On November 25, 2020, PHMSA published the Final Rule on Docket HM-219C in the Federal Register. The effective date of the Final Rule is December 28, 2020. The Final Rule is in response to 24 petitions sent to PHMSA for rulemaking. Three items pertain to transportation of poisonous by inhalation (PIH) materials in tank cars.
The first revises 173.31 to prohibit the use of tank cars with shells or heads constructed of non-normalized steel in the transportation of poison-by-inhalation hazard (PIH) materials by rail after December 31, 2020. As a side note, the AAR issued circular letter CPC-1336 on July 27, 2018, revising the AAR C-III M-1002 which prohibited the use of non-normalized steel tank cars in PIH service after July 1, 2019.
The second revises 173.244(a)(2) and 173.314(c) to make the “interim” tank car specifications the “final” specifications for the transportation of PIH materials. A DOT 105J600I tank car would now be DOT 105H600W. The marking will be changed at the tank car’s next qualification. Chlorine is required to be shipped in a 105H600W specification tank car (the previous draft had 105H500W).
The third revises 173.31 to prohibit the use of certain tank cars for the transportation of PIH materials after December 31, 2027. These tank cars are those that are not built to the requirements published under HM-246.
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