardous materials, as those sections are referenced in 
column (8C) of the HMT. We note that, as stated in the introductory 
text to Sec. Sec.  173.241, 173.242, and 173.243, each person selecting 
a

[[Page 45052]]

packaging must consider the requirements of subparts A and B of Part 
173 of the HMR and any special provisions indicated in column (7) of 
the HMT.
    Finally, we are proposing to incorporate by reference, in Sec.  
171.7, Appendix E 10.2.1 of the 2010 version of the AAR Manual of 
Standards and Recommended Practices, Section C--Part III, 
Specifications for Tank Cars, Specification M-1002, (AAR Specifications 
for Tank Cars). AAR frequently updates the AAR Specifications for Tank 
Cars. Appendix E provides requirements for top fittings for certain 
tank car Options provided below.
a. DOT Specification 117--Prescribed Car
    PHMSA is proposing several revisions to the HMR that would change 
the specification requirements for rail tank cars authorized to 
transport crude oil and ethanol. The changes would stipulate a new tank 
car performance specification--the DOT Specification 117 tank car--that 
would be phased in over time depending on the packing group of the 
flammable liquid. Revising or replacing the current standard for the 
DOT Specification 111 tank car is not a decision that DOT takes 
lightly. We seek to ensure that we select the car that will have the 
greatest net social benefits, with benefits primarily generated from 
the mitigation of accident severity. We also aware of, and account for, 
the large economic effects associated with regulatory changes of this 
scale, as tank cars are a long-term investment. For these reasons, we 
are proposing three separate DOT Specification 117 Options and 
requesting comments. The tank car Options being considered in this NPRM 
are as follows:
Option 1: PHMSA and FRA Designed Car
    Option 1 incorporates several enhancements designed to increase 
puncture resistance; provide thermal protection to survive a 100-minute 
pool fire; protect top fitting and bottom outlets during a derailment; 
and improve braking performance. Among the proposed tank car designs, 
Option 1 would minimize the consequences of a derailment of tank cars 
carrying crude oil or ethanol. There would be fewer car punctures, 
fewer releases from the service equipment (top and bottom fittings), 
and delayed release of flammable liquid from the tank cars through the 
pressure relief devices. The proposed enhancements are outlined in 
detail below:
    Key features of this tank car Option include the following:
     286,000 lb. GRL tank car that is designed and constructed 
in accordance with AAR Standard 286;
     Wall thickness after forming of the tank shell and heads 
must be a minimum of 9/16 inch constructed from TC-128 Grade B, 
normalized steel;
     Thermal protection system in accordance with Sec.  179.18, 
including a reclosing pressure relief device;
     Minimum 11-gauge jacket constructed from A1011 steel or 
equivalent. The jacket must be weather-tight as required in Sec.  
179.200-4;
     Full-height, 1/2 inch thick head shield meeting the 
requirements of Sec.  179.16(c)(1);
     Bottom outlet handle removed or designed to prevent 
unintended actuation during a train accident; and
     ECP brakes.
    Under Option 1, the DOT Specification 117 tank car would be 
equipped with a top fittings protection system and nozzle capable of 
sustaining, without failure, a rollover accident at a speed of 9 mph, 
in which the rolling protective housing strikes a stationary surface 
assumed to be flat, level, and rigid and the speed is determined as a 
linear velocity, measured at the geometric center of the loaded tank 
car as a transverse vector.
    For Option 1, PHMSA estimates that the roll-over protection and 
increased extra \1/8-inch\ of shell thickness would reduce crude oil 
and ethanol accident severity by 10 percent relative to a new tank car 
that would be constructed in the absence of this rule. Further, PHMSA 
estimates that ECP brakes would reduce accident severity by 36 percent 
compared to conventional brakes and 18 percent when compared to for EOT 
devices or DP. PHMSA estimates that the addition of ECP brakes, roll-
over protection, and increased shell thickness would together add 
$5,000 to the cost of a new tank car that would be constructed in the 
absence of this rule.
Option 2: AAR 2014 Recommended Car
    Option 2 is based on the AAR's recommended new tank car standard, 
approximately 5,000 of which have been ordered by BNSF Rail 
Corporation. On March 9, 2011 AAR submitted a petition for rulemaking 
P-1577, which was discussed in the ANPRM. In response to the ANPRM, on 
November 15, 2013, AAR and ASLRAA submitted as a comment \55\ provide 
their recommendations for tank car standards that are enhanced beyond 
the design in P-1577. Notable upgrades from AAR's initial petition 
include increased shell thickness, jackets, thermal protection full-
height head shields instead of half-height head shields for jacketed 
cars, top fittings protections, and bottom outlet handles that will not 
open in a derailment.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \55\ See http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=PHMSA-
2012-0082-0090.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Option 2 car has most of the same safety features as the Option 
1 car, including the same increase in shell thickness, jacket 
requirement, thermal protection requirement, and head shield 
requirement, but it lacks rollover protection and the ECP brake 
equipment. Installation of ECP brake equipment largely makes up the 
cost differential between the Option 1 and 2 cars, and the differences 
in estimated effectiveness are also largely a result of ECP brakes. In 
essence, examining these cars side by side in the following analysis 
provides a de facto comparison of the costs and benefits of equipping 
high hazard flammable trains with ECP braking.
    For Option 2, FRA estimates that the extra \1/8\ inch of shell 
thickness would reduce crude oil and ethanol accident severity by 10 
percent relative to the new car that would be constructed in the 
absence of this rule. PHMSA estimates that the increased thickness 
would add $2,000 to the cost of a new tank car that would be 
constructed in the absence of this rule.
Option 3: Enhanced Jacketed CPC-1232
    Option 3 is an enhanced jacketed CPC-1232 tank car standard. This 
Option would modify the CPC-1232 standard by requiring improvements to 
the bottom outlet handle and pressure relief valve. It would also 
remove options (1) to build a car with weaker steel type but with added 
shell thickness or (2) to build a car with a thicker shell but no 
jacket. This standard is the car configuration PHMSA believes will be 
built for HHFT service in absence of regulation, based on commitments 
from one of the largest rail car manufacturers/leasers--Greenbrier, 
Inc. and the Railway Supply Institute.\56\ This car is a substantial 
safety improvement over the current DOT Specification 111 but does not 
achieve the same level of safety as the Option 1 or Option 2 cars. This 
tank car has a 7/16 inch shell, which is thinner than Option 1 or 
Option 2 tank cars. Similar to the Option 2 car, this car lacks 
rollover protection and ECP brake

[[Page 45053]]

equipment. Because PHMSA assumes that Option 3 is the car that would be 
built in the absence of this rule, it estimates no costs or benefits 
from Option 3 for new cars.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \56\ Greenbrier: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=PHMSA-2012-0082-0155. RSI: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=PHMSA-2012-0082-0156.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    All of the Options provided above are designed to address the 
survivability of the tank car and would mitigate the damages of rail 
accidents better than the current DOT Specification 111. Specifically, 
the tank car Options incorporate several enhancements to increase 
puncture resistance; provide thermal protection to survive a 100-minute 
pool fire; and protect top fitting and bottom outlets during a 
derailment. Under all Options, the proposed system of design 
enhancements would reduce the consequences of a derailment of tank cars 
carrying crude oil or ethanol. There would be fewer car punctures, 
fewer releases from the service equipment (top and bottom fittings), 
and delayed release of flammable liquid from the tank cars through the 
pressure relief devices.
     Table 2 summarizes the safety features of the DOT 
Specification 117 tank car Options proposed in this rule. Note that the 
proposed Options differ on shell thickness, top fittings, and braking.
    Table 17 summarizes the effectiveness of the proposed elements of 
each option. The effectiveness was calculated using the following 
assumptions:
     PHMSA examined the 13 accidents provided in Table 3 to 
arrive at its effectiveness rates. This subset of 13 accidents used to 
calculate effectiveness rates may not be representative of all 40 
mainline accidents, from 2006 to present, for trains carrying crude oil 
and ethanol. (see Appendix B of the RIA for a complete listing of the 
40 mainline train accidents during this timeframe). However, PHMSA uses 
this subset because the data has been verified and demonstrative of 
HHFT risk.
     DOT Specification 111 tank cars composed the vast majority 
of the type of tank cars involved in the derailments listed in Table 3. 
The type of damages these tank cars experienced were used to design the 
tank car options proposed in the NPRM.
     The volume of lading lost from each tank car in the 
derailments indicated in Table 3 compiled relative to the documented 
damage to each tank car that lost lading. These values were used as the 
baseline for tank car constructed to the current DOT 111 specification.
     Improvement in performance was based on the following 
assumptions.
    [cir] The ratio of puncture force (DOT111/option) was used as a 
multiplier to determine the reduction in lading loss.
    [cir] Thermal protection prevented thermal damage that results in 
loss of containment.
    [cir] Top fittings protection halves the damage to service 
equipment.
    [cir] BOV modification prevents lading loss through valve.
     The reduced volume of lost lading relative to each 
enhancement was compared to the baseline to calculate respective 
reduction or effectiveness.
    PHMSA will place into the docket for this rulemaking a more 
detailed technical supplement that describes the baseline accidents, 
model inputs, and assumptions that were used to develop the 
effectiveness rates for each tank car option). For a detailed 
discussion of these safety features, please refer to Section F. New 
Tank Cars for High-Hazard Flammable Trains.

 Table 17--Effectiveness of Newly Constructed Tank Car Options Relative to the Non-Jacketed DOT111 Specification
                                                    Tank Car
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Head        Shell                      Top
             Tank car                Total (%)     puncture     puncture     Thermal      fittings     BOV (%)
                                                     (%)          (%)      damage  (%)      (%)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Option 1..........................           55           21           17           12            4           <1
Option 2..........................         51.3           21           17           12          1.3           <1
Option 3..........................         41.3           19            9           12          1.3            0
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* The top fitting protection for the DOT117 is based on the load conditions described in 179.102-3. The top
  fittings protection for the BNSF and CPC-1232 car meet the load conditions in M-1002 Appendix E, 10.2. The
  former is a dynamic load and the latter is a static load. Modeling indicates the stresses imparted in the tank
  shell during the dynamic loads is three time those encountered during the static load. Therefore, DOT assumes
  the effectiveness of top fittings for the DOT 117 is 3 times that of the BNSF tank car.

    PHMSA will place into the docket for this rulemaking a technical 
supplement that describes the model inputs and assumptions that were 
used to develop the effectiveness rates in table 17.
Puncture Resistance
    Shell and head punctures are the failure modes that result in rapid 
and often complete loss of tank contents. A HFFT poses a greater 
increase risk resulting from puncture due to the volatility of the 
lading. Minimizing the number of cars punctured in a derailment is 
critical because flammable liquids, if ignited, can quickly affect the 
containment of adjacent cars. For example, a derailment in Columbus, 
Ohio in July 2012 involved 17 freight cars, three of which were tank 
cars containing ethanol. One of the tank cars was punctured, releasing 
ethanol, and a fire ensued. Two adjacent tank cars also carrying 
ethanol were exposed to the fire for an extended period of time. Both 
cars experienced a thermal tear, resulting in a release of product and 
a fire ball. In many cases, tank cars of flammable liquid exposed to 
pool fire conditions experience significant pressure rise. When the 
pressure relief valve actuates to prevent an energetic failure of the 
tank car, it discharges flammable liquid, prolonging the fire.
Shell Puncture
    PHMSA examined data collected by both PHMSA and FRA for information 
on derailments involving crude oil and ethanol. For the purposes of 
this analysis PHMSA focused on main line train derailments beginning in 
2006 and forward. We focused on this date range due to the apparent 
increase in both the frequency and severity of derailments. PHMSA 
believes that this recent trend is a result of increased use of HHFTs 
to transport flammable material and we believe this trend will 
continue. In reviewing the incidents in table 3, shell puncture is the 
most common train accident damage that results in loss of lading. A 
number of strategies exist to improve puncture resistance of a tank 
car, including using higher strength and tougher steel and increasing 
the thickness of the shell and head of the tank. Tougher steel absorbs 
more energy by deforming. Thickness of the tank shell/head can be 
increased and/or a jacket can be added to the design.
    DOT is considering both of these strategies. While the shells and 
heads of DOT Specification 111 and the CPC-1232 standard can be 
constructed of A516-70 steel, all tank car design standard Options in 
this proposed rule would require normalized TC-128 steel

[[Page 45054]]

because of its superior strength and toughness. Further, the head and 
shells of DOT Specification 111 and the CPC-1232 standards are \7/16\ 
inch thick (not including the jacket). Options 1 and 2 propose to 
require DOT Specification 117 tank car head and shells be a minimum of 
\9/16\ inch thick.
    Please note that current regulations do not require a jacket. This 
rule requires an 11-gauge steel jacket. PHMSA expects all new tank cars 
to have jackets in the absence of this rule, so we do not expect any 
benefits or costs from this change.
    Using the analytical method developed by E.I. DuPont de Nemours and 
validated through testing performed at the Transportation Technology 
Center in Pueblo, CO, available for review in the public docket for 
this rulemaking, FRA calculated the shell puncture resistance of all 
three Options compared to the DOT Specification 111 tank car.\57\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \57\ ``Detailed Puncture Analyses Tank Cars: Analysis of 
Different Impactor Threats and Impact Conditions'' can be found at: 
http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L04420.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed materials, minimum thickness of \9/16\ inch, and 
jacket provide a 68 percent improvement in the puncture force for 
Options 1 and 2 relative to the current specification requirements for 
a DOT Specification 111 tank car. This translates to a 17 percent 
effectiveness rate. A tank car constructed to the proposed requirements 
of Option 3, would have a 35 percent improvement in puncture force 
relative to the current DOT Specification 111 tank car.\58\ This 
translates into a 9 percent effectiveness rate.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \58\ Modeling and simulation of puncture velocity indicate a 
puncture velocity of approximately 7.4 mph for a legacy DOT 
Specification 111; 9.6 mph for Option 3; and 12.3 mph for the cars 
under Options 1 and 2. Puncture velocity is based on an impact with 
a rigid 12'' x 12'' indenter with a weight of 297,000 pounds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition, PHMSA and FRA do not expect the increased thickness, 
combined with a full-height head shield and a jacket, in Options 1 and 
2 to decrease new tank car capacity. The T87.6 Task Force, in 
considering increased thickness and jacket recommendations, stated that 
the increased weight per car ``results in a decrease in the capacity of 
the tank and a commensurate increase in the number of shipments 
required to meet customer demand. Additional shipments would result in 
an increase in the number of tank cars derailed.'' However, for the 
reasons mentioned in the section ``Effects of Increased Weight'' below, 
PHMSA does not expect that these requirements will cause fully loaded 
tank cars to exceed 286,000 GRL.
1b. Head Puncture
    Puncture resistance of the tank head is another important 
consideration. Table 3 above highlights this risk of HHFTs by 
summarizing the impacts of major train accidents involving trains of 
crude oil and ethanol. Derailment data from table 3 indicates that 
approximately 30 percent of ethanol and crude oil tank cars experienced 
punctures in their heads. Of the punctured heads, approximately 38 
percent occurred in the top half, and 62 percent occurred in the bottom 
half of the head.
    Tank head puncture resistance has been the subject of a number of 
previous rulemakings. On July 23, 1974, DOT's Hazardous Materials 
Regulations Board published a final rule HM-109 (39 FR 27572) that 
established requirements for head shields in the HMR at Sec.  179.100-
23. The requirements were for half height head shields (on non-jacketed 
pressure cars) with specific minimum dimensions, and performance 
requirements defined by the AAR impact test. The requirements were 
based on three studies that indicate half height head shields were 
between 50 percent and 77 percent effective.
    On May 26, 1976, DOT's Materials Transportation Bureau published a 
final rule under Docket HM-109 (41 FR 21475) that adopted minor 
amendments to the head shield requirements.
    On September 15, 1977, DOT's Materials Transportation Bureau 
published a final rule under Docket HM-144 (42 FR 46306) that 
introduced Sec.  179.105-5 Tank Head Puncture requirements, which 
included performance standards and test requirements. Coupler restraint 
and thermal protection systems were also included. Half height head 
shields were not precluded from use as long as they met the 
requirements in Sec.  179.100-23.
    On September 21, 1995, DOT's RSPA published a final rule under 
Dockets HM-201 and HM-175A (60 FR 49048) that introduced the current 
Sec.  179.16 and removed Sec. Sec.  179.100-23 and 179.105-5. The new 
requirements applied to tank cars transporting all Class 2 materials. 
In the preamble of the rule PHMSA stated ``research demonstrates that 
puncture resistance is an inter-related function of head thickness, 
insulation thickness, and jacket thickness, and the concept of head 
protection must include more than just traditional (half-height) head 
shields.'' DOT maintains this position and, accordingly, is proposing 
all Options for the DOT Specification 117 tank car with a jacket and 
\1/2\ inch thick full height head shields.
    The combination of the shell thickness and head shield of Options 1 
and 2 provide a head puncture resistance velocity of 18.4 mph (21% 
effectiveness rate). Because the Option 3 tank car has a \7/16\ inch 
shell, as opposed to the \9/16\ inch shell in Options 1 and 2, it has a 
head puncture resistance velocity of 17.8 mph.
    The results of this modeling are described in Table 18.

