White House Offers Rail Security Plan | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 85 Issue 1 | p. 18 | Concentrates
Issue Date: January 1, 2007

White House Offers Rail Security Plan

Department: Government & Policy
Credit: Michael McCoy/C&EN
Credit: Michael McCoy/C&EN

The chemical industry is voicing support for Bush Administration proposals to tighten security procedures for transporting hazardous materials by rail through the nation's "highest threat" urban areas. "We believe the announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a move in the right direction," says Jack N. Gerard, president of the American Chemistry Council, which represents major U.S. chemical manufacturers. "These rules represent an important step toward formalizing the voluntary agreements already in place." Under the plan, security protocols would be established for transferring toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) materials, such as chlorine and anhydrous ammonia, between chemical shippers and freight railroad carriers. Shippers would be required to inspect tank cars before loading them, and railroads would limit the time freight cars carrying toxic chemicals stand unattended, which is when they are considered most vulnerable to terrorist attack. Using industry data, DHS plans to create a tracking system that would allow the government to determine the location of railcars carrying TIH materials within several minutes.

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