Written by Chloe Marie - Research Specialist
Shale development is dependent upon having a means to transport that oil and gas to market. Using pipelines to transport shale oil and gas is often the most cost-efficient means of doing so. In light of the many impediments to the development of a reliable pipeline infrastructure, the use of trains to transport oil remains a primary means of connecting the oil fields with the refineries and other users. Because of the heavy use of crude oil trains, these trains have been the subject of much regulatory activity within recent years. On September 25, 2018, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published in the Federal Register a
amending and repealing certain provisions of the Hazardous
Materials Regulations relating to the requirement for certain High Hazard
Flammable Unit Trains (HHFUT) to operate using electronically controlled pneumatic
(ECP) braking systems.
In May 2015, PHMSA issued a
The Final Rule requires HHFUT trains to be equipped with ECP brake systems, as an alternative to conventional air brakes, for the purpose of reducing in-train derailments. ECP brake systems are designed to send an electronic signal to all equipped cars in the train, thus providing the driver with instant control over the entire train and improving speed of car brake operations.
Section 7311 of the
On October 16, 2017, DOT
Repeal of PHMSA 2015 Final Rule’s ECP Brake Requirements
The Final Rule entitled
DOT announced that the Final Rule became effective on the day of its publication i.e. September 25, 2018 and explained that “good cause exists to publish this rulemaking without a notice of proposed rulemaking and opportunity for public comment and to make the regulations effective prior to 30 days after publication” DOT further added that “this rule simply implements the determination of the Department … therefore, PHMSA would be unable to adjust the text of the rule to account for any public comment.”
This material is based upon work supported by the National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.