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AAR recognizes haz-mat safety achievements in three award categories

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) recently announced the 2010 recipients of its Non-Accident Release Grand Slam and Holden-Proefrock awards, as well as 2011 TRANSCAER® National Achievement awards. The awards were presented earlier this week at the AAR’s 24th Annual AAR/Bureau of Explosives Hazardous Materials Seminar in Kansas City, Mo.

Non-Accident Release Grand Slam Awards went to Federated Co-Operatives Ltd., International Commodities Export Corp. and INVISTA. The award recognizes hazardous materials shippers that are honored individually for safety performance by at least four Class Is and register no non-accidental releases of hazardous materials during transport the previous calendar year.

The AAR named CN’s Michael DeSmedt the winner of the 2010 Holden-Proefrock Award. A retired senior manager of dangerous goods, DeSmedt served CN for 33 years and “influenced the lives of thousands of young emergency responders through his emergency response training and community outreach programs,” AAR officials said in a prepared statement. He contributed to the development of CN's dangerous goods program and system protection model, which have positively impacted the North American rail industry, all levels of government and the emergency response community, according to the association.

The Holden-Proefrock Award recognizes an individual associated with the rail industry who has made significant contributions to haz-mat transportation safety throughout his or her career. The award is named in honor of Roy Holden, a former AAR employee who pioneered tank car design and safety, and Art Proefrock, a former Hulcher Emergency Services employee who pioneered emergency responses to haz-mat transportation incidents.

Meanwhile, BNSF Railway Co., CN, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway and Union Pacific Railroad won 2011 TRANSCAER National Achievement Awards for their support of the TRANSCAER (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) initiative, a voluntary national outreach effort that focuses on helping communities prepare for and respond to potential haz-mat transportation incidents.

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