Safe, reliable and affordable rail transportation of chemicals is essential to the business of chemistry. ACC and its members are committed to working with their transportation partners and lawmakers to promote the safe shipment of chemicals by rail.
Because nearly a quarter of U.S. shipments of chemical products travel by rail, the nation depends on rail to deliver chemical products every day to generate energy, produce food and disinfect drinking water.
New Research on Rail Competition
ACC released new research on freight rail issues facing the chemical industry and U.S. economy. ACC commissioned Escalation Consultants Inc. to analyze Surface Transportation Board data on freight rates and calculate the freight rate premium paid by chemical shippers. ACC also contracted with Veris Consulting to conduct a rail issues survey of chemical shippers and receivers that examined how rail rates impact our industry’s business decisions and performance. The full research reports and their summaries can be found here.
To build on an already impressive safety record, ACC member companies and their transportation partners invest billions of dollars in rail safety improvements and continuously champion standards, technology and regulations. For example, ACC and member companies work with railroads and tank car builders to support research on rail car safety that may lead to new designs or standards for rail cars carrying hazardous chemicals. In addition, ACC helps first responders prepare for emergencies through programs like CHEMTREC® and TRANSCAER®.
Reliable and Affordable Rail Service
Most chemical facilities and their customers are served by a single railroad, leaving them without access to competitive rail service. To address this problem, ACC and a large coalition of shippers—Consumers United for Rail Equity (C.U.R.E.)—have asked Congress and the Surface Transportation Board (STB) to remove barriers to competition caused by outdated federal policies.
ACC Policy Position
America’s rail policy must encourage regulators to work in partnership with the business of chemistry, other shippers and the railroad industry to ensure that essential chemicals can continue to be shipped by rail.
The federal government must pursue a sensible approach when employing new accident avoidance technologies like Positive Train Control (PTC) to guarantee railroads can continue to live up to their legal obligation to ship chemicals where they are needed. PTC regulations must allow chemical producers to ship products where our customers need them. Implementation of PTC regulations should not unreasonably hinder the shipment of TIH products, which are essential for water treatment, agriculture and manufacturing processes. The costs of implementing PTC technologies should be allocated fairly across the board since shippers and railroads will benefit from a safer and more efficient national rail network.
To meet the nation’s rail transportation needs for the next century, the federal government must promote affordable, reliable rail service by removing barriers to competition due to outdated policies.
The nation depends on chemical producers every day to form the building blocks and processes necessary for safe drinking water, a plentiful food supply and life-saving medicines—access to safe, reliable and affordable rail service will help ensure the business of chemistry can meet the country’s demands now and into the future.