Monday, December 5, 2022

PHMSA Considers Special Permit for Rail Shipment of Cryogenic Ethane

The DOT’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice in today’s Federal Register (87 FR 74468-74469) for “Hazardous Materials: Notice of Application for Special Permit”. The Special Permit has been requested by Gas Innovations LNG Refrigerants Inc to authorize the transportation in commerce of cryogenic ethane in DOT-113C120W9 and DOT-113C120W tank cars via rail freight. These are the same railcars currently authorized for use with cryogenic ethylene.

The special permit application (21283-N) was first announced by PHMSA on September 9th, 2021 with a comment closing date of October 12th, 2021. PHMSA is now asking for public comments on the application because it “raises issues similar to the transportation of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) by rail, a matter for which multiple rulemakings are currently pending at the agency.”

Comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal (; Docket # PHMSA-2022-0081) comments should be submitted by January 4th, 2022. I suspect that there may be requests to extend that deadline because of the holidays.

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