Yesterday the OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) announced that they had approved the DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration’s (PHMSA’s) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains (RIN: 2137-AE91).
It appears that the focus of this rulemaking has tightened significantly since the ANPRM was published last September. That is not unexpected given the number of high-profile crude oil train accidents in the last year.
Given the rapid review afforded this NPRM in OIRA, I would not be surprised to see this NPRM published in tomorrow’s Federal Register. Interestingly, a Hazardous Material Safety Action Plan on this topic published yesterday by DOT indicated that an advance notice of proposed rulemaking is due to be published as well. The only one that I have seen being submitted to OIRA on related topics is the one submitted last week on oil spill response plans. As of yesterday, OIRA had not taken any action on that ANPRM, though I expect that we will see that sooner rather than later.