Representing New York's Heating Fuels Industry

Petroleum Marketers Association Of America (PMAA) Urges Reinstatement Of "Lowest Flashpoint" Placarding Rule

washington_capital_x340w.jpgPresident Trump signed an executive order that requires the EPA to review or rescind the 2015 "Waters of the U.S." (WOTUS) rule. The rule has been criticized as an unjustified expansion of the Clean Water Act, going far, far beyond the limits of federal regulation by giving federal agencies direct authority over land use decisions that Congress has intentionally reserved for the States. The rule defines how far federal clean water regulations extend into local land use and permitting decisions, including the construction of new petroleum storage facilities.

PMAA filed comments asking the Pipeline Hazardous Materials and Safety Administration (PHMSA) to restore a recently removed cargo tank placarding provision. This provision was in place for 35 years until it was upended in 2015 when PHMSA cracked down on incorrectly placarded fuel loads, even those marked with a lower flashpoint. For instance, PHMSA determined that trucks may not carry a load of straight diesel fuel with the "1203" gasoline placard. Similarly, trucks may not carry a straight load of heating oil with the "1223" kerosene placard. Straight loads of diesel and heating oil must have the "1993" placard. If you have a truck that alternates between two products, the driver must change the placard with every load. If you are carrying a split load, the driver should use the placard with the lower flashpoint. (Diesel Fuel could be marked "1202" or "1993" depending on whether they want to mark for domestic or international shipment.) The penalty for a violation is $2,500. PMAA told PHMSA in written comments that placarding alternating straight loads of diesel fuel and gasoline with the UN 1203 placard does not pose any danger to public safety, because emergency response methods for both are identical under Emergency Response Guide 128. PMAA plans to meet with PHMSA on this issue in the near future.

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