Contact: Scott Jensen, (202) 249-6511  

WASHINGTON (May 1, 2015) - The Department of Transportation (DOT) released its  final rule today to upgrade tank car standards and rail operations for shipments of flammable liquids, including certain chemical shipments.

The following comment can be attributed to the American Chemistry Council (ACC) regarding the new rule:

"ACC and its  members are committed to the safe transportation of chemicals. Our members have devoted significant resources toward emergency response training and tank car safety. By working with rail carriers and the federal government, we have been able to help reduce the number of accidents and their impacts. This collective effort has involved a comprehensive approach that starts with preventing accidents and working to eliminate or reduce the consequences in the event that accidents do occur.

"We understand the urgency behind this rule and respect the effort DOT leadership and staff have put into enhancing rail safety. We recognize that DOT made several modifications to the rule to prioritize implementation of the new safety requirements, including a more realistic definition of what constitutes a high-hazard train.

"The new rule addresses several factors that will help make the transportation of flammable liquids by rail safer, including a new standard for tank cars. We are concerned that the Department's schedule for upgrading tank cars is not workable and could jeopardize the successful implementation of the rule.

"As we review the new rule in more detail, we look forward to working with the Department and other stakeholders to improve rail safety and ensure that products essential to our economy are transported without incident."

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