     Table 18--Shell and Head Puncture Velocities by Tank Car Option
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Shell puncture       Head puncture
                                       velocity            velocity
            Tank car                 (improvement        (improvement
                                  relative to DOT111  relative to DOT111
                                     non-jacketed)       non-jacketed)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Option 1........................  12.3 mph (66%)....  18.4 mph (114%).
Option 2........................  12.3 mph (66%)....  18.4 mph (114%).
Option 3........................  9.6 mph (30%).....  17.8 mph (107).
CPC-1232 unjacketed.............  8.5 mph (15%).....  Top--10.3 (20%).
                                                      Bottom--17.6
                                                       (105%).
DOT-111 jacketed................  9.3 mph (26%).....  11.6 mph (35%).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thermal Protection System
    In train accidents listed in Table 3 above, approximately 10 
percent of tank car breaches were attributed to exposure to fire 
conditions. It is worth distinguishing between insulation and thermal 
protection. Insulation is intended to keep lading at or near a desired 
temperature during

[[Page 45055]]

transportation. Insulation is ineffective at temperatures exceeding 350 
[deg]F because it disintegrates into a powder. Thermal protection is 
intended to limit the heat flux into the lading when exposed to fire. 
Thermal protection will survive for a certain period of time in pool 
fire conditions. Thermal protection will prevent rapid temperature 
increase of the lading and commensurate increase in vapor pressure in 
the tank. This limits the volume of material evacuated through the 
pressure relieve valve and dangerous over pressurization of the tank.
    All DOT Specification 117 options in this NPRM require a thermal 
protection system sufficient to meet the performance standard of Sec.  
179.18, and which must include a reclosing pressure release valve. 
Section 179.18 requires that a thermal protection system be capable of 
preventing the release of any lading within the tank car, except 
release through the pressure release device, when subjected to a pool 
fire for 100 minutes and a torch fire for 30 minutes. Typically, tank 
cars with thermal protection are equipped with a weather-tight 11-gauge 
jacket. Intumescent materials, which do not require a jacket, are 
infrequently used because of high maintenance costs. The jacket 
provides the necessary protection by shielding the radiated heat to the 
commodity tank.
    Consistent with current minimum industry standards and Federal 
regulations for pressure cars for Class 2 materials, the T87.6 Task 
Force agreed that a survivability time of 100-minutes in a pool fire 
should be used as a benchmark for adequate performance in this proposed 
rule. The 100-minute survival time is the existing performance standard 
for pressure tank cars equipped with a thermal protection system and 
was established to provide emergency responders with adequate time to 
assess a derailment, establish perimeters, and evacuate the public as 
needed, while also giving time to vent the hazardous material from the 
tank and prevent an energetic failure of the tank car.
    The Analysis of Fire Effects on Tank Cars (AFFTAC) \59\ was used to 
evaluate the relative performance of tank cars equipped with different 
thermal protection systems. The analysis simulated tank cars of varied 
configurations (jackets and non-jacketed) and positions (rolled over at 
different angles) exposed to pool and torch fires meeting the 
requirements in the In evaluating the performance of the thermal 
protection systems in the simulations, the T87.6 Task Force considered 
the amount of material remaining in the tank at the time of breach, 
rather than survival time, to be the best metric of the potential for 
energetic rupture. The Task Force came to this conclusion because 
research shows that there is a direct relationship between this amount 
and the energy of the tank failure \60\ and, as with any simulation, 
there are uncertainties in the absolute survival time estimates. Under 
all simulation conditions and all thermal protection systems, when the 
tank failed all of the lading had been vaporized. That indicates that 
there would be little energy remaining in the tank to produce an 
energetic rupture at the time of breach. Moreover, the thermal 
protection prolonged the survivability of the tank by delaying the 
moment where pressure in the tank exceeded the start to discharge of 
the pressure relief valve, thus delaying the unintended release of 
flammable liquid. Because all the thermal protection systems meeting 
the Sec.  179.18 performance standard that PHMSA studied performed 
equally well in the simulations, and because the simulations indicated 
the importance of a pressure relief valve, PHMSA is not requiring a 
particular system, but instead is requiring that a thermal protection 
system meet the performance standard of Sec.  179.18 and include a 
reclosing pressure relief device.
Top Fittings Protection
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \59\ Information regarding AFFTAC can be found at the following 
link. http://www.srconsult.com/AFFTACInfo.htm.
    \60\ ``Fire Tests of Propane Tanks to Study BLEVEs [Boiling 
Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosions] and Other Thermal Ruptures: 
Detailed Analysis of Medium Scale Test Results'', Department of 
Mechanical Engineering, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Nov. 
1997. Online link to study and research: http://me.queensu.ca/People/Birk/Research/ThermalHazards/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The top fitting protection consists of a structure designed to 
prevent damage to the tank car service equipment under specified 
loading conditions. For the DOT Specification 117 is based on the load 
conditions described in 179.102-3. The top fittings protection for the 
BNSF and CPC-1232 car meet the load conditions in M-1002 Appendix E, 
10.2. The former is a dynamic load and the latter is a static load. 
Damage to top fittings can occur when a tank car rolls-over and the 
equipment strikes the ground or another tank car or is stuck by another 
car. The specification requirements must consider all of these 
potential causes of damage to prevent loss of containment. The volume 
of releases from top fittings is a fraction, typically less than 5 
percent of the volume of releases from tank shell and head punctures. 
Nonetheless, top fittings represent 25 percent of the documented damage 
to tank cars in recent train accidents. A unique issue with derailments 
of tank car containing flammable liquids is that ignited lading from a 
single car can initiate a domino effect of heating an adjacent car(s) 
which will expels flammable liquid from the PRV that fuels the existing 
fire and effect additional cars. Preventing the release of flammable 
liquids in a derailment, regardless of the volume that is lost from a 
specific source, reduces risk to public health and the environment.
    The T87.6 Task Force considered three options related to top 
fittings with the dual purpose of improved crashworthiness and 
reduction of NARs: Removal of vacuum relief valves (VRVs), elimination 
of hinged and bolted manways, and roll-over protection.
    VRVs, if operated properly, are an important feature of the tank 
car's service equipment as they provide an additional safeguard against 
implosion of tank cars that are filled with elevated temperature 
material or are cleaned with steam or hot liquid. Tank cars are offered 
with VRVs as standard equipment. They are often misused by personnel at 
the loading or unloading facilities and used as venting equipment 
during normal operations (tank cars are typically equipped with air 
valves that are designed and intended for repeated opening and losing 
for loading and unloading operations. The VRV is an emergency device to 
function in only particular circumstances. As a result of misuse VRV 
are a common source of non-accident releases. The task force evaluated 
whether VRVs should be prohibited from application to all DOT 
Specification 111 tank cars.
    Hinged and bolted manways are a closure on manways of general 
purpose tank cars (DOT Specification 111). The hinge and bolted design 
permits repeated opening and closing for loading and unloading, and 
inspection. Proper securement of hinged and bolted manways is sensitive 
to the size and condition of sealing surface, the type of gasket, 
condition of bolts and torque procedure. Unless all these factors are 
considered when securing a tank car for transportation a release of 
lading will occur resulting from the sloshing of the liquid in 
transportation. In derailment conditions, if the manway cover is not 
damaged by impact, leaks are often encountered in car rolled-over on 
their side. Accordingly, the T87.6 Task Force evaluated the elimination 
of hinged and bolted manways. For example, five

[[Page 45056]]

hinged and bolted manways were damaged (creating a leak point) in the 
Arcadia, OH derailment. The damages included a shattered manway cover 
and sheared bolts. In addition, hinged and bolted manways account for 
nearly 30 percent of all NARS. Representatives of the shipping 
community expressed several concerns regarding the elimination of 
hinged and bolted manways, including infrastructure issues. The 
infrastructure at many loading facilities is set up with a system that 
seats on the manways and include a stinger to deliver the lading as 
well as vapor recovery. In addition, the loading facilities often use 
the manways as a means to inspect the gage bar to determine the outage, 
inspect the condition of the siphon pipe, interior of the tank shell or 
an interior coating. Alternatives to hinged and bolted securement are 
currently under development and testing. This option is not being 
considered for regulatory action at this time because the burden on the 
shipping community may be reduced if alternatives are available at the 
time of regulation.
    As proposed, only the Option 1 tank car must be equipped with 
protective structure capable of sustaining, without failure, a rollover 
accident at a speed of 9 mph, in which the structure strikes a 
stationary surface assumed to be flat, level, and rigid and the speed 
is determined as a linear velocity, measured at the geometric center of 
the loaded tank car as a transverse vector. Failure is deemed to occur 
when the deformed protective housing contacts any of the service 
equipment or when the tank retention capability is compromised.
    For Options 2 and 3, newly constructed tank cars would require top 
fittings consistent with the AAR's specification for Tank Cars, M-1002, 
Appendix E, paragraph 10.2. The top fittings protection design 
requirements are for static loads. The rollover protection performance 
requirement prescribed in the HMR is for a dynamic load. The resultant 
stresses in a protective housing and tank from the dynamic load exceed 
those from the static loads by a factor of three based on a study by 
Sharma & Associates \61\ comparing the performance of the different 
systems under both the static requirements of top fittings protection 
and dynamic conditions of roll-over protection. The industry was 
concerned that a \7/16\ inch thick shell could not withstand the 
stresses imparted by a roll-over protection structure. This concern 
remains. However, there is general agreement that a tank car 
constructed of \9/16\ inch steel is capable of withstanding the 
stresses during a roll-over event. As such, a protective structures 
meeting the rollover protection performance standard will offer 
protection of the top fittings superior to that of a structure meeting 
the static load requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \61\ The studies (Phase I and Phase II) can be found on the e-
Library of the FRA Web site at: http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L02545.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bottom Outlet Protection
    The bottom outlet protection ensures that the bottom outlet valve 
does not open during a train accident. The NTSB recommended that PHMSA 
require all bottom outlet valves used on newly-manufactured and 
existing non-pressure tank cars are designed to remain closed during 
accidents in which the valve and operating handle are subjected to 
impact forces. The proposed requirements for all DOT Specification 117 
Options in this NPRM require the bottom outlet handle to be removed or 
be designed with protection safety system(s) to prevent unintended 
actuation during train accident scenarios.
    The T87.6 Task Force considered elimination of BOVs. 
Representatives of the shipping community expressed the following 
concerns regarding this idea:

     BOVs are a valued feature of the tank car for the 
shipping community. The BOV is used to unload, and in some cases, 
load the tank cars.
     The BOV is necessary when the car is cleaned to drain 
the rinse liquid.
     Eliminating the allowance for BOV will require major 
alterations of existing infrastructure of loading and unloading 
facilities.

    Therefore, the AAR TCC created a docket T10.5 and a task force to 
evaluate bottom outlet performance. The task force considered the 
following ideas:

     Shipment of the car without the BOV handle attached and 
development of a standard/universal handle attachment.
     Eliminating use of an overly strong handle.
     Incorporating operating stops on valve bodies.

    In addition to the AAR TCC, recommendations, PHMSA also received 
NTSB Recommendation R-12-6. This recommendation requests that PHMSA 
require all bottom outlet valves used on newly-manufactured and 
existing non-pressure tank cars be designed to remain closed during 
accidents where the valve and operating handle are subjected to impact 
forces.
    PHMSA has considered the loading and unloading concerns of offerors 
regarding the removal of the bottom outlet valve entirely. Therefore, 
PHMSA is not proposing to eliminate the BOV entirely. Instead, PHMSA is 
proposing that on cars with bottom outlet valves, the bottom outlet 
handle be removed or be designed to prevent unintended actuation during 
train accident scenarios. For example, this requirement could be met 
simply by removing the handle during transportation or redesigning 
bottom outlet configurations (i.e. recessed valving).
Effects of Increased Weight
    The additional safety features of the proposed new tank car 
standard could increase the weight of an unloaded tank car. For 
instance, all proposed Options for the DOT Specification 117 car 
include head shields, a jacket, thicker tank shell steel, and other 
safety features not required in DOT Specification 111 tank cars. 
Additional weight for the tank car could lead to a reduction in lading 
capacity per tank car, as rail cars must be under the applicable gross 
rail weight (GRL) when fully loaded. However, PHMSA and FRA believe 
there will not be less capacity in practice, for the following reasons:
     PHMSA is proposing a performance standard and expects that 
the regulations will spur innovation in tank car design and 
construction. Industry is currently evaluating new, tougher steels as 
well as composite materials and crash energy management systems 
intended to improve energy absorption with little or no weight penalty. 
Innovation will be driven by a desire to decrease the tare weight of 
the tank car. Assuming the market will be interested if the new 
materials will restore the pre-DOT Specification 117 tare weight and 
cost no more than the materials in the DOT Specification 117, the 
reduction will be at least 9%. This decrease in the tare weight will 
increase the load limit (carrying capacity) of the car by 9% without 
increasing material cost.
     When considering risk associated with decreased tank car 
load limit it is the number of trains and derailment rate that is 
relevant. DOT believes the railroads will optimize unit train length 
which may result in longer trains. Optimization will be based on a 
number of factors including train length, available horse power, grade 
along route, required speed, loading rack capacity and loop size. 
Because there are so many variables it is difficult to predict the 
change in operations resulting from a potential decrease in load limit. 
As such, DOT is seeking comment on the issue.
     The DOT 117 is authorized to operate at a GRL of 286,000 
lbs. The regulations currently authorize the DOT 111 to operate at a 
GRL of 263,000 lbs.

[[Page 45057]]

However, DOT 111 tank cars that meet the minimum standards provided in 
FRA's Federal Register Notice of January 25, 2011 \62\ are permitted to 
operate at a GRL of up to 286,000 lbs. The proposed tank car 
specifications meet those minimum requirements and PHMSA and FRA 
believe that the additional weight of the safety features will be 
accommodated by the increase in allowable GRL and will not decrease the 
load limit (or innage) as indicated in the table below. For example, a 
jacketed CPC1232 can be loaded to 1% outage and not weigh 286,000 
pounds (approximately 281,000 pound) and as such, there is no capacity 
gain to be had unless the allowable GRL is increased beyond 286,000.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \62\ This FR Notice required compliance with AAR standard S286. 
AAR Standard S-286 applied to four axel freight cars designed and 
designated to carry a gross rail load of greater than 268,000 pounds 
and up to 286,000 pounds. The standard includes requirements for car 
body design loads, fatigue design, brake systems. Bearings, axels, 
wheels, draft system, springs, trucks, and stenciling.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Bridge capacity along the routes limits the GRL of a 
particular railroad or segment of rail. The primary concern for this 
issue is the terminal railroads. DOT believes all of the Class I RRs 
are capable of 286,000. The ASLRRA, Web site indicates that nearly half 
of its member railroads are capable of moving tank cars with a gross 
rail load of 286,000. There is very little specific information 
provided and perhaps a RR has a trestle on a line not capable of 
handling a 286,000 car that would not necessarily affect the delivery 
of crude oil to a customer because the trestle exists beyond the 
delivery point. DOT is requesting information from industry that will 
provide a better understanding of the capacity of the terminal 
railroads.
    The capacity of candidate tank cars are as follows:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                              Ethanol        Crude oil
                                                            Gross rail                       capacity        capacity      Total weight    Total weight
                Tank car characteristics                       load         Tare weight     (6.58 lbs./     (6.78 lbs./     of tank car     of tank car
                                                                                              gallon)         gallon)        (ethanol)        (crude)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
DOT 111 specification non-jacketed......................         263,000          67,800          29,666          28,790         263,000         263,000
                                                                 286,000          67,800          29,700          29,700         233,226         269,166
DOT111/CPC1232 non jacketed.............................         263,000          75,200          28,540          27,699         263,000         263,000
                                                                 286,000          75,200          29,700          29,700         270,626         276,566
DOT111/CPC1232 jacketed.................................         263,000          80,800          27,690          26,873         263,000         263,000
                                                                 286,000          80,800          29,700          29,700         276,226         282,166
FRA and PHMSA designed car (Option 1)...................         263,000          85,500          26,976          26,180         263,002         263,000
                                                                 286,000          85,500          29,700          29,572         280,926         286,000
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* 29,700 gallons is the minimum allowable outage (1%) on a 30,000 gallon capacity car.
Note: For cars operating at a gross rail load of 286,000 pounds there is no loss of capacity.
Note: If limited to 263,000 pound gross rail load, all cars except the legacy DOT Specification 111 will have a lower capacity. The DOT Specification
  117 represents a larger decrease in capacity than the DOT Specification 111/CPC-1232 jacketed.

    As a result, we do not expect more, or longer, trains being offered 
into transportation as a result of any tank car requirement options in 
this proposal. We request comments on our rationale and conclusion that 
there will be no reduction in tank car capacity.
    PHMSA seeks public comment on the following discussions and 
questions. When commenting, please reference the specific portion of 
the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and 
include the source, methodology, and key assumptions of any supporting 
evidence.
    1. PHMSA expects that all new tank cars put into in crude oil and 
ethanol service would, in the absence of this rule, have jacket, 
thermal protection, TC-128 Grade B normalized steel, full height head 
shield, enhanced top fittings protection, and bottom outlet valve 
reconfigurations. Would any new crude oil or ethanol tank cars, 
manufactured in 2015 and beyond, not have all of these features? If so, 
please provide specific data on missing features and the numbers of 
cars in each category.
    2. For the reasons listed above, PHMSA estimates no decrease in 
tank car capacity from the increased weight of Options 1 and 2. 
However, some commenters on the ANPRM suggested otherwise. PHMSA 
solicits data and other relevant information in order to be able to 
fully evaluate such claims. To the extent that commenters believe tank 
car capacity would be adversely affected, PHMSA seeks information on 
the benefits and costs of any such effects or of industry responses 
(such as developing innovative materials) to respond to capacity 
reduction/weight increases.
    3. Would the increased size and weight of the tank car Options have 
any other effects not discussed in the NPRM or accompanying RIA? To 
what extent would they affect braking effectiveness? To what extent 
would they affect track safety performance? To what extent would they 
affect loading practices?
    4. What additional safety features not discussed here, if any, 
should PHMSA consider? If so, please provide detailed estimates on the 
costs and benefits of individual safety features.
    5. Do any of the safety features included in any of the Options 
have costs that are likely to exceed benefits? If so, please provide 
detailed estimates on the costs and benefits of individual safety 
features.
    6. As noted above, PHMSA estimates that that the \1/8-inch\ 
thickness would provide an 9 percent reduction in accident severity and 
would cost $2,000. To what extent does the risk reduction align with 
the findings of other tank car effectiveness studies? To what extent 
does this cost estimate reflect market prices?
    7. For Option 1, PHMSA expects the upgrade to roll-over protection 
can be made at almost no cost. To what extent does this cost estimate 
reflect market prices?
    8. What would be the benefits and costs of allowing CPC-1232 cars 
ordered before October 1, 2015 to be placed into service for their 
useful life? What, if any, additional safety features should be 
required for these cars during their useful lives?
b. DOT Specification 117--Performance Standard
    In this NPRM, we propose to require a tank car that is constructed 
after October 1, 2015 and used to transport ethanol or crude oil or 
used in a HHFT, to either meet the proposed DOT Specification 117 
design requirements or the performance criteria. Under this proposal, a 
car manufactured to the

[[Page 45058]]

performance standard must be approved in accordance with Sec.  
179.13(a) and must incorporate several enhancements to increase 
puncture resistance; provide thermal protection to survive a 100-minute 
pool fire; and protect top fitting and bottom outlets during a train 
accident. The proposed performance standard is intended to encourage 
innovation in tank car designs, including materials of construction and 
tank car protection features, while providing an equivalent level of 
safety as the DOT Specification 117. Tank car manufacturers would be 
allowed to develop alternative designs provided they comply with the 
performance requirements. Under the proposal, such a design, for 
example, may incorporate materials of construction that increase 
puncture resistance but reduce the tank weight, increasing the amount 
of product in a tank and reducing the number of shipments required to 
move the same amount of hazardous materials.
    A tank car that meets the performance requirements, if adopted, 
will be assigned to ``DOT Specification 117P.'' Builders would have to 
demonstrate compliance with the performance standards and receive FRA 
approval prior to building the cars.

