DG Digest: U.S Coast Guard issues final rule amending how waterfront facilities handle LNG

The FRA is expanding its drug and alcohol testing program to railroad mechanical employees.  A load of maintenance equipment heads north on the BNSF at CP Thomas in Auburn, Washington.  Photo © 2/2022 by Nikki Burgess; all rights reserved. 

The first week in February is here, and the groundhog saw his shadow—six more weeks of winter!  Be sure your winter safety plan stays active until we all get through to the new Spring.  There was a variety of news from various federal agencies last week, including an ICR dealing with COVID issues from the FAA.  We’ll have a look at them below:

U.S. Coast Guard

The service issued a final rule amending its regulations concerning waterfront facilities handling liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied hazardous gas (LHG)—both Dangerous Goods. The rule makes the following three changes:

  • It revises the Coast Guard’s existing regulations to allow waterfront facilities handling LNG as fuel to conduct an operational risk assessment instead of a waterway suitability assessment (WSA) without first obtaining Captain of the Port (COTP) approval
  • It revises existing regulations to update incorporated technical standards to reflect the most recent published editions. These updated industry standards only apply to waterfront facilities handling LNG and LHG that are constructed, expanded, or modified under a contract awarded after the implementation date of the final rule.
  • For waterfront facilities handling LNG that must comply with the WSA requirements, the final rule requires these facilities to provide information to the Coast Guard regarding the nation of registry for vessels transporting natural gas that are reasonably anticipated to be servicing the facilities, and the nationality or citizenship of officers and crew serving on board those vessels

This final rule is effective March 4, 2022.


The agency issued an ICR that queries air carriers about issues surrounding transport of COVID-19 vaccines supplies, including questions about dangerous goods issue related to such carriage.  See the ICR here.


As mandated by the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT Act or Act), the agency is expanding the scope of its alcohol and drug regulation to cover mechanical employees. This rule clarifies who FRA considers a mechanical employee for regulatory purposes and adopts proposed technical amendments.  Mechanical employees are generally those that conduct maintenance and repair of railroad equipment used in transport. This rule is effective March 4, 2022. See the rule here.


The agency amended its regulatory guidance to explain that its current statutory authorities and regulations do not prohibit third party testers from administering the commercial driver’s license knowledge tests for all classes and endorsements. SDLAs may accept the results of knowledge tests administered by third party testers in accordance with existing knowledge test standards and requirements set forth in 49 CFR part 383, subparts G and H. This guidance is effective February 3, 2022. See the guidance here.


The National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH) will meet February 22, 2022, by teleconference and WebEx. In conjunction with the committee meeting, the NACOSH Heat Injury and Illness Prevention Work Group will hold an initial meeting on February 25, 2022. Find details about these meetings here.

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