Contact: Scott Jensen, (202) 249-6511  

WASHINGTON (October 27, 2015) - The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly  approved legislation today that includes a three-year extension for railroads to install positive train control (PTC). The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement in response:

"We commend the House for approving legislation that will extend the deadline for implementing PTC in time to prevent a shutdown of the nation's rail system. Democrats and Republicans in the House wisely put politics aside for the good of our economy and public health in order to provide the railroads with a reasonable extension to properly install this important safety technology.

"Now that the House has acted, we strongly urge the U.S. Senate to do the same and pass a three-year PTC extension as part of the short-term transportation funding legislation. The consequences of a freight rail shutdown are real and too serious to risk any further delay.

"Rail companies have sent out notices that they will begin suspending service soon unless Congress addresses the looming PTC deadline before the end of the month. According to our economic analysis , a disruption in freight rail traffic for just 30 days would pull $30 billion out of the economy-costing 700,000 jobs. A shutdown would also strand millions of commuters who depend on passenger rail, and threaten public health if water utilities cannot receive basic life-saving disinfection products.

"Groups representing a broad cross-section of the country- water utilities , farmersmanufacturers and local governments -have made it clear that time has run out and Congress must fix this problem well before a disruption in service occurs. The House has heeded those warnings and has acted responsibly. Now the Senate must act and not allow this issue to drag out any further."

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