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    DOT Cylinder Re-qualification Update

    DOT Cylinder.

    Per NPGA:

    TAs reported in prior editions of NPGA Reports, NPGA is communicating with the Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to resolve what NPGA believes to be an error in the agency's actions that implement changes in the DOT cylinder requalification requirements. The changes were part of a broader PHMSA rulemaking (HM-233F) that was published as a final rule on January 21, 2016, which incorporated nearly 100 special permits into the federal hazardous materials regulations (HMR).

    The changes modify 49 CFR 180.209(e) of the HMR and appear to reduce the initial requalification period for DOT cylinders following volumetric expansion testing from 12 years to 10 years and to increase the timeframe for requalification following a proof pressure test from 7 years to 10 years. Nowhere, in either the proposed rule or final rule, did PHMSA provide any rationale or substantiation for the changes or address them in any form. The compliance date for these changes is scheduled for January 23, 2017.

    NPGA anticipates that a reduction of time for requalification following volumetric expansion testing from 12 years to 10 years will have a significantly negative impact on the propane industry as it essentially accelerates the timeframe for requalification by two years and increases the total number of cylinders that must be requalified in order to be in compliance with the regulation as now promulgated. On multiple occasions and over several months NPGA has requested that PHMSA issue a correction or clarification reverting back to the regulatory language in effect prior to the rulemaking. We have yet to receive a formal response to our requests.

    NPGA will continue to pursue a favorable response from PHMSA. At the same time, NPGA will make a further formal request for a stay of the implementation and enforcement of these provisions until the matter can be resolved.

    Nevertheless, at present, the compliance date for these changes remains January 23, 2017.

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