Environmentalists filed in federal court Tuesday to block enforcement a new federal rule authorizing bulk shipment of liquefied natural gas by rail.
Sierra Club attorney Nathan Matthews said the new rule poses a dire threat to workers and communities, all for the benefit of the energy industry.
“We will not allow this dangerous plan to go unchallenged,” Matthews said.
Published last week, the new rule will allow LNG to be shipped in special modified refrigerated tank cars. Previously, LNG could only be transported by rail using portable tanks with approval from the Federal Railroad Administration.
The rule does require a thicker carbon steel outer shell, improved braking systems, and remote monitoring of pressure and location of the tank car. Trains would also be subject to a voluntary speed limit of no more than 50 mph.
Environmentalist claim the rule change would allow LNG transport by rail in tanker cars yet untested regarding high speed impacts.
The change is supported by the Association of American Railroads.