16 States Warn Of “Bomb Trains” In Lawsuit To Stop Proposed Shipping Of Liquefied Natural Gas By Rail

Courthouse News reports:

Two weeks after the neglected storage of highly combustible ammonium nitrate caused a devastating explosion in Lebanon, six environmental groups urged the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday to stop the United States from ushering in a new era of so-called bomb trains.

Federal law stipulates that liquefied natural gasses can only be safely transported in trucks and specific tank cars approved by the Federal Railroad Administration and the United Nations. Those tank cars aren’t allowed to be filled to their full capacity, either, due to safety concerns.

For the last year, however, at President Donald Trump’s request, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has been studying whether rail transport of liquefied natural gas could be done safely — a move that would exponentially increase productivity as tanker rail cars can hold three times the volume of the portable tanks approved by the U.N.

Reuters reports:

Sixteen attorneys general and a coalition of six environmental groups separately sued the Trump administration on Tuesday in Washington D.C. federal appeals court over a rule that would allow the transportation by rail of explosive liquefied natural gas, arguing that the measure would be dangerous and could destroy cities.

In this first lawsuit, the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity and other groups petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit over the U.S. Department of Transportation rule scheduled to take effect next week, alleging that it violates the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.