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Rail News: Safety

BNSF reduces non-accidental haz-mat releases 27 percent in 2004

Last year, BNSF Railway Co.'s non-accident releases (NARs) of hazardous materials decreased 27 percent compared with 2003 — the largest year-over-year drop since 1999, when the railroad developed formal procedures with shippers to reduce releases.

In 2004, BNSF moved 1,030,004 carloads of chemicals, petroleum products and other hazardous liquids and gases, and recorded 105 NARs.

"If you account for the increase in volume in haz-mat transported, we've actually reduced NARs by 61 percent since 1999," said Pat Brady, BNSF assistant director of hazardous materials, in a prepared statement.

A NAR — from a spill of thousands of gallons to two drops of liquid — does not include hazardous materials released because of a derailment or collision. NARs usually are caused by improperly secured closures and transportation package failures, BNSF said.

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More News from 2/7/2005