PHMSA Issues Special Permits for Hazmat Transport Following Hurricane Sandy

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The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued several emergency special permits authorizing the shipment of hazardous materials, including gasoline and diesel fuel, in several states affected by Hurricane Sandy.

PHMSA issued a special permit Nov. 7 that allows commercial motor vehicle operators to transport gasoline and diesel fuel in non-Department of Transportation specification cargo tankers to areas affected by the Oct. 29 storm.

The special permit allows cargo tankers that have been previously used for the transportation of other combustible liquids to transport gasoline in and through the hurricane disaster relief area. The special permit also exempts gasoline and diesel fuel shipments from shipping paper, marking, placarding, and security plan requirements, provided that the vehicle is escorted by law enforcement personnel.

Fuel shipments are covered by the special permit while traveling in and through Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.

PHMSA said in addition to issuing fast tracked emergency special permits in the wake of the storm, the agency also has staff on the ground to observe ongoing pipeline recovery and fuel delivery activities in the affected states.

Special Permit Granted for Refueling Trucks

PHMSA also granted a special permit to Williams, a company that operates 3 interstate natural gas pipelines in the United States, to allow the transport of class 3 hazardous liquids in non-specification metal refueling tanks. Class 3 hazardous liquids include ethanol and gasoline.

The emergency special permit allows for the hazardous liquid to be discharged from refueling tanks, provided the tanks are not removed from the vehicles on which they are transported. The tanks, which must have a capacity of less than 119 gallons to be covered by the special permit, are required to be attended at all times by a qualified person during loading and unloading operations.

The tanks also must be appropriately labeled and marked in accordance with federal hazardous materials transport regulations and properly ground to prevent static electricity during loading and unloading.

Both of the special permits authorizing emergency shipments of gasoline and other petroleum products are scheduled to expire Nov. 30.

PHMSA also issued a special permit to Walmart to allow a one-time shipment of various hazardous materials from damaged retail stores affected by the hurricane. The hazardous materials will be transported from the damaged Walmart and Sam's Club stores to a temporary warehouse facility approximately 10 miles away.

The special permit requires the hazardous materials to be packed in their original undamaged packaging, which will be placed in a fiberboard box during transport.

By Patrick Ambrosio  

The special permit authorizing the use of non-specification cargo tank vehicles to transport gasoline and diesel fuel is available at

The special permit authorizing the use of non-specification metal refueling tanks is available at

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