"OMAHA, Neb. — Federal regulators have proposed suspending a Trump administration rule that would have allowed railroads to haul liquefied natural gas while they take a closer look at the potential safety risks.
The rule, which was backed by both the natural gas and freight rail industries, had already been on hold because several environmental groups and 14 states filed lawsuits challenging it.
The federal Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said the uncertainty about the rule also kept companies from investing in the specialized rail tank cars that were required, so railroads haven’t actually handled any shipments of the flammable and odorless liquid known as LNG since the rule was issued last summer.
The rule would have required enhancements — including a thicker outer tank made of steel with a greater puncture resistance — to the approved tank car design that, for decades, has been approved for shipments of other flammable cryogenic materials, such as liquid ethylene and liquid ethane."