DOT proposes rulemaking on propane cylinder requalification

August 15, 2019 By    

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the Department of Transportation (DOT) published a notice of proposed rulemaking to return to a 12-year period after applying the hydrostatic test method for cylinder requalification, the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) reports.

The proposed rule will focus on how often propane marketers must qualify, or verify, the condition of cylinders after applying hydrostatic testing. Photo: iStock.com/knowlesgallery

The proposed rule will focus on how often propane marketers must qualify, or verify, the condition of cylinders after applying hydrostatic testing. Photo: iStock.com/knowlesgallery

The proposal is in response to a petition from the NPGA to return to the 12-year requalification period following a hydrostatic – or volumetric expansion – test after the PHMSA reduced the initial requalification period from 12 years to 10 years.

NPGA says PHMSA did not address the changes or provide a rationale or substantiation for the changes.

The 10-year requalification period following hydrostatic testing took effect in January 2017. After pushback from the NPGA, PHMSA released an enforcement notice in March 2017 that states the agency will not take enforcement action against the requalification of DOT-specification cylinders by hydrostatic testing according to a 12-year period. Instead, the enforcement notice permits a 12- or 10-year requalification period.

NPGA says this enforcement notice remains in effect until the new proposal by PHMSA is finalized.

In the prior rulemaking, PHMSA also changed the requalification period following the proof pressure testing method from seven to 10 years. NPGA explains that the latest proposal from PHMSA suggests allowing the proof pressure requalification period to remain at 10 years. Additionally, PHMSA proposes several changes to tables in the regulations in order to reflect more clearly the requirements in the regulator language.

NPGA is responding to the PHMSA proposal with strong support to correct the requalification period to 12 years following the hydrostatic testing method.

Joe McCarthy

About the Author:

Joe McCarthy is an Associate Editor of LP Gas Magazine. You can contact him at jmccarthy@northcoastmedia.net and at 216-363-7930.

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