G. Existing Tank Cars for High-Hazard Flammable Trains

    As discussed in Section F above, there are three proposed tank car 
Options for new cars, each with a prescribed tank car and a performance 
standard. PHMSA proposes to also require existing cars to meet the same 
DOT Specification 117P performance standard as these new cars, except 
for the requirement to include top fittings protections. Existing tank 
car tanks may continue to rely on the equipment installed at the time 
of manufacture. PHMSA chose not to include top fitting protections as 
part of any retrofit requirement as the costliness of such retrofit is 
not supported with a corresponding appropriate safety benefit.\63\ 
Therefore, retrofitted cars will meet the DOT Specification 117P 
performance standard and may continue to rely on the equipment 
installed at the time of manufacture. The Options for the performance 
standard outlined above and in the regulatory text of this NPRM are:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \63\ The cost to retrofitting Top fitting protection (if no top 
fitting protection) is estimated to be $24,500, while the comparable 
effectiveness rates are low. For effectiveness rates see Table 19.

     Option 1: PHMSA and FRA designed car;
     Option 2: AAR 2014 Tank Car; and
     Option 3: Enhanced Jacketed CPC-1232.

    We request comments regarding the impacts associated with each tank 
car option as a standard for existing tank cars. Specifically, we would 
like to know which portions of the fleet commenters expect would be 
retrofitted, repurposed, or retired under each option, and the 
anticipated costs and benefits.
    In the September 6, 2013 ANPRM we specifically requested comments 
pertaining to the various retrofit options discussed in the tank car 
petitions. In its comments, NTSB urges PHMSA to take immediate action 
to require a safer package for transporting flammable hazardous 
materials by rail. In its comments, NTSB restates its concerns that any 
regulatory action should apply to new construction and the existing 
tank car fleet.
    Railway Supply Institute strongly urges PHMSA to adopt a separate 
approach for existing tank cars that is uniquely tailored to the needs 
of the existing DOT Specification 111 tank car fleet. It adds,

    Many builders and offerors have already made a significant 
capital investment in ordering and manufacturing new tank cars that 
are built to the CPC-1232 standard and thus are also compliant with 
the P-1577 standards. A total of 55,546 CPC-1232 compliant tank cars 
will be in service by the end of 2015. This level of activity 
represents an industry investment in excess of $7.0 billion. In 
light of the industry's proactive decision to incorporate these new 
safety enhancements by adopting this standard, RSICTC requests that 
PHMSA recognize that these cars already contain safety enhancements 
and thus exempt them from any additional modifications that may be 
required under the future rule. RSICTC urges PHMSA to expeditiously 
address this aspect of the rulemaking to remove any uncertainty 
which may otherwise impede the enhancement of overall fleet safety 
performance.

    In their comments Watco and the Railway Supply Institute (RSI) 
provided detailed cost information on each of the enhancements 
necessary to bring older cars up to the new performance standard. These 
include the cost of top fitting protections,\64\ jackets, thermal 
protection or replacement of the pressure relief valve, a new bottom 
outlet valve handle, full-height head shields, and ECP brake 
installation (for Option 1).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \64\ Top Fitting Protections are new construction requirements 
only and are not required as part of any retrofits.

              Table 19--Retrofit Costs From Public Comments
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Retrofit option                            Cost
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Bottom outlet valve handle...................................     $1,200
Pressure relief valve........................................      1,500
New truck....................................................     16,000
Thermal protection...........................................      4,000
Full jacket..................................................     23,000
Full height head shield......................................     17,500
Top fitting protection (if no top fitting protection) \68\...     24,500
ECP brakes...................................................      5,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Two retrofit options--increased \1/8-inch\ thickness and roll-over 
protection--were not included in the public comments providing cost 
estimates. We expect that existing tank cars with \7/16-inch\ shell 
thickness will meet this any tank car standard with \9/16-inch\ shell 
thickness by adding \1/8-inch\ thickness to the retrofitted jacket 
(increasing the jacket thickness from its usual 11-gauge thickness), 
and assume this thicker jacket costs an additional $2,000 (from the 
estimated $23,000 cost for an 11-gauge jacket). In addition, we expect 
no costs from any retrofit for roll-over protection relative to the 
top-fitting the protection cost estimate provided in public comments.
    Many public commenters raised technical issues and potential 
implementation problems from an industry-wide retrofit for crude oil 
and ethanol cars. For example, the API public comment noted issues with 
the extra weight on stub sills and tank car structures, and issues with 
head shields and brake wheels/end platforms, and issues with truck 
replacement. API also expressed implementation concerns about shop 
capacity, the current backlog of car orders, and engineering capacity. 
Public commenters stated that PHMSA should set an implementation 
timeframe conducive to avoiding service bottlenecks.
    While the CPC 1232 tank car enhancements will significantly improve 
safety for newly manufactured tank cars, RSICTC strongly urges PHMSA to 
promulgate a separate rulemaking for existing tank cars that is 
uniquely tailored to the needs of the existing DOT Specification 111 
tank car fleet. RSICTC further states, ``[s]hould modifications be made 
to the existing jacketed DOT-111s to conform to the CPC-1232 standards, 
we again urge PHMSA to allow these modified cars to remain in active 
service for the duration of their regulatory life.'' RSICTC also 
submits that PHMSA adopt a ten-year program allowing compliance to be 
achieved in phases through modification, re-purposing or retirement of 
unmodified tank cars in Class 3, PG

[[Page 45059]]

I and II flammable liquid service. Tank car modifications supported by 
RSICTC include adding half-height head shields, protecting top and 
bottom fittings and adding pressure release valves or enhancing 
existing pressure release valves.
    Greenbrier, a tank car manufacturer and servicer has stated that 
the most vital of these modifications is the addition of a trapezoidal 
or conforming half-height head shield to prevent penetration of tank 
cars by loose rails. Greenbrier stated that together with the top and 
bottom fittings protections and enhanced release valves, these 
improvements could significantly limit the likelihood of breaching the 
tank car. Further, Greenbrier commented that the ten-year timeline 
suggested by RSICTC is excessive and unmodified tank cars could and 
should be removed from hazardous materials service much sooner.
    API and other commenters stated in their comments that they are 
strongly opposed to the mandating of any retrofits beyond the higher-
flow pressure relief device recommended by the T87.6 Task Force for 
thermal protection due to the lack of economic and logistical 
feasibility. The table 20 presents how we expect the fleet to evolve 
going forward if regulations are not adopted.

                           Table 20--Fleet Projections 2015-2034 Absent New Regulation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Total cars                     DOT 111 with                   CPC 1232  with
              Year                   baseline         DOT 111         jacket         CPC 1232         jacket
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2014............................          89,422          51,592           5,600          22,380           9,850
2015............................         109.722          51,592           5,600          22,380          30,150
2016............................         115,544          51,592           5,600          22,380          35,972
2017............................         121,366          51,592           5,600          22,380          41,794
2018............................         127,188          51,592           5,600          22,380          47,616
2019............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2020............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2021............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2022............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2023............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2024............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2025............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2026............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2027............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2028............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2029............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2030............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2031............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2032............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2033............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
2034............................         133,010          51,592           5,600          22,380          53,438
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PHMSA believes that reliance on HHFTs to transport millions of 
gallons of flammable materials is a risk that must be addressed. For 
the purposes of crude oil and ethanol that are classed as flammable 
liquids, the DOT Specification 111 tank car would no longer be 
authorized for use in HHFT. A risk-based timeline for continued use of 
the DOT Specification 111 tank car in HHFTs is provided in Sec. Sec.  
173.241, 173.242, and 173.243. This approach also provides time for car 
owners to update existing fleets while prioritizing risk-reduction from 
the highest danger (packing group) flammable liquid material (See table 
15).
    It has been demonstrated that the DOT Specification 111 tank car 
provides insufficient puncture resistance, is vulnerable to fire and 
roll-over accidents, and the current bottom outlet valves are easily 
severable in HHFT accidents. These risks have been demonstrated by 
recent accidents of HHFTs transporting flammable liquids.
    PHMSA is proposing to limit continued use of the DOT Specification 
111 tank car to non-HHFTs. In addition, PHMSA is proposing to authorize 
the continued use of DOT Specification 111 tank car in combustible 
liquid service, given the risks associated with crude oil or ethanol, 
classified as a flammable liquid, are greater than that of combustible 
liquids. This rule does not cover unit trains of materials that are 
classed or reclassified as a combustible liquid. Existing HMR 
requirements for these materials will not change. Therefore, under 
current Sec.  172.102(c)(3) Special provision B1, for materials with a 
flash point at or above 38 [deg]C (100[emsp14][deg]F) that are classed 
or reclassed as combustible liquids (see Sec.  173.150(f)) or, crude 
oil and ethanol that are classed as flammable liquids (all packing 
groups) and not transported in HHFTs, an existing DOT Specification 111 
tank car will continue to be authorized for use. Thus, except those 
tank cars intended for combustible liquid service, any tank car 
manufactured after October 1, 2015 that will be used in a HHFT must 
meet or exceed the new DOT Specification 117 standard.
    Because of the risks involved, PHMSA is applying the same 
requirements for new cars as it is for existing cars, with one 
exception. PHMSA does not propose to require additional top fittings 
protection for retrofits, because the costs exceed the benefits. Newly 
constructed cars, however, are required to have additional top fittings 
protection. Except for additional top fittings protection, the 
requirements for newly constructed tank cars and retrofits are the 
same.
    If it can be ascertained that an existing tank car can meet the new 
performance standards, it would be authorized for use in a HHFT. From a 
technical standpoint, PHMSA expects legacy cars will be able to 
withstand the additional weight across all of the tank car options, 
without truck replacement, because PHMSA believes the vast majority of 
cars in crude and ethanol service have been built in the past 15 years. 
As a result, cars in this service should have a truck that would 
support the extra weight of the retrofits. PHMSA believes all cars 
manufactured in this time period were built to a 286,000 lbs. weight 
limit standards, and would include a truck that would support the extra 
weight of retrofits.
    The proposed changes for existing tank cars are based on comments 
discussed above, simulations, and

[[Page 45060]]

modeling. Modeling and simulation of puncture speed velocity of DOT 
Specification 111 tank cars currently used to transport ethanol or 
crude oil indicate that a velocity of approximately 7.4 mph will 
puncture the shell of the tanks when struck with a rigid 12 
x 12 indenter with a weight of 297,000 pounds. Validation of 
this model has been accomplished using the results of puncture tests 
performed at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, CO.\65\ 
Further, based on modeling and simulation, the head of an unjacketed 
DOT Specification 111 tank car, when struck with a 12 x 
12 indenter weighing 286,000 pounds will puncture at 7.6 
mph. Table 21 provides the tank car shell and head puncture velocities 
of the DOT Specification 117 tank car Options proposed in this rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \65\ ``Detailed Puncture Analyses Tank Cars: Analysis of 
Different Impactor Threats and Impact Conditions'' can be found at: 
http://www.fra.dot.gov/eLib/details/L04420.

                     Table 21--Effectiveness of Existing Tank Car Options Relative to the Non-Jacketed DOT111 Specification Tank Car
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                                                          BOV (%) chose
                                                                 Head  puncture    Shell  puncture   Thermal  damage                     not to  include
                  Tank car                        Total (%)            (%)               (%)               (%)        Top fittings (%)    top  fitting
                                                                                                                                           protections
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Option 1....................................                51                21                17                12               N/A                <1
Option 2....................................                50                21                17                12               N/A                <1
Option 3....................................                40                19                 9                12               N/A                 0
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Similar to the methodology for estimating the effectiveness of new 
cars, PHMSA uses these puncture velocities to arrive at risk reduction 
estimates for retrofits. In evaluating train accidents involving HHFTs 
listed in Table 3 above, we found that all but one of the derailments 
occurred in excess of 20 mph. Only two of the derailments occurred at a 
speed of between 20 mph and 30 mph, four occurred between 30 and 40 mph 
and six occurred at speeds in excess of 40 mph. The documented 
derailment speeds exceed the puncture velocity of both the DOT 
Specification 111 tank car and the Options proposed in this rule. 
However, during a derailment the speeds of impacts will vary 
considerably between cars, and many of those impacts will not result in 
a puncture. The portion of those impacts that could result in a 
puncture would decline with the higher puncture velocity of the DOT 
Specification 117 tank car Options proposed in this NPRM. As a result 
of use of the proposed DOT Specification 117 tank cars, we expect the 
volume of flammable liquid released into the environment and the 
consequences of a train accident to be reduced.
    For Option 1, the PHMSA and FRA designed car,
     Retrofitting a DOT 111 Unjacketed (not including ECP brake 
risk reduction) reduces accident severity by 51 percent.
     Retrofitting a DOT 111 Jacketed (not including ECP brake 
risk reduction) reduces accident severity by 21 percent.
     Retrofitting a CPC 1232 Unjacketed (not including ECP 
brake risk reduction) reduces accident severity by 28 percent.
     Retrofitting a CPC 1232 Jacketed (not including ECP brake 
risk reduction) reduces accident severity by 10 percent.
    For Option 2, the AAR 2014 car,
     Retrofitting a DOT 111 Unjacketed reduces accident 
severity by 50 percent.
     Retrofitting a DOT 111 Jacketed reduces accident severity 
by 21 percent.
     Retrofitting a CPC 1232 Unjacketed reduces accident 
severity by 28 percent.
     Retrofitting a CPC 1232 Jacketed reduces accident severity 
by 10 percent.
    For Option 3, the Enhanced CPC 1232 car,
     Retrofitting a DOT 111 Unjacketed reduces accident 
severity by 40 percent.
     Retrofitting a DOT 111 Jacketed reduces accident severity 
by 11 percent.
     Retrofitting a CPC 1232 Unjacketed reduces accident 
severity by 18 percent.
     Retrofitting a CPC 1232 Jacketed does not reduce accident 
severity.
    In Recommendation R-12-5, NTSB recommended that new and existing 
tank cars authorized for transportation of ethanol and crude oil in PGs 
I and II have enhanced tank head and shell puncture resistance systems 
and top fittings protection. PHMSA chose not to include top fitting 
protections as part of any retrofit requirement as the costliness of 
such retrofit is not supported with a corresponding appropriate safety 
benefit.
    A requirement to retrofit existing cars would be costly. Total 
costs could exceed $30,000 per car. In addition, a retrofit would 
result in a decrease in asset utilization (out-of-service time of at 
least one month). As such, PHMSA is proposing to allow numerous options 
for compliance. Existing DOT Specification 111 tank cars may be 
retrofitted to DOT Specification 117, retired, repurposed, or operated 
under speed restrictions.
    As a result of this rule, PHMSA expects all DOT Specification 111 
Jacketed and CPC 1232 Jacketed crude oil and ethanol cars (about 15,000 
cars) to be transferred to Alberta, Canada tar sands services. It does, 
however, expect the majority of DOT 111 Un-Jacketed and CPC 1232 
Unjacketed cars (about 66,000 cars) to be retrofitted; some DOT 
Unjacketed and CPC 1232 Unjacketed cars (about 8,000 cars) will be 
transferred to Alberta, Canada tar sands services. No existing tank 
cars will be forced into early retirement.
    Specifically, for Option 1, the PHMSA and FRA designed car,
     Retrofitting a DOT 111 Unjacketed would cost $33,400, plus 
$1,032 in out-of-service time and $1,019 in additional fuel and 
maintenance costs per year.
     Retrofitting a CPC 1232 Unjacketed would cost $32,900, 
plus $944 in out-of-service time and $641 in additional fuel and 
maintenance costs per year.
    For Option 2, the AAR 2014 car,
     Retrofitting a DOT 111 Unjacketed would cost $28,900, plus 
$1,033 in out-of-service time and $1,019 in additional fuel and 
maintenance costs per year.
     Retrofitting a CPC 1232 Unjacketed would cost $28,400, 
plus $944 in out-of-service time and $641 in additional fuel and 
maintenance costs per year.
    For Option 3, the Enhanced CPC 1232 car,
     Retrofitting a DOT 111 Unjacketed would cost $26,730, plus 
$1,032 in out-of-service time and $1019 in additional fuel and 
maintenance costs per year.
     Retrofitting a CPC 1232 Unjacketed would cost $26,230, 
plus $944 in out-of-service time and $641 in additional fuel and 
maintenance costs per year.
    To better focus limited resources on the highest risk materials, we 
are proposing to revise each of the bulk packaging sections, Sec. Sec.  
173.241, 173.242,

