NACD: Positive Train Control extension ensures continued shipment of goods
Eric R. Byer, NACD
Arlington, VA, October 28 - Today, the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) applauded the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of short-term highway funding legislation that, among other provisions, extends the deadline for railroads to implement positive train control (PTC) technology that would prevent train collisions and derailments caused by speeding.
Under the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, railroads are required to implement PTC on lines that ship toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) chemicals and on passenger rail by Dec. 31, 2015. TIH chemicals include chlorine, anhydrous ammonia, ethylene oxide, and hydrogen fluoride. These chemicals are used in both consumer and industrial goods and processes, including water treatment, fertilizers, industrial refrigeration, paper production, and much more.
The Association of American Railroads, the Federal Railroad Administration, and the Government Accountability Office have all said that the railroads did not have enough time to comply with the previous law before the Dec. 31 deadline. This would have resulted in severely negative consequences to the U.S. economy, including disruptions to the nation's food, energy, and water supplies, as well as transportation, construction, and other industries vital to our economy. According to the American Chemistry Council, a one-month halt of rail service would cost $30 billion to the U.S. economy and would lead to roughly 700,000 lost jobs.
NACD President Eric R. Byer stated, "Our national railroad system is crucial not only for the movement of people, but also for the movement of goods vital to the American economy. We applaud the Congress' efforts to pass a PTC extension and ensure the continued shipment of products critical to life in the 21st century. We now urge President Obama to quickly sign the legislation into law extending PTC so railroads and industries that rely on them can continue delivering goods to their customers."
NACD and its nearly 440 member companies are vital to the chemical supply chain providing products to over 750,000 end users. NACD members are leaders in health, safety, security, and environmental performance through implementation of Responsible Distribution, established in 1991 as a condition of membership and a third-party-verified management practice. For more information, visit www.NACD.com.