SOURCE: National Association of Chemical Distributors

National Association of Chemical Distributors

September 30, 2014 15:27 ET

NACD Cautions DOT on Proposed Tank Car Standards Rulemaking

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwired - September 30, 2014) - Today, the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding its proposed rule titled "Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains." The proposed rule would create stricter standards for the transport of hazardous materials by rail.

In its comments, NACD highlighted industry concerns over how the rule will significantly impact rail service and shift hazardous materials transportation away from rail and onto the highways, resulting in increased opportunities for accidents and spills. Additionally, NACD noted that rail shipping prices will increase under the proposal, placing a greater burden on the chemical distribution industry.

The association also expressed concern that the proposal covers all flammable liquids in high-hazard flammable trains (HHFTs), not just crude oil as originally intended. NACD Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Jennifer Gibson said, "Because of the number of commodities covered and the broad definition of HHFTs, the number of customers covered will extend far beyond those shipping and receiving crude oil... This will have a substantial impact on the entire product supply chain in the U.S."

NACD also called attention to the proposed 40 mile-per-hour speed limit for HHFTs. Stated Gibson, "An arbitrary national speed limit on all trains carrying flammable liquids would have wide-spread impacts throughout the entire national rail system as well as the economy as a whole. Speed restrictions applicable to HHFTs would directly impact the speed of all traffic on a rail line, which would increase transit times for all and create additional congestion."

Lastly, the association highlighted that the time frame for replacing all DOT-111 tank cars is too short. Warned Gibson, "The number of facilities in existence that are capable of building new rail cars and converting/retrofitting other tank cars is limited... A short time frame for replacement or retrofit would prematurely restrict a significant number of tank cars, and as a result, exacerbate the problem of the lacking shipping capacity."

To read NACD's complete comments, click here.

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.

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