[[Page 45061]]

and 173.243, to a provide a timeline for the phase out of existing cars 
that are in HHFTs based on packing group (See table 15).
    This risk-based approach provides sufficient time for car owners to 
update the existing fleet while prioritizing the highest danger 
material. Specifically, based on estimates of the current fleet size 
and composition paired with production capacity of tank car 
manufacturers expressed by commenters to the ANPRM, we believe that 
providing a two year phase in of packing group I will not result in a 
shortage of available tank cars for HHFT (See RIA for further detail). 
It also provides additional time for cars to meet the DOT Specification 
117 performance standard if offerors take steps to reduce the 
volatility of the material. Separation of dissolved gases from crude 
oil, for example can reduce the boiling point and flammability of the 
material, potentially shifting the product to a different Packing 
Group. This may be achieved through a number of methods, including 
using better separators and aging of crude oil.
    As proposed in this NPRM, DOT Specification 111 tank cars may be 
retrofitted to DOT Specification 117, retired, repurposed, or operated 
under speed restrictions. Further our proposal limits the future use of 
DOT Specification 111 tank cars only if used in a HHFT. DOT 
Specification 111 tank cars can continue to be used to transport other 
commodities, including flammable liquids provided they are not in a 
HHFT. These options provide tank car owners and rail carriers with the 
opportunity to make operational changes that focus on the greatest 
risks and minimize the impact to the greatest extent practicable.
    PHMSA seeks public comment on the following discussions and 
questions. When commenting, please reference the specific portion of 
the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and 
include the source, methodology, and key assumptions of any supporting 
evidence.
    1. PHMSA expects about 23,000 cars will be transferred to Alberta 
tar sands service as a result of this rule. PHMSA also expects no cars 
will be retired as a result of this rule. How many of the existing DOT 
Specification 111 and CPC-1232 tank cars that will be retired? How many 
will be repurposed? How many will be retrofitted?
    2. What are the benefits and costs of each of those actions 
(retiring, re-purposing, and retrofitting)?
    3. Does this estimate for tar sand service re-purposing reflect the 
demand for these tank cars? Would any tank cars be re-purposed to 
transport a different material?
    4. Should the CPC-1232 cars be exempted from some or all of the 
retrofitting requirements described here? If so, what are the benefits 
and costs of those exemptions?
    5. Should CPC-1232 cars have a different implementation timeframe 
than legacy DOT 111 cars? If so, what are the benefits and costs of a 
different implementation timeframe? What would the economic effects be 
of retiring, repurposing or retrofitting, within five years, CPC-1232 
tank cars used in flammable liquid service? What would the economic 
effects be of retiring, repurposing or retrofitting, within ten years, 
CPC-1232 tank cars used in flammable liquid service?
    6. For Options 1 and 2, how would existing legacy tank cars comply 
with the requirement for an additional \1/8-inch\ thickness? Would 
these cars be retrofitted to have jackets thicker than 11-gauge? To 
what extent would this introduce engineering challenges?
    7. PHMSA estimates all existing crude oil and ethanol cars are 
capable of handling 286,000 GRL without truck replacement. To what 
extent would the additional weight of the retrofit Options require 
structural changes to existing tank cars?
    8. PHMSA requests any available detailed data set on the safety 
features of the existing fleet.
    9. Would the increased size and weight of the tank car Options have 
any other effects not discussed in the NPRM or accompanying RIA? To 
what extent would they affect braking rates? To what extent would they 
affect track safety performance? To what extent would they affect 
loading practices?
    10. What additional safety features not discussed here, if any, 
should PHMSA consider? If so, please provide detailed estimates on the 
costs and benefits of individual safety features.
    11. Do any of the safety features included in any of the Options 
have costs that exceed benefits? If so, please provide detailed 
estimates on the costs and benefits of individual safety features.
    In addition, while DOT's September 6, 2013 ANPRM, NTSB 
Recommendation R-12-5, and some commenters and petitions linked 
enhanced tank car specifications and retrofitting of existing tanks 
cars to only packaging group I and II materials, this NPRM proposes 
packaging requirements for all flammable liquids in a HHFT, regardless 
of packing group. Table 22 provides PHMSA's rational for including 
flammable liquids in packing groups I, II, and III.
    DOT created Class 3 packing groups based on differences in 
volatility and ignitability [55 FR 16500]. Volatile liquids, having a 
lower flash point, have higher vapor phase concentrations and upon 
release, may catch fire immediately or from surface evaporation upon 
forming pools, generate a flammable cloud which could ignite and burn 
(flash fire), or explode in a vapor cloud explosion. It is also 
possible there is no ignition source and instead a potentially toxic 
and or flammable vapor cloud results. Other factors such as weather 
conditions, wind direction, and congestion around the release influence 
the potential impact of the incident. In order to perform a consequence 
and impact analysis on different types of incidents, PHMSA would model 
the release amount and properties and determine the subsequent impact 
of the material and/or energy on people, environment, and physical 
surroundings. The impact of different types of flammable liquid spills 
could be evaluated based on trinitrotoluene (TNT) equivalency approach, 
multi-energy methods, the Baker-Strehlow model, or other 
methods.66 67 The results of the modeling could include 1 
radiant heat from a fire, peak overpressure from an explosion, impulse 
duration, and potential blast size to determine the potential damages. 
Lower overpressures (less than 10 psig) may result in collapse of 
nearby buildings, resulting in the people inside them susceptible to 
injury or fatality, while relatively higher overpressures (>15 psig) 
are needed to cause a human fatality directly from an 
explosion.68 69
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \66\ Sochet I. Blast effects of external explosions Eighth 
International Symposium on Hazards, Prevention, and Mitigation of 
Industrial Explosions, Yokohama: Japan (2010)--http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00629253.
    \67\ Center for Chemical Process Safety, Guidelines for Chemical 
Process Quantitative Risk Analysis. Wiley (2010).
    \68\ Kent, J. Handbook of Industrial Chemistry and 
Biotechnology. Springer (2013).
    \69\ Nolan, D. Handbook of Fire and Explosion Protection 
Engineering Principles: for Oil, Gas, Chemical and Related 
Facilities. William Andrew (2014).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While Packing Group III materials (flash point greater than or 
equal to 73[emsp14][deg]F) are less volatile and may pose a lower fire 
and explosion risk than materials in Packing Groups I and II, PHMSA 
believes the risk of an incident from a HHFT containing Packing Group 
III flammable liquids is sufficient to warrant enhanced car standards 
and inclusion in the HHFT definition. Further, PHMSA is concerned about 
the possibility of spills and fires from HHFT carrying Packing Group 
III materials in

[[Page 45062]]

large volumes. Table 22 provides PHMSA's rational for including 
flammable liquids in packing groups I, II, and III.

                         Table 22--Enhanced Car Standards for Flammable Liquids in HHFT
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                   Issue                                                 Explanation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Volume of Material.........................  The large volume of flammable liquid transported in a HHFT poses a
                                              safety and environmental risk regardless of the packing group.
                                              Specifically, this amount of material contained in a tank car
                                              poses a risk of a considerable oil spill (~35,000 gallon per tank
                                              car). Based on the accidents evaluated in the RIA, approximately 5
                                              cars on average release product with an average quantity release
                                              of approximately 84,000 gallons. Such a spill could result in
                                              significant environmental damage regardless of packing group. By
                                              requiring packing group III materials to be contained in a more
                                              robust tank car, the potential environmental damage from an oil
                                              spill is mitigated as the conditional probability of release would
                                              be decreased.
Combustible Liquid Exception...............  PHMSA is proposing to retain the exception that permits flammable
                                              liquids with a flash point at or above 38 [deg]C (100 [deg]F) to
                                              be reclassed as combustible liquids, provided that material does
                                              not meet the definition of any other hazard class. Therefore, the
                                              existing DOT Specification 111 tank cars would continue to be
                                              authorized for these materials. This would allow the existing tank
                                              cars to continue to be used for certain low-hazard packing group
                                              III flammable liquids that are reclassified as combustible
                                              liquids. However, except for combustible liquids service, tank
                                              cars manufactured after October 1, 2015, would be required to meet
                                              the requirements for the DOT Specification 117 when used in a
                                              HHFT.
Consistency................................  Providing a single packaging authorization across all three
                                              flammable liquid packaging groups would simplify the requirements
                                              while providing a packaging appropriate to handle all flammable
                                              liquids.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PHMSA seeks public comment on the following discussions and 
questions. When commenting, please reference the specific portion of 
the proposal, explain the reason for any recommended change, and 
include the source, methodology, and key assumptions of any supporting 
evidence. Further, we request comments on the following:

    1. Are there any relatively lower hazard, lower risk flammable 
liquids that could potentially be exempt from the enhanced car 
standards for HHFT?
    2. Is the current exception for combustible liquids sufficient 
to incentivize producers to reduce the volatility of crude oil for 
continued use of existing tank cars?
    3. Would an exception for all PG III flammable liquids further 
incentivize producers to reduce the volatility of crude oil prior to 
transportation?
    4. What are the impacts on the costs and safety benefits of 
degasifying to these levels?
    5. What are the economic impacts of the proposed phase out date 
for existing DOT Specification 111 tank cars used to transport PG 
III flammable liquids?
    6. Fire and explosion risk of Class III Flammable liquids
    a. What characteristics of a released flammable liquid 
significantly affect the likelihood and consequence of fire or 
explosion upon release?
    b. What physical or environmental features of a release affect 
the likelihood and consequence of fire or explosion upon release?
    c. What existing scientific information is available concerning 
the explosion hazards of hydrocarbons and other liquids?
    d. What types of flammable liquids are most susceptible to a 
high-consequence detonation explosion upon release?
    e. What data exists on the relationship between liquid 
properties and fire and blast zone size?
    7. Should shippers be allowed to petition PHMSA for an exemption 
from the requirements for HHFT based on the properties of Class III 
liquids? What should be considered (e.g. chemical properties, 
historical data, scientific information) before issuing an 
exemption?

H. Forthcoming FRA NPRM on Securement and Attendance

    On July 23, 2013, Transport Canada issued an Emergency Directive 
providing safety and security requirements for locomotives in Canada by 
focusing on securement, attendance, crew size and security of 
locomotives on main track and sidings.\70\ In regard to attendance, the 
Emergency Directive requires attendance for any locomotive coupled to 
one or more loaded tank cars containing hazardous materials that are on 
a main line track.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \70\ The Emergency Directive is available at the following URL: 
http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/mediaroom/backgrounders-safety-locomotives-7292.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On August 7, 2013, FRA published EO 28 to address safety issues 
related to attendance and securement of certain hazardous materials 
trains. EO 28 prohibits railroads from leaving trains or vehicles 
transporting the specified hazardous materials unattended on mainline 
track or siding outside of a yard or terminal unless the railroad 
adopts and complies with a plan that provides sufficient justification 
for leaving them unattended under specific circumstances and locations.
    In addition to demonstrating the potential tragic consequences of a 
derailment involving rail cars containing hazardous materials, the 
incident in Lac M[eacute]gantic, Quebec identified vulnerabilities of 
safety and security that could result in future train accidents. 
Emergency Order No. 28 was issued to address certain vulnerabilities 
specific to the Lac-M[eacute]gantic incident, but others likely exist. 
In addition, the agencies' Joint Safety Advisories published on August 
7, 2013 and November 20, 2013 stress the importance of security 
planning and updating security plans to address changes made to 
railroad operations as a result of Emergency Order No. 28.
    We did not seek comments on these or other attendance requirements 
in the ANPRM. However, as outlined above, RSAC members have submitted a 
consensus recommendation to FRA regarding the hazard classes and 
threshold quantities of hazardous materials that should trigger 
additional operating procedures, including attendance and securement 
requirements.\71\ In summary, RSAC recommended that trains with loaded 
cars meet new requirements regarding: (1) The duty status and hours of 
service for any railroad personnel left to attend or secure a train; 
(2) job briefings for train crews that cover the details of individual 
responsibilities for the securement of a train; (3) locking 
requirements for locomotives and/or train controls; (4) verification of 
securement procedures by personnel not members of the train crew, and 
reporting verified securement to dispatchers; and (5) procedures for 
verifying securement in the event that emergency response personnel 
have been on, under, or between equipment that has been previously 
secured.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \71\ The recommendation is available at the following URL: 
https://rsac.fra.dot.gov/meetings/Railroad%20Safety%20Advisory%20Committee%20Securement%20Recommendation%20VOTE.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Because the RSAC recommendation is robust in its approach to 
matters of

[[Page 45063]]

attendance and securement, and because it covers hazmat beyond crude 
oil and ethanol, PHMSA believes that FRA is best suited to address the 
matter in its forthcoming NPRM based on the RSAC recommendation. PHMSA 
seeks information and comment on any alternate approaches that may be 
considered along with the RSAC recommendation regarding the attendance 
and securement of these types of trains.

VI. Regulatory Review and Notices

A. Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, Executive Order 13610 
and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    This NPRM is considered a significant regulatory action under 
section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866 and was reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB). The NPRM is considered a significant 
regulatory action under the Regulatory Policies and Procedures order 
issued by DOT (44 FR 11034, February 26, 1979). PHMSA has prepared and 
placed in the docket a Regulatory Impact Assessment addressing the 
economic impact of this proposed rule.
    Executive Orders 12866 (``Regulatory Planning and Review'') and 
13563 (``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review'') require agencies 
to regulate in the ``most cost-effective manner,'' to make a ``reasoned 
determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its 
costs,'' and to develop regulations that ``impose the least burden on 
society.'' Executive Order 13610, issued May 10, 2012, urges agencies 
to conduct retrospective analyses of existing rules to examine whether 
they remain justified and whether they should be modified or 
streamlined in light of changed circumstances, including the rise of 
new technologies. The Department of Transportation believes that 
streamlined and clear regulations are important to ensure compliance 
with important safety regulations. As such the Department has developed 
a plan detailing how such reviews are conducted.\72\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \72\ Department of Transportation's plan for retrospective 
regulatory reviews is available at the following URL: http://www.dot.gov/regulations/dot-retrospective-reviews-rules.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Additionally, Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13610 require 
agencies to provide a meaningful opportunity for public participation. 
Accordingly, PHMSA invites comments on these considerations, including 
any cost or benefit figures or factors, alternative approaches, and 
relevant scientific, technical and economic data. These comments will 
help PHMSA evaluate whether the proposed requirements are appropriate. 
PHMSA also seeks comment on potential data and information gathering 
activities that could be useful in designing an evaluation and/or 
retrospective review of this rulemaking.
    The United States has experienced a dramatic growth in the quantity 
of flammable materials being shipped by rail in recent years. According 
to the rail industry, in the U.S. in 2009, there were 10,800 carloads 
of crude oil shipped by rail. In 2013, there were 400,000 carloads. In 
the Bakken region, over one million barrels a day of crude oil was 
produced in March 2014,\73\ most of which is transported by rail.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \73\ Information regarding oil and gas production is available 
at the following URL: http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/drilling/#tabs-summary-2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Transporting flammable material carries safety and environmental 
risks. The risk of flammability is compounded in the context of rail 
transportation because petroleum crude oil and ethanol are commonly 
shipped in large unit trains.
    In recent years, train accidents involving a flammable material 
release and resulting fire with severe consequences have occurred with 
increasing frequency (i.e. Arcadia, OH, Plevna, MT, Casselton, ND, 
Aliceville, AL, Lac-M[eacute]gantic, Quebec).
    PHMSA is proposing this NPRM, in order to increase the safety of 
crude and ethanol shipments by rail. We are proposing revisions to the 
HMR to establish requirements specific to HHFTs. As described in 
greater detail throughout this document, this NPRM is a system-wide, 
comprehensive approach consistent with the risks posed by flammable 
liquids transported by rail in HHFTs. Specifically, requirements 
address:
    (1) Rail routing restrictions;
    (2) tank car integrity;
    (3) speed restrictions;
    (4) braking systems;
    (5) proper classification and characterization of mined liquid and 
gas; and
    (6) notification to State Emergency Response Commissions (SERCs).

Table 1 (Restated here) summarizes major provisions of the proposal, 
and identifies those affected.

                                   Table 1--Affected Entities and Requirements
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Proposed requirement                                        Affected entity
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Better classification and characterization of mined gases and   Offerors/Shippers of all mined gases and
 liquids.                                                        liquids.
 Written sampling and testing program for all mined
 gases and liquids, such as crude oil, to address:
    (1) frequency of sampling and testing;
    (2) sampling at various points along the supply chain;
    (3) sampling methods that ensure a representative sample
     of the entire mixture;
    (4) testing methods to enable complete analysis,
     classification, and characterization of material;
    (5) statistical justification for sample frequencies; and,
    (6) duplicate samples for quality assurance.
 Require offerer to certify that program is in place,
 document the testing and sampling program, and make results
 available to DOT personnel, upon request.
Rail routing risk assessment..................................  Rail Carriers, Emergency Responders.
     Requires carriers to perform a routing analysis
     that considers 27 safety and security factors. The
     carrier must select a route based on findings of the
     route analysis. These planning requirements are
     prescribed in Sec.   172.820 and would be expanded to
     apply to HHFTs.
Notification to SERCs
     Require trains containing one million gallons of
     Bakken crude oil to notify State Emergency Response
     Commissions (SERCs) or other appropriate state delegated
     entity about the operation of these trains through their
     States.
Reduced operating speeds

[[Page 45064]]

 
     Restrict all HHFTs to 50-mph in all areas;
     PHMSA is requesting comment on three speed
     restriction options for HHFTs that contain any tank cars
     not meeting the enhanced tank car standards proposed by
     this rule:
    (4) a 40-mph maximum speed restriction in all areas;
    (5) a 40-mph speed restriction in high threat urban areas
     \74\; and,
    (6) a 40-mph speed restriction in areas with a 100K+
     population.
 PHMSA is also requesting comment on a 30-mph speed
 restriction for HHFTs that do not comply with enhanced
 braking requirements.
Enhanced braking
     Require all HHFTs be equipped with alternative
     brake signal propagation systems. Depending on the
     outcome of the tank car standard proposal and
     implementation timing, all HHFTs would be operated with
     either electronic controlled pneumatic brakes (ECP), a
     two-way end of train device (EOT), or distributed power
     (DP).
Enhanced standards for both new and existing tank cars........  Tank Car Manufacturers,
                                                                 Tank Car Owners,
                                                                 Shippers and Rail Carriers.
     Require new tank cars constructed after October
     1, 2015 (that are used to transport flammable liquids as
     part of a HHFT) to meet criteria for a selected option,
     including specific design requirements or performance
     criteria (e.g., thermal, top fittings, and bottom outlet
     protection; tank head and shell puncture resistance) is
     selected in the final rule. PHMSA is requesting comment
     on the following three options for the DOT Specification
     117:
        1. FRA and PHMSA Designed Car, or equivalent
        2. AAR 2014Tank Car,\75\ or equivalent
        3. Jacketed CPC-1232 \76\, or equivalent
     Require existing tank cars that are used to
     transport flammable liquids as part of a HHFT, to be
     retrofitted to meet the selected option for performance
     requirements, except for top fittings protection. Those
     not retrofitted would be retired, repurposed, or operated
     under speed restrictions for up to five years, based on
     packing group assignment of the lading.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Table 5 provides the costs and benefits of the individual 
provisions of the proposed rule. PHMSA is co-proposing three different 
options for tank car standards and three different options for speed 
restrictions. Table 6 presents the costs and benefits of the various 
combinations of proposed tank car and speed restriction provisions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \74\ As defined in 49 CFR 1580.3--High Threat Urban Area (HTUA) 
means an area comprising one or more cities and surrounding areas 
including a 10-mile buffer zone, as listed in appendix A to Part 
1580 of the 49 CFR.
    \75\ On March 9, 2011 AAR submitted petition for rulemaking P-
1577, which was discussed in the ANPRM. In response to the ANPRM, on 
November 15, 2013, AAR and ASLRAA submitted as a comment 
recommendations for tank car standards that are enhanced beyond the 
design in P-1577. For the purposes of this rulemaking this tank car 
will be referred to as the ``AAR 2014 tank car.'' See http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=PHMSA-2012-0082-0090.
    \76\ In 2011, the AAR issued Casualty Prevention Circular (CPC) 
1232, which outlines industry requirements for additional safety 
equipment on certain DOT Specification 111 tanks ordered after 
October 1, 2011, and intended for use in ethanol and crude oil 
service.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Please note that because there is overlap in the risk reduction 
achieved between some of the proposed requirements listed in the Table 
5 (restated). The total benefits and costs of the provisions cannot be 
accurately calculated by summing the benefits and costs of each 
proposed provision. Table 6 (restated), on the other hand, presents 
total benefits and costs of the combinations of speed restriction and 
tank car proposals. Explanation of the comprehensive benefits and costs 
of each combination of proposals is included at the end of the RIA.
    Please also note that, given the uncertainty associated with the 
risks of crude oil and ethanol shipments in the table below (Table 5 
restated here) contains a range of benefits estimates. The low end of 
the range estimates risk from 2015 to 2034 based on the U.S. safety 
record for crude oil and ethanol from 2006 to 2014, adjusting for the 
projected increase in crude oil and ethanol shipment volume over the 
next 20 years. The high end of the range estimates risk from 2015 to 
2034 based on the U.S. safety record for crude oil and ethanol 
shipments from 2006 to 2014, adjusting for the projected increase in 
crude oil and ethanol shipments volume, plus an estimate that the U.S. 
would experience the equivalent of 10 higher consequence safety 
events--nine of which would have environmental damages and monetized 
injury and fatality costs exceeding $1.15 billion and one of which 
would have environmental damages and monetized injury and fatality 
costs exceeding $5.75 billion--over the next 20 years. This outcome 
could result from a smaller number of more severe events, or more 
numerous events that are less severe.

