Congress calling for wetlines ban on all hazmat tank trailers
Jul 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Charles E Wilson
During hearings by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in May, New York Democrat Representative Jerry Nadler snidely asked a witness how she would explain to the relatives of someone killed in a wetlines accident that decisions were based on cost-benefit analysis. The question Rep Nadler should answer is how he will explain to the relatives of a mechanic killed during a purging system retrofit that the death occurred as a result of congressional whimsy on the part of himself and others on the committee.
Clean air is another issue connected to the proposed wetlines ban. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) expressed concerns about wetlines purging systems back in 2005. The purging systems that were being developed at the time used air to push product from the piping and up into the cargo tank. As a result, the venting system would essentially “burp” and release product vapors in the air. This would increase air pollution. As it stands now, no new technology has been developed to address that issue.
Clearly, more study is needed before Congress forces a costly and potentially unsafe wetlines ban on the tank truck industry. NTTC has called for the Transportation Secretary to study the extent of risk posed by the transportation of flammable liquids/hazardous materials in cargo tank piping and evaluate the impact of a possible ban on safety, equipment manufacturers, air quality, and the tank truck industry.
This issue is changing almost by the day, and members of the tank truck industry need to stay focused on it. Most importantly, tank fleet managers need to talk with their federal elected officials to communicate industry concerns about this expensive and unnecessary solution to a problem that barely exists
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