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Dow, Chemtrec Launch Rail Safety Initiative

Project aims to provide emergency responders with streamlined access to critical data in hazmat incidents

by Glenn Hess
March 22, 2007

Dow Chemical is entering into a "track and trace" railcar shipment demonstration project with the American Chemistry Council's Chemical Transportation Emergency Center (Chemtrec), a call center that offers around-the-clock information to emergency responders dealing with hazardous materials incidents.

Under the program, which will begin in April or May, Chemtrec will be given full access to product shipment information from Dow's shipment visibility initiative for rail tank cars. The initiative began in 2005.

The initiative equips Dow's existing railcar fleet to transport chlorine and other toxic inhalation hazards with global positioning systems and sensor technologies, such as leak and tamper detection devices. The equipment will allow electronic monitoring of the location and condition of railcars and their contents.

As part of the demonstration project, Chemtrec will have access to a Web-based network that will supplement its existing communications system to make better and timelier data available to emergency responders in the event of an incident involving Dow shipments of toxic inhalation hazards.

"Track and trace for shipment visibility is one important facet of Dow's comprehensive integrated approach to chemical security that focuses on risk management and emergency preparedness," says Henry Ward, director of transportation safety and security at Dow.

Chemtrec Managing Director Randy Speight says Dow's use of advanced technology combined with Chemtrec's communication network "provides an opportunity to demonstrate how increased information sharing and technological collaboration can successfully work in a real-world atmosphere."

Although Chemtrec will benefit from this additional resource, Speight says emergency response teams and local communities "are the real beneficiaries, as this program will help to ensure they have access to the timely and critical information they need."


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