        Table 5--20 Year Costs and Benefits by Stand-Alone Proposed Regulatory Amendments 2015-2034 \77\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Affected section \78\              Provision                 Benefits (7%)                Costs (7%)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
49 CFR 172.820..............  Rail Routing +............  Cost effective if routing   $4.5 million.
                                                           were to reduce risk of an
                                                           incident by 0.17%.
49 CFR 173.41...............  Classification of Mined     Cost effective if this      16.2 million.
                               Gas and Liquid.             requirement reduces risk
                                                           by 0.61%.
49 CFR 174.310..............  Notification to SERCs.....  Qualitative...............  0.

[[Page 45065]]

 
                              Speed Restriction: Option   $199 million-$636 million.  2,680 million.
                               1: 40 mph speed limit all
                               areas *.
                              Speed Restriction: Option   $33.6 million-$108 million  240 million.
                               2: 40 mph 100k people *.
                              Speed Restriction: Option   $6.8 million-$21.8 million  22.9 million.
                               3: 40 mph in HTUAs *.
                              Braking: Electronic         $737 million-$1,759         500 million.
                               Pneumatic Control with DP   million.
                               or EOT .
49 CFR Part 179.............  Option 1: PHMSA and FRA     $822 million-$3,256         3,030 million.
                               designed car @.             million.
                              Option 2: AAR 2014 Tank     $610 million-$2,426         2,571 million.
                               Car.                        million.
                              Option 3: Jacketed CPC-     $393 million-$1,570         2,040 million.
                               1232 (new const.).          million.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: ``*'' indicates voluntary compliance regarding crude oil trains in high-threat urban areas (HTUA).
``+'' indicates voluntary actions that will be taken by shippers and railroads.
``'' indicates that only tank car Option 1, the PHMSA and FRA designed car, has a requirement for ECP
  brakes. However, all HHFTs would be required to have DP or two-way EOT, regardless of which tank car Option is
  selected at the final rule stage.


  Table 6--20 Year Benefits and Costs of Proposal Combinations of Proposed Regulatory Amendments 2015-2034 \79\
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                              Benefit range
                                 Proposal                                       (millions)      Cost (millions)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PHMSA and FRA Design Standard + 40 MPH System Wide........................      $1,436-$4,386             $5,820
PHMSA and FRA Design Standard + 40 MPH in 100K............................      $1,292-$3,836              3,380
PHMSA and FRA Design Standard + 40 MPH in HTUA............................      $1,269-$3,747              3,163
AAR 2014 Standard + 40 MPH System Wide....................................        $794-$3,034              5,272
AAR 2014 Standard + 40 MPH in 100K........................................        $641-$2,449              2,831
AAR 2014 Standard + 40 MPH in HTUA........................................        $616-$2,354              2,614
CPC 1232 Standard + 40 MPH System Wide....................................        $584-$2,232              4,741
CPC 1232 Standard + 40 MPH in 100K........................................        $426-$1,626              2,300
CPC 1232 Standard + 40 MPH in HTUA........................................        $400-$1,527              2,083
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Crude Oil Transport by Rail
    Figure 5 below shows the recent strong growth in crude oil 
production in the U.S., as well as growth in the number of rail 
carloads shipped. Figure 5 also shows forecasted domestic crude oil 
production from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and PHMSA's 
projected strong demand for the rail shipment of crude oil.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \77\ All costs and benefits are in millions over 20 years, and 
are discounted to present value using a 7 percent rate.
    \78\ All affected sections of the Code of Federal Regulations 
(CFR) are in Title 49.
    \79\ All costs and benefits are in millions, and are discounted 
to present value using a 7 percent rate.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 45066]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP01AU14.011

    A rise in rail accidents involving crude oil has also risen along 
with the increase in crude oil production and rail shipments of crude 
oil. Figure 6 below shows this rise.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP01AU14.012

    Based on these train accidents, the projected continued growth of 
domestic crude oil production, and the growing number of train 
accidents involving crude oil, PHMSA concludes that the potential for a 
train accident involving crude oil has increased, which has raised the 
likelihood of a catastrophic train accident that would cause 
substantial damage to life, property, and the environment.
    Additional factors give rise to increased risks, and thus the 
increased probability of a catastrophic event occurring. First, the 
risk of flammability is compounded, because of the practice of shipping 
very large quantities of oil in one train, as shown by the increased 
use of high-hazard flammable trains. In 2008 there were less than 
10,000 rail carloads of crude oil. By 2013 the

[[Page 45067]]

number of rail carloads of increased to over 400,000.\80\ Second, 
unlike other Class 3 manufactured goods, organic materials from oil and 
gas production represent a unique challenge in regards to 
classification. Differences in the chemical makeup of the raw material 
can vary across wells and over time. Unprocessed crude oil may present 
unique hazards such as corrosivity, sulfur content and resolved gas 
content, thereby affecting the integrity of the tank car.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \80\ http://www.stb.dot.gov/stb/industry/econ_waybill.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PHMSA's analysis of this combination of factors suggests an 
increase in the risk of rail related accidents and an increase in the 
likelihood of a catastrophic event.
Ethanol
    U.S. ethanol production has increased considerably during the last 
10 years and has generated similar growth in the transportation of 
ethanol by rail, according to a recent white paper by the Association 
of American Railroads (AAR).\81\ As shown in the Figure 7 EIA projects 
strong demand for ethanol in the future.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \81\ Association of American Railroads. 2013. Railroads and 
Ethanol. Available online at https://www.aar.org/keyissues/Documents/Background-Papers/Railroads%20and%20Ethanol.pdf.
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP01AU14.013

    In 2008 there were around 292,000 rail carloads of ethanol. In 
2011, that number increased over 40 percent to 409,000.\82\ Not 
surprisingly, this growth in rail traffic has been accompanied by an 
increase in the number of rail accidents involving ethanol. Figure 8 
below plots the total number of rail accidents involving ethanol during 
the last 13 years compared to the total carloads of ethanol. The left 
axis shows the total number of rail derailments and the right axis 
shows total carloads shipped.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \82\ http://www.stb.dot.gov/stb/industry/econ_waybill.html.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 45068]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TP01AU14.014

Source: STB Waybill Sample and PHMSA Incident Report Database
Summary of Regulatory Changes
    As described in greater detail throughout this document, the 
proposed rule is a system-wide, comprehensive approach consistent with 
the risks posed by high-hazard flammable trains by rail. Requirements 
address:
     Rail Routing;
     Tank Cars;
     Braking;
     Speed Restrictions;
     Classification of Mined Gas and Liquid; and
     Notification to SERCs.
    This approach is designed to mitigate damages of rail accidents 
involving flammable materials, though some provisions could also 
prevent accidents.
    The RIA discusses, consistent with this NPRM, six requirement 
areas. Although we analyze the effects of individual requirements 
separately, the preferred alternative proposed in this rulemaking is a 
system-wide approach covering all requirement areas consistent with 
this NPRM.
    The analysis shows that expected damages based on the historical 
safety record are expected to exceed $4.5 billion and that damages from 
high-consequence events could reach $13.7 billion over a 20-year period 
in the absence of the rule.
    PHMSA has proposed multiple options for Speed Restrictions and Tank 
Car standards. These options are mutually exclusive. PHMSA may select 
one of these options for each of Speed Restrictions and Tank Car 
standards, potentially including modifications based on public comments 
in response to this NPRM and changed circumstances.
    PHMSA supports a system-wide approach covering all requirement 
areas provided above. Following consideration of public comments, PHMSA 
will consider alternatives for one or more of these requirement areas.

B. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4, 2 U.S.C. 
1531) (UMRA) requires each agency to prepare a written statement for 
any proposed or final rule that includes a ``Federal mandate that may 
result in the expenditure by State, local, and Native American Indian 
tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of 
$100,000,000 or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one 
year.'' The value equivalent of $100 million in 1995, adjusted for 
inflation to 2012 levels, is $151 million. If adopted, this proposed 
rule would not impose enforceable duties on State, local, or Native 
American Indian tribal governments. UMRA was designed to ensure that 
Congress and Executive Branch agencies consider the impact of 
legislation and regulations on States, local governments, and tribal 
governments, and the private sector. With respect to States and 
localities, UMRA was an important step in recognizing State and local 
governments as partners in our intergovernmental system, rather than 
mere entities to be regulated or extensions of the Federal government.
    As described in greater detail throughout this document, the 
proposed rule is a system-wide, comprehensive approach consistent with 
the risks posed by high-hazard flammable materials transported by rail. 
Specifically, requirements address: (1) Proper classification and 
characterization, (2) operational controls to lessen the likelihood and 
consequences of train accidents and (3) tank car integrity. The RIA 
discusses, consistent with this NPRM, six requirement areas: Rail 
Routing, Classification of Mined Gas and Liquid, Notification of SERCs, 
Speed Restrictions, Braking, and enhanced Tank Car standards.
    If adopted, this proposed rule would impose enforceable duties on 
the private sector of an annual average of approximately $250-$600 
million over a 20-year period. It might result in costs to the private 
sector that exceed $151 million in any one year and those costs and 
benefits associated with this rulemaking have been discussed under 
paragraph A, Executive Order 12866, Executive Order 13563, Executive 
Order 13610 and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures, of this 
section. The RIA is available in the public docket for this rulemaking.

[[Page 45069]]

    PHMSA invites comments on these considerations, including any 
unfunded mandates related to this rulemaking.

C. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    Executive Order 13132 requires agencies to assure meaningful and 
timely input by state and local officials in the development of 
regulatory policies that may have ``substantial direct effects on the 
states, on the relationship between the national government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government.''
    This NPRM has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and 
criteria contained in Executive Orders 13132 (``Federalism''). The 
proposals in the NPRM, if adopted, would not have any direct effect on 
the states, or their political subdivisions; it would not impose any 
compliance costs; and it would not affect the relationships between the 
national government and the states, or political subdivisions, or the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government. We invite state and local governments with an interest in 
this rulemaking to comment on any effect that proposed requirements 
could have on them, if adopted. However, several of the issues 
addressed in this NPRM are subject to our preemption authority, i.e., 
classification, packaging, and rail routing. In regard to rail routing, 
for example, in a March 25, 2003 final rule (68 FR 14509) we concluded 
that the specifics of routing rail shipments of hazardous materials 
preempts all states, their political subdivisions, and Indian tribes 
from prescribing or restricting routes for rail shipments of hazardous 
materials, under Federal hazardous material transportation law (49 
U.S.C. 5125) and the Federal Rail Safety Act (49 U.S.C. 20106). We 
would expect the same preemptive effect as a result of this rulemaking, 
and thus, the consultation and funding requirements of Executive Orders 
13132 and 13175 do not apply. Nonetheless, we invite state and local 
governments with an interest in this rulemaking to comment on any 
effect that proposed requirements could have on them, if adopted.

D. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    Executive Order 13175 requires agencies to assure meaningful and 
timely input from Indian tribal government representatives in the 
development of rules that significantly or uniquely affect Indian 
communities by imposing ``substantial direct compliance costs'' or 
``substantial direct effects'' on such communities or the relationship 
and distribution of power between the Federal Government and Indian 
tribes.
    We analyzed this NPRM in accordance with the principles and 
criteria prescribed in Executive Order 13175 (``Consultation and 
Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments''). Because this rulemaking 
does not significantly or uniquely affect tribes, and does not impose 
substantial and direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments, 
the funding and consultation requirements of Executive Order 13175 do 
not apply; thus, a tribal summary impact statement is not required. 
However, we are interested in any possible impacts of the notification 
requirements on Tribal Emergency Response Commissions (TERCs) or other 
tribal institutions. We invite Indian tribal governments to provide 
comments on the costs and effects the proposed requirements could have 
on them, if adopted, especially any burdens associated with the 
proposed notification requirements.

E. Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Order 13272, and DOT Policies 
and Procedures

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.), PHMSA must consider whether a rulemaking would have a 
``significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.'' ``Small entities'' include small businesses, not-for-profit 
organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not 
dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with 
populations under 50,000.
    To ensure potential impacts of rules on small entities are properly 
considered, PHMSA developed this NPRM in accordance with Executive 
Order 13272 (``Proper Consideration of Small Entities in Agency 
Rulemaking'') and DOT's procedures and policies to promote compliance 
with the RFA.
    The RFA and Executive Order 13272 (67 FR 53461, August 16, 2002) 
require agency review of proposed and final rules to assess their 
impacts on small entities. An agency must prepare an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis (IRFA) unless it determines and certifies that a 
rule, if promulgated, would not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.
    PHMSA is publishing this IRFA to aid the public in commenting on 
the potential small business impacts of the requirements in this NPRM. 
PHMSA invites all interested parties to submit data and information 
regarding the potential economic impact on small entities that would 
result from the adoption of the proposals in this NPRM. PHMSA will 
consider all information and comments received in the public comment 
process when making a determination regarding the economic impact on 
small entities in the final rule.
    Under the RFA at 5 U.S.C 603(b), each initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis is required to address the following topics:

    (1) The reasons why the agency is considering the action.
    (2) The objectives and legal basis for the proposed rule.
    (3) The kind and number of small entities to which the proposed 
rule will apply.
    (4) The projected reporting, recordkeeping and other compliance 
requirements of the proposed rule.
    (5) All Federal rules that may duplicate, overlap, or conflict 
with the proposed rule.\83\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \83\ See: http://www.fws.gov/policy/library/rgSBAGuide.pdf 
(accessed September 28, 2011).

    The RFA at 5 U.S.C. 603(c) requires that each initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis contains a description of any significant 
alternatives to the proposal that accomplish the statutory objectives 
and minimize the significant economic impact of the proposal on small 
entities. In this instance, none of the alternatives accomplish the 
statutory objectives and minimize the significant economic impact of 
the proposal on small entities.
(1) Reasons Why the Agency is Considering the Action
    PHMSA is promulgating the NPRM in response to recent train 
accidents involving the derailment of HHFTs comprised of twenty rail 
carloads of a Class 3 flammable liquid. Shipments of large volumes of 
flammable liquids pose a significant risk to life, property, and the 
environment. For Example on December 30, 2013, a train carrying crude 
oil derailed and ignited near Casselton, North Dakota prompting 
authorities to issue a voluntary evacuation of the city and surrounding 
area. On November 8, 2013, a train carrying crude oil to the Gulf Coast 
from North Dakota derailed in Alabama, spilling crude oil in a nearby 
wetland and igniting into flames. On July 6, 2013, a catastrophic 
railroad accident occurred in Lac-M[eacute]gantic, Quebec, Canada when 
an unattended freight train containing hazardous materials rolled down 
a descending grade and subsequently derailed. The derailment resulted 
in a fire and multiple energetic ruptures of tank cars, which, along 
with other effects of the accident, caused the confirmed death of 47 
people. In

