HazMat Transportation

FAST Act Provisions Issued for Railcars

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has issued a final rule amending its hazardous materials regulations (HMRs) for rail tank cars carrying flammable liquids. Mainly, the rule modifies PHMSA’s May 2015 final rule intended to enhance operational controls for high-hazard flammable trains (HHFTs).

Following promulgation of that rule, in December 2015, President Obama signed the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (FAST Act), which built upon the May 2015 requirements. Because the current final rule simply codifies three nondiscretionary provisions in the FAST Act, says PHMSA, the PHMSA rule was not preceded with notice and comment procedures, as allowed by the good cause exemption in the Administrative Procedures Act.

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