Two lawsuits were filed against the Trump administration over new federal rules that will permit liquefied natural gas (LNG) to be transported by railroad, Kallanish Energy reports.
One suit was filed by attorney generals from 14 states and the District of Columbia.
The states are California, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
The other suit was filed by Earthjustice on behalf of the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Delaware Riverkeeper, the Clean Air Council, the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida and the Mountain Watershed Alliance.
Both suits were filed Tuesday in the U.S, Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
The suits contend that such LNG shipments by rail pose an unacceptable safety threat to communities.
The new rule released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Federal Railway Administration will allow LNG to be shipped in DOT 113-specification refrigerated tank cars.
The rule will also require enhanced outer tank requirements including a thicker carbon steel outer tank and additional operational controls.
The rule also requires remote monitoring of the pressure and the location of LNG tank cars. It also requires improved braking systems and two-way end-of-train or distributed power systems when a train is hauling LNG tank cars.
Last fall, the two agencies called such rail shipments a “potentially viable alternative to pipelines.”
The plan was supported by the Association of American Railroads.
The notice is a result of President Donald Trump’s April 2019 executive order on LNG and rail, mandating a federal rule by 2020.
Until now, LNG could only be transported via rail in a portable tank with approval from the federal rail agency.
However, federal rules do allow the DOT-113 tank car for other flammable cryogenic liquids.
One company, Energy Transport Solutions, has plans and a special federal permit to run 100-car unit trains filled with LNG to a proposed LNG export facility on the Delaware River in New Jersey.
It is a subsidiary of New Fortress Energy.
The LNG would be moved about 200 miles from liquefaction facilities in the Marcellus Shale in northeast Pennsylvania.
The proposal has come under fire from critics who say such shipments pose a major safety risk.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.