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Pipeline Safety: Hazardous Liquid Pipelines Transporting Ethanol, Ethanol Blends, and other Biofuels

Notice of policy statement and request for comments.
The Department of Transportation (DOT), in coordination with the Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, and others, is considering current and future transportation challenges posed by growing demand for ethanol and other biofuels and biofuel blends. Although pipelines have long been a primary mode for high volume transportation of gasoline and other petroleum products, most biofuels used in the U.S. today are transported exclusively by marine vessel, rail, and/or highway. In support of the President's energy agenda, DOT is prepared to facilitate pipeline options by sponsoring research and development, resolving technical issues, and, if necessary, clarifying safety standards. The PHMSA is the DOT agency with regulatory authority over the safe and reliable transportation of hazardous materials by all modes, including pipelines. The PHMSA's Hazardous Materials Regulations govern the transportation of ethanol and other biofuels and blends by rail, air, motor carrier, and barge. The PHMSA's Pipeline Safety Regulations cover the transportation by pipeline of all petroleum products, including gasoline blended with biofuel. In this Notice, PHMSA sets forth a formal determination (for purposes of 49 U.S.C. 60101(a)(4)(B)) that the transportation of unblended biofuels by pipeline is subject to the agency's jurisdiction and invites comments on the adequacy of existing regulatory definitions and standards. This Notice also describes and invites comments on the agency's ongoing efforts to identify and address the short-, medium-, and long- term opportunities and challenges associated with transporting biofuels. The PHMSA is seeking comments on technical issues, adequacy of standards, and research and development needs associated with the transportation of biofuels by pipeline. We describe and invite comments on the agency's ongoing efforts to prepare communities and emergency responders to mitigate hazards associated with transportation involving new fuels.
72 FR 45002


Closed on 09/10/2007