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Feds' New Railroad Safety Rules Could Affect Propane Transport On Seacoast

On Wednesday the Federal Railroad Authority announced it will propose new rules this summer for railroad safety. That comes amid safety concerns on the Seacoast following a proposal to transport propane to Newington by rail. 

The company Sea-3’s proposal to transport propane by rail along the Seacoast could be affected by the proposed new rules.  The Federal Railroad Administration is likely to clarify regulations over the loading, unloading and storage of hazardous materials transported by rail.  The FRA also will propose a requirement for almost all trains to have at least two-person crews and add new rules for securing trains when they are not moving.

The FRA’s rulemaking is in response to recent explosions resulting from the transportation of crude oil by rail – an issue that has been of recent concern to many residents on the Seacoast.

There, the Newington business Sea-3 has sought permission to bring up to 12 railcars of propane into port by rail  each day.

On Tuesday, Portsmouth City Council agreed to formally oppose the propane-by-rail proposal, due to safety concerns.  Ultimately, however, it will be up to the Newington Planning Board to make the final call. 

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