Industry Challenges Railroad Hazmat Plan | May 2, 2011 Issue - Vol. 89 Issue 18 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 18 | p. 25 | Concentrates
Issue Date: May 2, 2011

Industry Challenges Railroad Hazmat Plan

Department: Government & Policy
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: toxic chemicals, chlorine, freight railroads
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Railroads want new safety rules on railcars carrying hazardous chemicals
Credit: Union Tank Car Co.
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Railroads want new safety rules on railcars carrying hazardous chemicals
Credit: Union Tank Car Co.

Three industry trade groups are asking federal regulators to block freight railroads from implementing new safety requirements on the transportation of chlorine and other toxic chemicals on the Alabama & Gulf Coast Railway (AGR) and other short-line railroads operated by RailAmerica. In a complaint filed with the Surface Transportation Board (STB), the American Chemistry Council, the Chlorine Institute, and the Fertilizer Institute say the rules include “unreasonable operating restrictions and surcharges” on hazardous commodities “under the guise of safety and security concerns.” The measures include advance notification of a railcar’s delivery and inspection once the railcar comes into the railroad’s possession. The railcars are then placed into short, dedicated trains with no more than three per train, after which the dedicated train is operated at a deliberate pace. The industry groups want STB to order AGR to immediately discontinue the new safety protocols and to prohibit future implementation. Paul Lundberg, RailAmerica’s COO, maintains that “moving toxic materials by rail imposes burdensome, costly, and risky obligations on railroads. Steps that enhance public safety should not be considered unnecessary where toxic materials are concerned.”

 
Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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