[[Page 45070]]

addition, this derailment caused extensive damage to the town center, 
clean-up costs, and the evacuation of approximately 2,000 people from 
the surrounding area. The Lac-M[eacute]gantic incident resulted in very 
large economic losses. PHMSA is taking this regulatory action to 
prevent accidents on the scale of that in Lac-M[eacute]gantic from 
happening in the United States.
(2) The Objectives and Legal Basis for the Proposed Rule
    In this NPRM, PHMSA is proposing revisions to the HMR to ensure 
that the rail requirements address the risks posed by the 
transportation on railroads of HHFTs. This rulemaking addresses risks 
in three areas: (1) Proper classification and characterization of the 
product being transported, (2) operational controls to decrease the 
likelihood and consequences of train accidents, and (3) tank car 
integrity to decrease the consequences of train accidents. Promulgating 
this rulemaking in these areas is consistent with the goals of the HMR: 
(1) To ensure that hazardous materials are packaged and handled safely 
and securely during transportation; (2) to provide effective 
communication to transportation workers and emergency responders of the 
hazardous materials being transferred; and (3) to minimize the 
consequences of an incident should one occur.
    The Secretary has the authority to prescribe regulations for the 
safe transportation, including the security, of hazardous materials in 
intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce (49 U.S.C. 5103(b)) and 
has delegated this authority to PHMSA. 49 CFR 1.97(b).
(3) A description of and, Where Feasible, an Estimate of the Number of 
Small Entities to Which the Proposed Rule Will Apply
    The universe of the entities considered in an IRFA generally 
includes only those small entities that can reasonably expect to be 
directly regulated by the proposed action. Small railroads and offerors 
are the types of small entities potentially affected by this proposed 
rule.
    A ``small entity'' is defined in 5 U.S.C. 601(3) as having the same 
meaning as ``small business concern'' under section 3 of the Small 
Business Act. This includes any small business concern that is 
independently owned and operated, and is not dominant in its field of 
operation. Title 49 U.S.C. 601(4) likewise includes within the 
definition of small entities non-profit enterprises that are 
independently owned and operated, and are not dominant in their field 
of operation.
    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) stipulates in its size 
standards that the largest a ``for-profit'' railroad business firm may 
be, and still be classified as a small entity, is 1,500 employees for 
``line haul operating railroads'' and 500 employees for ``switching and 
terminal establishments.'' Additionally, 5 U.S.C. 601(5) defines as 
small entities governments of cities, counties, towns, townships, 
villages, school districts, or special districts with populations less 
than 50,000.
    Federal agencies may adopt their own size standards for small 
entities in consultation with SBA and in conjunction with public 
comment. Pursuant to that authority, FRA has published a final 
Statement of Agency Policy that formally establishes small entities or 
small businesses as being railroads, contractors, and hazardous 
materials offerors that meet the revenue requirements of a Class III 
railroad as set forth in 49 CFR 1201.1-1, which is $20 million or less 
in inflation-adjusted annual revenues,\84\ and commuter railroads or 
small governmental jurisdictions that serve populations of 50,000 or 
less. See 68 FR 24891 (May 9, 2003) (codified as appendix C to 49 CFR 
Part 209). The $20 million limit is based on the Surface Transportation 
Board's revenue threshold for a Class III railroad. Railroad revenue is 
adjusted for inflation by applying a revenue deflator formula in 
accordance with 49 CFR 1201.1-1. This definition is what PHMSA is 
proposing to use for the rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \84\ For 2012 the Surface Transportation Board (STB) adjusted 
this amount to $36.2 million.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Railroads
    Not all small railroads would be required to comply with the 
provisions of this proposed rule. Most of the approximately 738 small 
railroads do not transport hazardous materials. Based on observations 
from FRA's regional offices, 64 small railroads could potentially be 
affected by this proposed rule because they transport HHFTs. Therefore, 
this proposed rule would impact a substantial number of small 
railroads.
Offerors
    Almost all hazardous materials tank cars, including those cars that 
transport crude oil, ethanol, and other flammable liquids, are owned or 
leased by offerors. The proposed requirements for a testing and 
sampling program will directly affect shippers as they will now be 
required to create a document a sampling and testing program for mined 
gases and liquids. In addition, some of the other proposals in this 
rulemaking may indirectly affect offerors. DOT believes that a 
majority, if not all, of these offerors are large entities. DOT used 
data from the DOT/PHMSA Hazardous Materials Information System (HMIS) 
database to screen for offerors that may be small entities.
    From the DOT/PHMSA HMIS database, and industry sources, DOT found 
731 small offerors that might be impacted. Based on further information 
available on the companies' Web sites, all other offerors appear to be 
subsidiaries of large businesses. Out of these 731, however, only 297 
own tank cars that would be affected. All the other 434 offerors either 
do not own tank cars or have tank cars that would not be affected by 
this proposed rule. Thus, DOT believes that there are only 297 offerors 
that are small businesses affected by this proposed rule. Additionally, 
no small offerors commented on PHMSA's ANPRM for this proceeding. PHMSA 
invites commenters to bring forth information that might assist it in 
assessing the number of small offerors that may be economically 
impacted by the requirement set forth in the proposed rule for 
development of the IRFA.
(4) A Description of the Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other 
Compliance Requirements of the Proposed Rule
    For a thorough presentation of cost estimates, please refer to the 
RIA, which has been placed in the docket for this rulemaking.
    This rulemaking has proposed requirements in three areas that 
address the potential risks: (1) Proper classification and 
characterization of the product being transported, (2) operational 
controls to decrease the likelihood of accidents, and (3) tank car 
integrity. Proposed requirements for braking, speed restrictions, and 
tank car production would not impact any small entities. Most small 
railroads affected by this proposed rule do not operate at speeds 
higher than those proposed for speed restrictions or travel long 
distances over which the reduced speed would cause a significant 
impact. Any small railroad that operates at speeds 30 mph or less would 
also not be impacted by the proposed braking requirement. Additionally, 
in a February 12, 2014, letter to the Secretary, ASLRRA announced that 
they recommend to their members to voluntarily operate unit trains of 
crude oil at a top speed of no more than 25 mph on all routes.

[[Page 45071]]

    PHMSA believes that all offerors, both small and large, who would 
be required to select a car that complies with new construction 
requirements, would not see a significant increase in their lease 
rates. Lease rates are not expected to increase due to proposed 
improvements in the industry specification for tank car requirements as 
rates have already increased in recent years. . Additionally, also in 
the February 12th letter to the Secretary, the ASLRRA noted that it 
will support and encourage the development of new tank car standards 
including but not limited to adoption of a 9/16 inch tank car shell.
    Proposed Sec.  174.310(a)(3) would expand hazardous materials route 
planning and selection requirements for railroads. This would include 
HHFTs transporting flammable materials and, where technically feasible, 
require rerouting to avoid transportation of such hazardous materials 
through populated and other sensitive areas. Approximately 64 small 
railroads carry crude oil and ethanol in trains consists large enough 
that they would potentially be affected by this proposal. However, the 
majority of small railroads do not carry hazardous materials on a daily 
basis; in fact, some small railroads carry hazardous materials fewer 
than five times annually.
    The affected Class III railroads are already compliant with the 
routing requirements established by HM-232E (71 FR 76834). In general, 
at the time that rule was promulgated, it was assumed that the small 
railroads, due to their limited size, would, on average, have no less 
than one and no more than two primary routes to analyze. Thus, the 
potential lack of an alternative route to consider would minimize the 
impact of this proposed requirement. Because the distance covered by 
the small railroads' routes is likely contained within a limited 
geographic region, the hours estimated for analyses are fewer than 
those estimated for the larger railroads.
    Finally, this proposed rule would also require any offeror who 
offers a hazardous material for transportation to develop, implement, 
and update its sampling and testing programs related to classification 
and characterization of the hazardous material if it is a mined gas or 
liquid (e.g., crude oil). PHMSA believes that there would be an initial 
cost for each offeror of approximately $3,200 for the first year, and 
additional costs of $800 annually thereafter. PHMSA believes that this 
proposed section would not significantly burden any of these small 
entities.
    PHMSA estimates the total cost to each small railroad to be $5,400 
in the first year and $3,000 for subsequent years. Based on small 
railroads' annual operating revenues, these costs are not significant. 
Small railroads' annual operating revenues range from $3 million to $20 
million. Previously, FRA sampled small railroads and found that revenue 
averaged approximately $4.7 million (not discounted) in 2006. One 
percent of average annual revenue per small railroad is $47,000. Thus, 
the costs associated with this proposed rule amount to significantly 
less than one percent of the railroad's annual operating revenue. PHMSA 
realizes that some small railroads will have lower annual revenue than 
$4.7 million. However, PHMSA is confident that this total cost estimate 
to each small railroad provides a good representation of the small 
railroads, in general.
    In conclusion, PHMSA believes that although some small railroads 
would be directly impacted, they would not be impacted significantly as 
the impact would amount to significantly less than one percent of a 
small railroad's annual operating revenue. Information available 
indicates that none of the offerors would be significantly affected by 
the burdens of the proposed rule, but seeks information and comments 
from the industry that might assist in quantifying the number of small 
offerors who may be economically impacted by the requirements set forth 
in the proposed rule. Therefore, these requirements will likely not 
have a significant economic impact on any small entities' operations. 
PHMSA seeks comments on these conclusions.
(5) An Identification, to the Extent Practicable, of All Federal Rules 
That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rule
    PHMSA is not aware of any relevant Federal rules that may 
duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the proposed rule. PHMSA will work 
with and coordinate with FRA to ensure that we are aligned with EO 28 
or other FRA actions to the greatest extent practicable. This proposed 
rule would support most other safety regulations for railroad 
operations.
    This proposed rule will not have a noticeable impact on the 
competitive position of the affected small railroads or on the small 
entity segment of the railroad industry as a whole. The small entity 
segment of the railroad industry faces little in the way of intramodal 
competition. Small railroads generally serve as ``feeders'' to the 
larger railroads, collecting carloads in smaller numbers and at lower 
densities than would be economical for the larger railroads. They 
transport those cars over relatively short distances and then turn them 
over to the larger systems, which transport them relatively long 
distances to their ultimate destination, or for handoff back to a 
smaller railroad for final delivery. Although their relative interests 
do not always coincide, the relationship between the large and small 
entity segments of the railroad industry is more supportive and co-
dependent than competitive.
    It is also rare for small railroads to compete with each other. As 
mentioned above, small railroads generally serve smaller, lower density 
markets and customers. They tend to operate in markets where there is 
not enough traffic to attract or sustain rail competition, large or 
small. Given the significant capital investment required (to acquire 
right-of-way, build track, purchase fleet, etc.), new entry in the 
railroad industry is not a common occurrence. Thus, even to the extent 
the proposed rule may have an economic impact, it should have no impact 
on the intramodal competitive position of small railroads.
    Even though PHMSA did not receive any comments on the ANPRM in 
opposition to PHMSA's preliminary finding that this rulemaking will not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, PHMSA has not determined that this proposed rule would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. Therefore, PHMSA is publishing this IRFA to aid the public in 
commenting on the potential small business impacts of the proposals in 
this NPRM. PHMSA invites all interested parties to submit data and 
information regarding the potential economic impact that would result 
from adoption of the proposals in this NPRM. PHMSA will consider all 
comments received in the public comment process when making a 
determination in the final RFA.

F. Paperwork Reduction Act

    PHMSA will request a new information collection from the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control No. 2137-XXXX entitled 
``Flammable Hazardous Materials by Rail Transportation.'' This NPRM may 
result in an increase in annual burden and costs under OMB Control No. 
2137-XXXX due to proposed requirements pertaining to the creation of a 
sampling and testing program for mined gas or liquid and rail routing 
for HHFTs.
    Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, no person is required to 
respond to an information collection unless it has been approved by OMB 
and displays a valid OMB control number. Section 1320.8(d) of Title 5 
of

[[Page 45072]]

the CFR requires that PHMSA provide interested members of the public 
and affected agencies an opportunity to comment on information and 
recordkeeping requests.
    In addition to the requirements proposed in this NPRM, we request 
comment on whether PHMSA should require reporting of data on the total 
damages that occur as a result of train accidents involving releases of 
hazardous material, including damages related to fatalities, injuries, 
property damage, environmental damage and clean-up costs, loss of 
business and other economic activity, and evacuation-related costs. 
Currently, PHMSA only collects some of this information, and data 
verification is inconsistent. Further, we request comment on whether 
PHMSA should require reporting on every car carrying hazardous material 
that derails, whether that car loses product or not. Such reporting 
would assist PHMSA in assessing the effectiveness of different kinds of 
cars in containing the hazardous materials that they carry. PHMSA seeks 
comment on how hazardous incident reporting of rail accidents can be 
improved upon, in the context of this rule. How can PHMSA improve the 
data quality, utility, and response rates associated with reporting on 
the impacts of incidents associated with the transportation of 
hazardous materials on HHFTs? Are changes to the incident reporting 
forms or the method of collection warranted?
    This document identifies a new information collection request that 
PHMSA will submit to OMB for approval based on the requirements in this 
proposed rule. PHMSA has developed burden estimates to reflect changes 
in this proposed rule and specifically requests comments on the 
information collection and recordkeeping burdens associated with this 
NPRM.
Sampling and Testing Plans
    PHMSA estimates that there will be approximately 1,538 respondents, 
based on a review of relevant active registrations on the PHMSA Hazmat 
Intelligence Portal, each submitting an average of one sampling and 
testing plan each year. First year hourly burden is estimated at 40 
hours per response, or 61,520 burden hours; hourly burden for each 
subsequent year is estimated at 10 hours per response, or 15,380 burden 
hours. PHMSA assumes a Chemical Engineer is the labor category most 
appropriate to describe sampling methodologies, testing protocols, and 
present test results. The mean hourly wage for a Chemical Engineer was 
$46.02 in May 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. We 
inflate this wage by 60 percent to account for fringe benefits and 
overhead of $27.61 per hour, for a total weighted hourly wage of 
$73.63, or $74.30 per hour after adjusting for growth in median real 
wages. At an average hourly cost of $74.30 per hour, first year burden 
cost for this proposed requirement is estimated at $4,570,936.00; 
burden cost for each subsequent year is estimated at $1,142,734.00.
Routing--Collection by Line Segment
    PHMSA estimates that there will be approximately 74 respondents (10 
for Class II Railroads; 64 for Class III Railroads) each submitting an 
average of one routing collection response each year, and each 
subsequent year. Hourly burden is assumed to be 40 hours per response, 
or 2,960 burden hours each year. PHMSA used a labor rate that combines 
two employee groups listed in the Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2012 
Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: NAICS 
482000-Rail Transportation occupational code 11-0000 ``Management 
Occupations'' and occupation code 43-6011 ``Executive Secretaries and 
Executive Administrative Assistants.'' A combination of these two 
groups will probably be utilized to perform the requirements in this 
proposed rule. The average annual wages for these groups are $100,820 
and $54,520 respectively. The resulting average hourly wage rate, 
including a 60 percent increase to account for overhead and fringe 
benefits, is $67.96. At an average hourly cost of $67.96 per hour, 
burden cost for the first year and each subsequent year is estimated at 
$201,161.60.
Routing Security Analysis
    For the first year, PHMSA estimates that there will be 
approximately 74 respondents (10 for Class II Railroads; 64 for Class 
III Railroads). Class II Railroads are expected to submit 50 routing 
security analysis responses per year, based on the number of feasible 
alternate routes to consider after future possible network changes, 
with each response taking approximately 80 hours each, or 4,000 hours. 
At an average hourly cost of $67.96 per hour, first year burden cost 
for Class II Railroads is estimated at $271,840.00. Class III Railroads 
are expected to submit 128 routing security analysis responses per 
year, with each response taking approximately 40 hours, or 5,120 hours. 
At an average hourly cost of $67.96 per hour, first year burden cost 
for Class III Railroads is estimated at $347,955.20.
    PHMSA assumes that new route analyses are necessary each year based 
on changes in commodity flow, but that after the first year's route 
analyses are completed, analyses performed on the same routes in 
subsequent years will take less time. For each subsequent year, PHMSA 
estimates that there will be approximately 74 respondents (10 for Class 
II Railroads; 64 for Class III Railroads). Class II Railroads are 
expected to submit 50 routing security analysis responses per year, 
with each response taking approximately 16 hours each, or 800 hours. At 
an average hourly cost of $67.96 per hour, first year burden cost for 
Class II Railroads is estimated at $54,368.00. Class III Railroads are 
expected to submit 128 routing security analysis responses per year, 
with each response taking approximately 8 hours, or 1,024 hours. At an 
average hourly cost of $67.96 per hour, first year burden cost for 
Class III Railroads is estimated at $69,591.04.
Incident Reporting
    From 2011-2014, PHMSA identified 32 incidents, for an average of 11 
incidents per year, involving the derailment and release of crude oil/
ethanol. Each report would be submitted by a single respondent and 
would take approximately 2 additional hours to submit per response, 
compared to the current requirements. At an average hourly cost of 
$67.96 per hour, burden cost is estimated at $1,495.12. We do not 
currently have sufficient data to estimate the number of respondents 
and responses that would be required if PHMSA extended incident 
reporting requirements to derailments not involving a product release.
Total
    We estimate that the total information collection and recordkeeping 
burden for the requirements as specified in this proposed rule would be 
as follows:

OMB No. 2137-XXXX, ``Flammable Hazardous Materials by Rail 
Transportation''

    First Year Annual Burden:
    Total Annual Number of Respondents: 1,612.
    Total Annual Responses: 1,801.
    Total Annual Burden Hours: 73,622.
    Total Annual Burden Cost: $5,393,387.92.
    Subsequent Year Burden:
    Total Annual Number of Respondents: 1,612.
    Total Annual Responses: 1,801.
    Total Annual Burden Hours: 20,186.
    Total Annual Burden Cost: $1,469,349.76.

In addition to the Paperwork Reduction Act requirements outlined above, 
PHMSA seeks comment on whether any other provisions in this rule will 
result in additional information collection

[[Page 45073]]

requirements and/or burdens, including but not limited to: Notification 
to state emergency response commissions, and tank car design 
requirements.
    Please direct your requests for a copy of the information 
collection to Steven Andrews or T. Glenn Foster, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration 
(PHMSA), East Building, Office of Hazardous Materials Standards (PHH-
12), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, Telephone (202) 
366-8553.

