National Academies completes report on LNG by rail

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) has reviewed a safety initiative of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) that would allow railroads to transport liquefied natural gas (LNG) using tank cars.

The congressionally mandated report found that the initiative presented a comprehensive plan of work that built on long-standing safety programs as well as offered opportunities for future research, according to an NASEM press release.

The report’s findings will serve as a basis for the second phase of the National Academies’ study, which will consider the transport of LNG via other modes, including marine tankers and cargo tank trucks. It will also examine the applicability of existing emergency response plans, protocols and guides for responding to any possible hazardous materials incidents of transporting LNG by rail.

LNG has not been transported via rail by any significant degree in the United States. When the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020 was enacted, it directed PHMSA to enter into an agreement with NASEM to convene a committee of independent experts to study the safe transportation of LNG by rail.

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