Contact Us

Scott Jensen
(202) 249-6511

WASHINGTON (February 15, 2017) – Chemical manufacturers want to work closely with Congress to improve our nation’s transportation system and ensure the safe transportation of hazardous materials, according to Dow Chemical Company Corporate Vice President of Integrated Supply Chain Tom Gurd, who testified today before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security.

During the “Moving America: Stakeholder Perspectives on our Multimodal Transportation System” hearing, Gurd testified on behalf of Dow and the American Chemistry Council. In his testimony, he pointed out that similar to the chemical industry as a whole, Dow is one of the largest shippers of materials in North America across all of modes of transport.

“In 2016, we made over one million shipments from over 60 production facilities. This number represented over 40 billion pounds of product, with over 16 billion pounds shipped by rail, over 13 billion pounds by road and over 11 billion pounds by marine,” Gurd explained to the Committee. “We operate a fleet of 18,000 railcars, including 7,500 tank cars for the transportation of chemicals. Approximately 20 percent of our shipments are hazardous materials shipments. The transportation of chemicals, including hazardous materials, is vital to U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace, as well as to the health, safety and welfare of the American public.”

He went on to stress that cooperation and smart federal policies are critical to making sure that chemicals continue to be shipped in a safe manner to where they are needed. “Dow is fully committed to transportation safety, security advancements and the reduction of risk to people, communities and the environment. This requires close collaboration with all industry stakeholders,” said Gurd.

“The Department of Transportation (DOT) serves a critical role in establishing uniform, national standards for the safe transportation of hazardous materials. The DOT must maintain this exclusive role,” he continued. “Any new requirements imposed on the regulated community must be developed through an appropriate federal rulemaking process and supported by a cost-benefit analysis. If regulations are adopted with an unsubstantiated cost-benefit analysis, the regulated community will incur significant costs, yet without increasing safety.”

Smart transportation polices are not only important to safety, they are also essential to revitalizing the country’s manufacturing base and the free flow of American commerce. The chemical industry is experiencing dramatic growth in the United States, with 280 new projects and a total investment of $170 billion announced as of early 2017. This additional chemical and plastics production will be a boon to the U.S. economy, creating thousands of new jobs and generating billions of dollars of new economic output.

Gurd concluded his testimony by thanking the Committee for their “willingness to work with the chemical industry and our integrated transportation partners to ensure that the U.S. has a safe, secure, sustainable and competitive network to deliver our products when and where they are needed.”

View the full testimony here.


News & Resources

View our resource center to find press releases, testimonies, infographics and more.