G. Environmental Assessment

    The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 
section 4321-4375), requires that Federal agencies analyze proposed 
actions to determine whether the action will have a significant impact 
on the human environment. The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) 
regulations require Federal agencies to conduct an environmental review 
considering (1) the need for the proposed action, (2) alternatives to 
the proposed action, (3) probable environmental impacts of the proposed 
action and alternatives, and (4) the agencies and persons consulted 
during the consideration process. 40 CFR 1508.9.
1. Need for the Proposal
    This NPRM is intended to address serious safety and environmental 
concerns revealed by various recent train accidents and incidents 
involving HHFTs. This NPRM is proposing requirements designed to lessen 
the frequency and consequences of train accidents involving the 
unintentional release flammable liquids in HHFTs. The growing reliance 
on trains to transport large volumes of flammable liquids, particularly 
crude oil and ethanol, poses a significant risk to life, property, and 
the environment. These significant risks have been highlighted by the 
recent instances of trains carrying crude oil that derailed in 
Casselton, North Dakota; Aliceville, Alabama; and Lac-M[eacute]gantic, 
Quebec, Canada and recent instances of trains carrying ethanol that 
derailed in Arcadia, Ohio and Cherry Valley, Illinois. The proposed 
changes also address NTSB recommendations on accurate classification, 
enhanced tank cars, rail routing, and oversight.
2. Alternatives to the Proposed Action
    In proposing this NPRM, PHMSA is considering the following 
alternatives:
    1. No Action Alternative--If PHMSA chose this alternative, it would 
not proceed with any rulemaking on this subject, and the current 
regulatory standards would remain in effect.
    2. Preferred Alternative--This alternative is the current proposal 
as it appears in this NPRM. The proposed amendments are more fully 
addressed in the preamble and regulatory text sections. However, they 
generally include:
    a. New defined term of ``High-hazard flammable train;''
    b. Rail Routing requirements as specified in Part 172, Subpart I of 
the HMR;
    c. Sampling and testing program to ensure proper classification and 
characterization;
    d. Notification to SERCs or other appropriate state delegated 
entity, of petroleum crude oil train transportation;
    e. Phase in requirements for updated braking devices and braking 
systems;
    f. Speed restrictions for rail cars that do not meet the safer DOT 
Specification 117 standard (In this NPRM we proposed three alternatives 
for differing levels of speed restrictions for trains that do not meet 
the DOT Specification 117); and
    g. Phase out DOT 111 cars in HHFTs and require DOT Specification 
117 for such train sets (In this NPRM we proposed three alternatives 
tank car design of the proposed DOT Specification 117).
    3. The Alternative Proposed in the ANPRM--This alternative includes 
the following substantive provisions as proposed in the ANPRM:
    a. Relax regulatory requirements to afford the FRA greater 
discretion to authorize the movement of non-conforming tank cars;
    b. Impose additional requirements that would correct an unsafe 
condition associated with pressure relief valves (PRV) on rail cars 
transporting carbon dioxide, refrigerated liquid;
    c. Relax regulatory requirements applicable to the repair and 
maintenance of DOT Specification 110, DOT Specification 106, and ICC 27 
tank car tanks (ton tanks);
    d. Relax regulatory requirement for the removal of rupture discs 
for inspection if the removal process would damage, change, or alter 
the intended operation of the device; and
    e. Impose additional requirements that would enhance the standards 
for DOT Specification 111 tank cars used to transport Packing Group 
(PG) I and II hazardous materials.
3. Probable Environmental Impacts of the Proposed Action and 
Alternatives
1. No-Action Alternative
    If PHMSA were to select the no-action alternative, current 
regulations would remain in place, and no new provisions would be 
added. However, the safety and environmental threats that result from 
the increasing use of HHFTs would not be addressed. The existing threat 
of derailment and resulting fire, as exhibited in serious accidents 
like Lac-M[eacute]gantic, Quebec, which resulted in 47 fatalities, and 
Aliceville, Alabama, where we estimate that 630,000 gallons of crude 
oil entered navigable waters, destroying a significant area of wetland 
and forest, would continue. Clean-up is ongoing for both of these 
accidents.
2. Preferred Alternative
    If PHMSA selects the provisions as proposed in this NPRM, PHMSA 
believes that safety and environmental risks would be reduced and that 
protections to human health and environmental resources would be 
increased.
    The proposed application of the existing rail routing requirements 
to HHFTs would require that rail carriers consider safety and security 
risk factors such as population density along the route; 
environmentally-sensitive or significant areas; venues along the route 
(stations, events, places of congregation); emergency response 
capability along the route; etc., when analyzing and selecting routes 
for those trains. PHMSA believes that the use of routes that are less 
sensitive could mitigate the safety and environmental consequences of a 
train accident and release, were one to occur. It is possible that this 
requirement could cause rail carriers to choose routes that are less 
direct based on these concerns, potentially increasing the emission of 
greenhouse gases. However, PHMSA believes that the reduction in risk to 
sensitive areas outweighs a slight increase in greenhouse gases.
    Next, the sampling and testing proposal is intended to ensure that 
each material is properly classified to ensure that: (1) The proper 
regulatory requirements are applied to each shipment to minimize the 
risk of incident, (2) first responders have accurate information in the 
event of a train accident, and (3) the characteristics of the material 
are known and fully considered so that offerors and carriers are aware 
of and can mitigate potential threats to the integrity of rail tank 
cars. PHMSA believes that this provision will reduce the risk of 
release of these materials.
    PHMSA is proposing to require railroads that operate trains 
containing one million gallons of Bakken crude oil to notify SERCs or 
other appropriate state delegated entity about the operation of these 
trains through their

[[Page 45074]]

States. Railroads must identify each county, or a particular state or 
commonwealth's equivalent jurisdiction in the state through which the 
trains will operate. PHMSA believes that the notification will allow 
communities to better prepare and work with the railroads to ensure 
that resources are in place to respond to a spill that could affect 
water and environmental resources. As a result, responders can better 
mitigate a spill that has entered navigable waters by preventing 
further spread of the oil. This prevents further damage to drinking 
water resources and wildlife habitat.
    PHMSA believes that the proposed braking and speed restrictions, 
especially for older DOT Specification 111 tank cars, will reduce the 
likelihood of train accidents and resulting release of flammable 
liquids. PHMSA also believes that the braking requirements could 
improve fuel efficiency, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 
Additionally, system wide implementation of ECP brakes, as proposed for 
a DOT Specification 117 manufactured under tank car Option 1, would 
improve the efficiency of the rail system by permitting trains to run 
closer together because of the improved performance of the brake 
system.
    PHMSA believes that the phasing out of DOT Specification 111 tank 
cars in HHFTs would reduce risk of release because of the improved 
integrity and safety features of the proposed DOT Specification 117 and 
117P. The DOT Specification 117 will provide bottom outlet protection 
and a robust top fitting protection structure. To improve integrity and 
puncture resistance of the tank, DOT Specification 117 has a full-
height \1/2\ inch minimum thickness head shield, an 11-gauge jacket, 
and, based on the Option, either a \7/16\ inch or \9/16\ inch shell and 
head thickness in comparison to DOT Specification 111, which has no 
head shield, or jacket requirement and is constructed with a \7/16\ 
inch thick shell.
    The proposed DOT Specification 117 tank car must have a thermal 
protection system, capable of surviving a 100-minute pool fire after a 
train accident. The 100-minute survivability period is intended to 
provide emergency responders time to assess an accident, establish 
perimeters, and evacuate the public as needed, while permitting 
hazardous material to be vented from the tank to prevent a violent 
failure of the tank car. This thermal protection is critical in 
limiting human health risks to the public and first responders and 
limiting environmental damage in the event of a train accident. The 
introduction of the new DOT Specification 117 and 117P, along with the 
gradual phase out of the DOT Specification 111 used in HHFTs will 
result in increased manufacture of new tank cars. While the gradual 
nature of the phase out is intended to decrease burden on the rail 
industry, increased manufacture could result in greater release of 
greenhouse gases and use of resources needed to make the cars, such as 
steel. However, PHMSA believes that these possible risks are far 
outweighed by the increased safety and integrity of each railcar and 
each train and the decreased risk of release of these fossil fuels to 
the environment.
3. ANPRM Alternative
    If PHMSA were to select the provisions as proposed in the ANPRM, 
PHMSA believes that the significant safety risks that have recently 
come to light resulting from HHFTs would not be fully addressed. While 
the ANPRM proposed safety enhancements to DOT Specification 111 tank 
cars, public comments and current events have led PHMSA to believe that 
the gradual phase-out of the tank car in HHFT service is a more prudent 
alternative to improve safety. The ANPRM also sought comment on certain 
speed restrictions and braking equipment, which was helpful to PHMSA in 
drafting the current proposal.
    The ANPRM also sought comment on various matters that are not 
directly related to the increasing threats described in this document 
and will be addressed at another time as those provisions do not 
address the modified purpose and need of this rulemaking.
Agencies Consulted
    PHMSA worked closely with the FRA, EPA, and DHS/TSA in the 
development of this proposed rulemaking for technical and policy 
guidance. PHMSA also considered the views expressed in comments to the 
ANPRM submitted by members of the public, state and local governments, 
and industry.
Conclusion
    The provisions of this proposed rule build on current regulatory 
requirements to enhance the transportation safety and security of 
shipments of hazardous materials transported by rail, thereby reducing 
the risks of an accidental or intentional release of hazardous 
materials and consequent environmental damage. PHMSA believes the net 
environmental impact will be positive. PHMSA believes that there are no 
significant environmental impacts associated with this proposed rule.
    PHMSA welcomes any views, data, or information related to 
environmental impacts that may result if the proposed requirements are 
adopted, as well as possible alternatives and their environmental 
impacts.

H. Privacy Act

    Anyone is able to search the electronic form of any written 
communications and comments received into any of our dockets by the 
name of the individual submitting the document (or signing the 
document, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor 
union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement, 
published in the Federal Register on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477) or 
you may visit http://www.dot.gov/privacy.html.

I. Executive Order 13609 and International Trade Analysis

    Under Executive Order 13609, agencies must consider whether the 
impacts associated with significant variations between domestic and 
international regulatory approaches are unnecessary or may impair the 
ability of American businesses to export and compete internationally. 
In meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, 
environmental, and other issues, regulatory approaches developed 
through international cooperation can provide equivalent protection to 
standards developed independently while also minimizing unnecessary 
differences.
    Similarly, the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (Pub. L. 96-39), as 
amended by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (Pub. L. 103-465), 
prohibits Federal agencies from establishing any standards or engaging 
in related activities that create unnecessary obstacles to the foreign 
commerce of the United States. For purposes of these requirements, 
Federal agencies may participate in the establishment of international 
standards, so long as the standards have a legitimate domestic 
objective, such as providing for safety, and do not operate to exclude 
imports that meet this objective. The statute also requires 
consideration of international standards and, where appropriate, that 
they be the basis for U.S. standards.
    PHMSA participates in the establishment of international standards 
in order to protect the safety of the American public, and we have 
assessed the effects of the proposed rule to ensure that it does not 
cause unnecessary obstacles to foreign trade. Accordingly, this 
rulemaking is consistent with Executive Order 13609

[[Page 45075]]

and PHMSA's obligations under the Trade Agreement Act, as amended.
    PHMSA welcomes any data or information related to international 
impacts that may result if the petitions and recommendations are 
adopted, as well as possible alternatives and their international 
impacts. Please describe the impacts and the basis for the comment.

J. Statutory/Legal Authority for This Rulemaking

    This NPRM is published under the authority of 49 U.S.C. 5103(b), 
which authorizes the Secretary of Transportation to ``prescribe 
regulations for the safe transportation, including security, of 
hazardous materials in intrastate, interstate, and foreign commerce.'' 
The proposed changes in this rule address safety and security 
vulnerabilities regarding the transportation of hazardous materials in 
commerce.

K. Regulation Identifier Number (RIN)

    A regulation identifier number (RIN) is assigned to each regulatory 
action listed in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulations. The 
Regulatory Information Service Center publishes the Unified Agenda in 
April and October of each year. The RIN contained in the heading of 
this document can be used to cross-reference this action with the 
Unified Agenda.

List of Subjects

49 CFR Part 171

    Exports, Hazardous materials transportation, Hazardous waste, 
Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

49 CFR Part 172

    Hazardous materials transportation, Hazardous waste, Labeling, 
Packaging and containers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Security measures.

49 CFR Part 173

    Hazardous materials transportation, Packaging and containers, 
Radioactive materials, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Uranium.

49 CFR Part 174

    Hazardous materials transportation, Rail carriers, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Security measures.

49 CFR Part 179

    Hazardous materials transportation, Railroad safety, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

The Proposed Rule

    In consideration of the foregoing, we are proposing to amend title 
49, chapter I, subchapter C, as follows:

PART 171--GENERAL INFORMATION, REGULATIONS, AND DEFINITIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 171 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 5101-5128, 44701; Pub. L. 101-410 section 
4 (28 U.S.C. 2461 note); Pub. L. 104-121, sections 212-213; Pub. L. 
104-134, section 31001; 49 CFR 1.81 and 1.97.

0
2. In Sec.  171.7, revise paragraphs (k)(2) through (4), and add 
paragraph (k)(5) to read as follows:


Sec.  171.7  Reference material.

* * * * *
    (k) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (2) AAR Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices, Section C--
III, Specifications for Tank Cars, Specification M-1002 (AAR 
Specifications for Tank Cars), Appendix E, April 2010; into Sec. Sec.  
179.203-9; 179.203-11(f); 179.204-9; 179.204-11(f).
    (3) AAR Manual of Standards and Recommended Practices, Section I, 
Specially Equipped Freight Car and Intermodal Equipment, 1988, into 
Sec.  174.55; 174.63.
    (4) AAR Specifications for Design, Fabrication and Construction of 
Freight Cars, Volume 1, 1988, into Sec.  179.16.
    (5) AAR Standard 286; AAR Manual of Standards and Recommended 
Practices, Section C, Car Construction Fundamentals and Details, 
Standard S-286, Free/Unrestricted Interchange for 286,000 lb Gross Rail 
Load Cars (Adopted 2002; Revised: 2003, 2005, 2006), into Sec.  179.13.
* * * * *
0
3. In Sec.  171.8 a definition for ``High-hazard flammable train'' is 
added in alphabetical order to read as follows:


Sec.  171.8  Definitions.

* * * * *
    High-hazard flammable train means a single train carrying 20 or 
more carloads of a Class 3 flammable liquid.
* * * * *

PART 172--HAZARDOUS MATERIALS TABLE, SPECIAL PROVISIONS, HAZARDOUS 
MATERIALS COMMUNICATIONS, EMERGENCY RESPONSE INFORMATION, TRAINING 
REQUIREMENTS, AND SECURITY PLANS

0
4. The authority citation for part 172 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 5101-5128; 44701; 49 CFR 1.81 and 1.97.

0
5. In Sec.  172.820, paragraph (a)(4) is added to read as follows:


Sec.  172.820  Additional planning requirements for transportation by 
rail.

    (a) * * *
    (4) A high-hazard flammable train as defined in Sec.  171.8 of this 
subchapter.
* * * * *

PART 173--SHIPPERS--GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR SHIPMENTS AND 
PACKAGINGS

0
6. The authority citation for part 173 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 5101-5128, 44701; 49 CFR 1.81 and 1.97.

0
7. Add new Sec.  173.41 to subpart B to read as follows:


Sec.  173.41  Sampling and testing program for mined gas and liquid.

    (a) General. Mined gases and liquids, such as petroleum crude oil, 
extracted from the earth and offered for transportation must be 
properly classed and characterized as prescribed in Sec.  173.22, in 
accordance with a sampling and testing program which specifies at a 
minimum:
    (1) A frequency of sampling and testing that accounts for 
appreciable variability of the material, including the time, 
temperature, method of extraction (including chemical use), and 
location of extraction;
    (2) Sampling at various points along the supply chain to understand 
the variability of the material during transportation;
    (3) Sampling methods that ensure a representative sample of the 
entire mixture, as packaged, is collected;
    (4) Testing methods that enable complete analysis, classification, 
and characterization of the material under the HMR.
    (5) Statistical justification for sample frequencies;
    (6) Duplicate samples for quality assurance purposes; and
    (7) Criteria for modifying the sampling and testing program.
    (b) Certification. Each person who offers a hazardous material for 
transportation shall certify, as prescribed by Sec.  172.204 of this 
subchapter, that the material is offered for transportation in 
accordance with this subchapter, including the requirements prescribed 
by paragraph (a) of this section.
    (c) Documentation, retention, review, dissemination of program. The 
sampling and testing program must be documented in writing and must be 
retained for as long as it remains in effect. The sampling and testing

[[Page 45076]]

program must be reviewed at least annually and revised and/or updated 
as necessary to reflect changing circumstances. The most recent version 
of the sampling and testing program, or relevant portions thereof, must 
be available to the employees who are responsible for implementing it. 
When the sampling and testing program is updated or revised, all 
employees responsible for implementing it must be notified, and all 
copies of the sampling and testing program must be maintained as of the 
date of the most recent revision.
    (d) Access by DOT to copy of program documentation. Each person 
required to develop and implement a sampling and testing program must 
maintain a copy of the sampling and testing program documentation (or 
an electronic file thereof) that is accessible at, or through, its 
principal place of business, and must make the documentation available 
upon request at a reasonable time and location to an authorized 
official of the Department of Transportation.
0
8. In Sec.  173.241, revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  173.241  Bulk packagings for certain low-hazard liquid and solid 
materials.

* * * * *
    (a) Rail cars: Class DOT 103, 104, 105, 109, 111, 112, 114, 115, 
117, or 120 tank car tanks; Class 106 or 110 multi-unit tank car tanks; 
and AAR Class 203W, 206W, and 211W tank car tanks. Additional 
operational requirements apply to high-hazard flammable trains (see 
Sec.  171.8 of this subchapter) as prescribed in Sec.  174.310 of this 
subchapter. Notwithstanding the tank car specifications prescribed in 
this section, DOT Specification 111 tank cars are no longer authorized 
for Class 3 (flammable liquids) in Packing Group III for use in high-
hazard flammable train service, after October 1, 2020.
* * * * *
0
9. In Sec.  173.242 revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  173.242  Bulk packagings for certain medium hazard liquids and 
solids, including solids with dual hazards.

* * * * *
    (a) Rail cars: Class DOT 103, 104, 105, 109, 111, 112, 114, 115, 
117, or 120 tank car tanks; Class 106 or 110 multi-unit tank car tanks 
and AAR Class 206W tank car tanks. Additional operational requirements 
apply to high-hazard flammable trains (see Sec.  171.8 of this 
subchapter) as prescribed in Sec.  174.310 of this subchapter. 
Notwithstanding the tank car specifications prescribed in this section, 
DOT Specification 111 tank cars are no longer authorized for use in 
high-hazard flammable train service, based on packing group, after the 
following dates:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Packing group                DOT 111 not authorized after
------------------------------------------------------------------------
II....................................  October 1, 2018.
III...................................  October 1, 2020.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
0
10. In Sec.  173.243 revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  173.243  Bulk packaging for certain high-hazard liquids and dual-
hazard materials that pose a moderate hazard.

* * * * *
    (a) Rail cars: Class DOT 103, 104, 105, 109, 111, 112, 114, 115, 
117, or 120 fusion-welded tank car tanks; and Class 106 or 110 multi-
unit tank car tanks. Additional operational requirements apply to high-
hazard flammable trains (see Sec.  171.8 of this subchapter) as 
prescribed in Sec.  174.310 of this subchapter. Notwithstanding the 
tank car specifications prescribed in this section, DOT Specification 
111 tank cars are no longer authorized for Class 3 (flammable liquids) 
in Packing Group I for use in high-hazard flammable train service, 
after October 1, 2017.
* * * * *

PART 174--CARRIAGE BY RAIL

0
11. The authority citation for part 174 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 5101-5128; 49 CFR 1.81 and 1.97.

