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BNSF Railway Co. yesterday issued a public statement in response to a recent lawsuit filed in federal court against the company by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).The trade group, which represents 400 U.S. refiners and petrochemical makers, says it objects to a $1,000 surcharge that BNSF has put on older oil tank car models. The trade group claims the surcharge is designed to encourage shippers to retrofit or cease use of older cars in favor of "jacketed" cars that are not required by federal regulators.In its statement, BNSF says it is continuing to review AFPM's challenge of what the Class I describes as a "recent implementation of rate discounts" for crude-oil shippers that use safer rail cars."We believe that our rate structure appropriately supports customers who are working to move to a safer car, which is in the interest of rail shippers, BNSF employees and the communities we serve," according to the statement."This rate structure is also consistent with BNSF’s ongoing efforts to ensure the safe transport of crude on our network, including voluntary adoption of enhanced operating practices around crude oil shipments and requesting the federal government to make newer, safer tank cars the new standard for crude-by-rail shipments, replacing the older DOT-111 and non-modified CPC-1232 cars," BNSF states.
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