0
12. Add new Sec.  174.310 to subpart G to read as follows:


Sec.  174.310  Requirements for the operation of high-hazard flammable 
trains.

    (a) General. Each rail carrier operating a high-hazard flammable 
train (as defined in Sec.  171.8 of this subchapter) must comply with 
each of the following additional safety requirements with respect to 
each high-hazard flammable train that it operates:
    (1) Routing. The additional planning requirements for 
transportation by rail in accordance with part 172, subpart I of this 
subchapter;
    (2) Notification to State Emergency Response Commissions of 
petroleum crude oil train transportation. (i) Any railroad transporting 
in a single train 1,000,000 gallons or more of UN 1267, Petroleum crude 
oil, Class 3, as described by Sec.  172.101 of this subchapter and 
sourced from the Bakken shale formation in the Williston Basin (North 
Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana in the United States, or Saskatchewan 
or Manitoba in Canada), must, within 30 days of [EFFECTIVE DATE OF 
FINAL RULE], provide notification to the State Emergency Response 
Commission (SERC) or other appropriate state delegated entities in 
which it operates. Information required to be shared with SERCs or 
other appropriate state delegated entity must consist of the following:
    (A) A reasonable estimate of the number of affected trains that are 
expected to travel, per week, through each county within the State;
    (B) The routes over which the affected trains will be transported;
    (C) A description of the petroleum crude oil and applicable 
emergency response information required by subparts C and G of part 172 
of this subchapter; and,
    (D) At least one point of contact at the railroad (including name, 
title, phone number and address) responsible for serving as the point 
of contact for the State Emergency Response Commission and relevant 
emergency responders related to the railroad's transportation of 
affected trains.
    (ii) Railroads shall update notifications made under paragraph (a) 
of this section prior to making any material changes in the estimated 
volumes or frequencies of trains traveling through a county.
    (iii) Copies of railroad notifications to State Emergency Response 
Commissions made under paragraph (a) of this section must be made 
available to FRA upon request.
    (3) Speed restrictions. All trains are limited to a maximum speed 
of 50 mph. In addition, the following restrictions apply:
    (i) Option 1--The train is further limited to a maximum speed of 40 
mph, unless all tank cars containing a flammable liquid meet or exceed 
the standard for the DOT Specification 117 tank car provided in part 
179, subpart D of this subchapter;
    (ii) Option 2--The train is further limited to a maximum speed of 
40 mph while operating in an area, determined by census population 
data, that has a population of more than 100,000 people, unless all 
tank cars containing a flammable liquid meet or exceed the standard for 
the DOT Specification 117 tank car provided in part 179, subpart D of 
this subchapter; and
    (iii) Option 3--The train is further limited to a maximum speed of 
40 mph while that train travels within the limits of high-threat urban 
areas (HTUAs) as defined in Sec.  1580.3 of this title, unless all tank 
cars containing a flammable liquid meet or exceed the standard for the 
DOT Specification 117 tank car provided in part 179, subpart D of this 
subchapter.

[[Page 45077]]

    (iv) The train is further limited to a maximum speed of 30 mph, 
unless it conforms with paragraph (a)(4) of this section.
    (4) Braking. (i) The train must be equipped and operated with 
either a two-way end of train device, as defined in Sec.  232.5 of this 
title, or a distributed power (DP) system, as defined in Sec.  229.5 of 
this title.
    (ii) After October 1, 2015, a train comprised entirely of tank cars 
manufactured in accordance with proposed Sec.  179.202 or the 
performance specification prescribed in Sec.  179.202-11 (Option 1 
only), except for required buffer cars, must be operated in ECP brake 
mode as defined by 49 CFR 232.5.
    (5) Tank cars manufactured after October 1, 2015. (i) A tank car 
manufactured for use in a HHFT after October 1, 2015 must meet DOT 
Specification 117, in part 179, subpart D of this subchapter.
    (ii) A tank car manufactured for use in a HHFT after October 1, 
2015, in accordance with proposed Sec.  179.202 or the performance 
specification prescribed in Sec.  179.202-11 (Option 1), must be 
equipped with ECP brakes in accordance with subpart G of part 232 of 
this title.
    (b) [Reserved]

PART 179--SPECIFICATIONS FOR TANK CARS

0
13. The authority citation for part 179 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  49 U.S.C. 5101-5128; 49 CFR 1.81 and 1.97.

Subpart D-Specifications for Non-Pressure Tank Car Tanks (Classes 
DOT-111AW, 115AW, and 117AW)

Option 1

0
14. Add Sec. Sec.  179.202 through 179.202-11 to subpart D of part 179, 
to read as follows:


Sec.  179.202  Individual specification requirements applicable to DOT-
117 tank car tanks.


Sec.  179.202-1  Applicability.

    Each tank built under these specifications must conform to either 
the requirements of Sec. Sec.  179.202-1 through 179.202-10, or the 
performance standard requirements of Sec.  179.202-11.


Sec.  179.202-3  Type.

    (a) General. The tank car must either be designed to the DOT 117 
specification in Sec.  179.202 or conform to the performance 
specification prescribed in Sec.  179.202-11.
    (b) Approval. The tank car design must be approved by the Associate 
Administrator for Railroad Safety/Chief Safety Officer, Federal 
Railroad Administration, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 
20590, and must be constructed to the conditions of that approval in 
accordance with Sec.  179.13.
    (c) Design. The design must meet the individual specification 
requirements of Sec.  179.202.


Sec.  179.202-4  Thickness of plates.

    The wall thickness after forming of the tank shell and heads must 
be, at a minimum, 9/16 of an inch AAR TC-128 Grade B, in accordance 
with Sec.  179.200-7(b).


Sec.  179.202-5  Tank head puncture resistance system.

    The DOT 117 specification tank car must have a tank head puncture 
resistance system. The full height head shields must have a minimum 
thickness of \1/2\ inch.


Sec.  179.202-6  Thermal protection systems.

    The DOT 117 specification tank car must have a thermal protection 
system. The thermal protection system must be designed in accordance 
with Sec.  179.18 and include a reclosing pressure relief device in 
accordance with Sec.  173.31 of this subchapter.


Sec.  179.202-7  Jackets.

    The entire thermal protection system must be covered with a metal 
jacket of a thickness not less than 11 gauge A1011 steel or equivalent; 
and flashed around all openings so as to be weather tight. The exterior 
surface of a carbon steel tank and the inside surface of a carbon steel 
jacket must be given a protective coating.


Sec.  179.202-8  Bottom outlets.

    If the tank car is equipped with a bottom outlet, the handle must 
be removed prior to train movement or be designed with protection 
safety system(s) to prevent unintended actuation during train accident 
scenarios.


Sec.  179.202-9  Top fittings protection.

    The DOT 117 tank car must be equipped with a top fittings 
protection system and a nozzle capable of sustaining, without failure, 
a rollover accident at a speed of 9 miles per hour, in which the 
rolling protective housing strikes a stationary surface assumed to be 
flat, level, and rigid and the speed is determined as a linear 
velocity, measured at the geometric center of the loaded tank car as a 
transverse vector. Failure is deemed to occur when the deformed 
protective housing contacts any of the service equipment or when the 
tank lading retention capability is compromised (e.g., leaking).


Sec.  179.202-10  DOT 117 design.

    The following is an overview of design requirements for a DOT 
Specification 117 tank car.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Bursting      Minimum plate
      DOT specification           Insulation         pressure        thickness      Test pressure      Bottom
                                                      (psig)          (Inches)          (psig)         outlet
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
117A100W.....................  Optional........             500             9/16              100   Optional.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec.  179.202-11  Performance standard requirements.

    (a) Approval. Design, testing, and modeling results must be 
reviewed and approved by the Associate Administrator for Railroad 
Safety/Chief Safety Officer, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), 
1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590.
    (b) Approval to operate at 286,000 gross rail load (GRL). In 
addition to the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, the tank 
car design must be approved, and the tank car must be constructed to 
the conditions of an approval issued by the Associate Administrator for 
Railroad Safety/Chief Safety Officer, FRA, in accordance with Sec.  
179.13.
    (c) Puncture resistance.
    (1) Minimum side impact speed: 12 mph when impacted at the 
longitudinal and vertical center of the shell by a rigid 12-inch by 12-
inch indenter with a weight of 286,000 pounds.
    (2) Minimum head impact speed: 18 mph when impacted at the center 
of the head by a rigid 12-inch by 12-inch indenter with a weight of 
286,000 pounds.
    (d) Thermal protection systems. The tank car must be equipped with 
a thermal protection system. The thermal protection system must be 
designed in accordance with Sec.  179.18 and include a

[[Page 45078]]

reclosing pressure relief device in accordance with Sec.  173.31 of 
this subchapter.
    (e) Bottom outlet. If the tank car is equipped with a bottom 
outlet, the handle must be removed prior to train movement or be 
designed with protection safety system(s) to prevent unintended 
actuation during train accident scenarios.
    (f) Top fittings protection--(1) New construction. Tank car tanks 
must be equipped with a top fittings protection system and a nozzle 
capable of sustaining, without failure, a rollover accident at a speed 
of 9 miles per hour, in which the rolling protective housing strikes a 
stationary surface assumed to be flat, level, and rigid and the speed 
is determined as a linear velocity, measured at the geometric center of 
the loaded tank car as a transverse vector. Failure is deemed to occur 
when the deformed protective housing contacts any of the service 
equipment or when the tank car lading retention capability is 
compromised (e.g., leaking).
    (2) Existing tank cars. Existing tank car tanks may continue to 
rely on the equipment installed at the time of manufacture.

Option 2

0
15. Add Sec. Sec.  179.203 through 179.203-11 to subpart D of part 179, 
to read as follows:


Sec.  179.203  Individual specification requirements applicable to DOT-
117 tank car tanks.


Sec.  179.203-1  Applicability.

    Each tank built under these specifications must conform to either 
the requirements of Sec. Sec.  179.203 through 179.203-10, or the 
performance standard requirements of Sec.  179.203-11.


Sec.  179.203-3  Type.

    (a) General. The tank car must either be designed to the DOT 117 
specification or conform to the performance specification prescribed in 
Sec.  179.203.
    (b) Approval. The tank car design must be approved by the Associate 
Administrator for Railroad Safety/Chief Safety Officer, Federal 
Railroad Administration, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 
20590, and must be constructed to the conditions of that approval in 
accordance with Sec.  179.13.
    (c) Design. The design must meet the individual specification 
requirements of Sec.  179.203.


Sec.  179.203-4  Thickness of plates.

    The wall thickness after forming of the tank shell and heads must 
be, at a minimum, \9/16\ of an inch AAR TC-128 Grade B, in accordance 
with Sec.  179.200-7(b).


Sec.  179.203-5  Tank head puncture resistance system.

    The DOT 117 specification tank car must have a tank head puncture 
resistance system. The full height head shields must have a minimum 
thickness of \1/2\ inch.


Sec.  179.203-6  Thermal protection systems.

    The DOT 117 specification tank car must have a thermal protection 
system. The thermal protection system must be designed in accordance 
with Sec.  179.18 and include a reclosing pressure relief device in 
accordance with Sec.  173.31 of this subchapter.


Sec.  179.203-7  Jackets.

    The entire thermal protection system must be covered with a metal 
jacket of a thickness not less than 11 gauge A1011 steel or equivalent; 
and flashed around all openings so as to be weather tight. The exterior 
surface of a carbon steel tank and the inside surface of a carbon steel 
jacket must be given a protective coating.


Sec.  179.203-8  Bottom outlets.

    If the tank car is equipped with a bottom outlet, the handle must 
be removed prior to train movement or be designed with protection 
safety system(s) to prevent unintended actuation during train accident 
scenarios.


Sec.  179.203-9  Top fittings protection.

    The tank car tank must be equipped per AAR Specifications Tank 
Cars, appendix E paragraph 10.2.1 (IBR, see Sec.  171.7 of this 
subchapter).


Sec.  179.203-10  DOT 117 design.

    The following is an overview of design requirements for a DOT 
Specification 117 tank car.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     Bursting      Minimum plate
      DOT specification           Insulation         pressure        thickness      Test pressure      Bottom
                                                      (psig)          (inches)          (psig)         outlet
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
117A100W.....................  Optional........             500             9/16              100   Optional.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec.  179.203-11  Performance standard requirements.

    (a) Approval. Design, testing, and modeling results must be 
reviewed and approved by the Associate Administrator for Railroad 
Safety/Chief Safety Officer, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), 
1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590.
    (b) Approval to operate at 286,000 gross rail load (GRL). In 
addition to the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, the tank 
car design must be approved, and the tank car must be constructed to 
the conditions of an approval issued by the Associate Administrator for 
Railroad Safety/Chief Safety Officer, FRA, in accordance with Sec.  
179.13.
    (c) Puncture resistance.
    (1) Minimum side impact speed: 12 mph when impacted at the 
longitudinal and vertical center of the shell by a rigid 12-inch by 12-
inch indenter with a weight of 286,000 pounds.
    (2) Minimum head impact speed: 18 mph when impacted at the center 
of the head by a rigid 12-inch by 12-inch indenter with a weight of 
286,000 pounds.
    (d) Thermal protection systems. The tank car must be equipped with 
a thermal protection system. The thermal protection system must be 
designed in accordance with Sec.  179.18 and include a reclosing 
pressure relief device in accordance with Sec.  173.31 of this 
subchapter.
    (e) Bottom outlet. If the tank car is equipped with a bottom 
outlet, the handle must be removed prior to train movement or be 
designed with protection safety system(s) to prevent unintended 
actuation during train accident scenarios.
    (f) Top fittings protection.
    (1) New construction. The tank car tank must be equipped per AAR 
Specifications Tank Cars, appendix E paragraph 10.2.1 (IBR, see Sec.  
171.7 of this subchapter).
    (2) Existing tank cars. Existing tank car tanks may continue to 
rely on the equipment installed at the time of manufacture.

Option 3

0
16. Add Sec. Sec.  179.204 through 179.204-11 to subpart D of part 179, 
to read as follows:

[[Page 45079]]

Sec.  179.204  Individual specification requirements applicable to DOT-
117 tank car tanks.


Sec.  179.204-1  Applicability.

    Each tank built under these specifications must conform to either 
the requirements of Sec. Sec.  179. 204-1 through 179.204-10, or the 
performance standard requirements of Sec.  179.204-11.


Sec.  179.204-3  Type.

    (a) General. The tank car must either be designed to the DOT 117 
specification or conform to the performance specification prescribed in 
Sec.  179.204-11.
    (b) Approval. The tank car design must be approved by the Associate 
Administrator for Railroad Safety/Chief Safety Officer, Federal 
Railroad Administration, FRA, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 
20590, and must be constructed to the conditions of that approval in 
accordance with Sec.  179.13.
    (c) Design. The design must meet the individual specification 
requirements of Sec.  179.204.


Sec.  179.204-4  Thickness of plates.

    The wall thickness after forming of the tank shell and heads must 
be, at a minimum, \7/16\ of an inch AAR TC-128 Grade B, in accordance 
with Sec.  179.200-7(b).


Sec.  179.204-5  Tank head puncture resistance system.

    The DOT 117 specification tank car must have a tank head puncture 
resistance system. The full height head shields must have a minimum 
thickness of \1/2\ inch.


Sec.  179.204-6  Thermal protection systems.

    The DOT 117 specification tank car must have a thermal protection 
system. The thermal protection system must be designed in accordance 
with Sec.  179.18 and include a reclosing pressure relief device in 
accordance with Sec.  173.31 of this subchapter.


Sec.  179.204-7  Jackets.

    The entire thermal protection system must be covered with a metal 
jacket of a thickness not less than 11 gauge A1011 steel or equivalent; 
and flashed around all openings so as to be weather tight. The exterior 
surface of a carbon steel tank and the inside surface of a carbon steel 
jacket must be given a protective coating.


Sec.  179.204-8  Bottom outlets.

    If the tank car is equipped with a bottom outlet, the handle must 
be removed prior to train movement or be designed with protection 
safety system(s) to prevent unintended actuation during train accident 
scenarios.


Sec.  179.204-9  Top fittings protection.

    The tank car tank must be equipped per AAR Specifications Tank 
Cars, appendix E paragraph 10.2.1 (IBR, see Sec.  171.7 of this 
subchapter).


Sec.  179.204-10  DOT 117 design.

    The following is an overview of design requirements for a DOT 
Specification 117 tank car.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                               Minimum plate
  DOT specification         Insulation           Bursting        thickness      Test pressure     Bottom outlet
                                             pressure (psig)      (inches)          (psig)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
117A100W.............  Optional............             500             7/16              100   Optional.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec.  179.204-11  Performance standard requirements.

    (a) Approval. Design, testing, and modeling results must be 
reviewed and approved by the Associate Administrator for Railroad 
Safety/Chief Safety Officer, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), 
1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590.
    (b) Approval to operate at 286,000 gross rail load (GRL). In 
addition to the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, the tank 
car design must be approved, and the tank car must be constructed to 
the conditions of an approval issued by the Associate Administrator for 
Railroad Safety/Chief Safety Officer, FRA, in accordance with Sec.  
179.13.
    (c) Puncture resistance.
    (1) Minimum side impact speed: 9 mph when impacted at the 
longitudinal and vertical center of the shell by a rigid 12-inch by 12-
inch indenter with a weight of 286,000 pounds.
    (2) Minimum head impact speed: 17 mph when impacted at the center 
of the head by a rigid 12-inch by 12-inch indenter with a weight of 
286,000 pounds.
    (d) Thermal protection systems. The tank car must be equipped with 
a thermal protection system. The thermal protection system must be 
designed in accordance with Sec.  179.18 and include a reclosing 
pressure relief device in accordance with Sec.  173.31 of this 
subchapter.
    (e) Bottom outlet. If the tank car is equipped with a bottom 
outlet, the handle must be removed prior to train movement or be 
designed with protection safety system(s) to prevent unintended 
actuation during train accident scenarios.
    (f) Top fittings protection.
    (1) New construction. The tank car tank must be equipped per AAR 
Specifications Tank Cars, appendix E paragraph 10.2.1 (IBR, see Sec.  
171.7 of this subchapter).
    (2) Existing tank cars. Existing tank car tanks may continue to 
rely on the equipment installed at the time of manufacture.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on July 23, 2014, under authority 
delegated in 49 CFR 1.97.
Anthony R. Foxx,
Secretary of Transportation.
[FR Doc. 2014-17764 Filed 7-31-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-60-P