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Rail News: Norfolk Southern Railway

Export coal facility's stormwater management system scores sustainable results, NS says

Communities around Norfolk, Va., and the Elizabeth River have benefitted from Norfolk Southern Corp.'s new stormwater management system at the Lamberts Point coal transload facility in Norfolk, the Class I announced on Friday.

When it rains, a multi-million-dollar recycling system collects, filters and treats stormwater at the 425-acre facility, NS officials said in a press release. The water is reused to suppress dust and clean equipment at Pier 6. Through a $5 million project, NS added a 10,000-gallon filtration system to remove fine coal particles, and a carbon and ultraviolet light treatment system designed to neutralize microorganisms and other potential pollutants.

The recycling system also conserves water and lowers the Class I's water costs. Since the recycling system began operating in March 2013, the coal pier has reduced its use of municipal water by about 1.5 million gallons per month, which represents annual savings of about 18 million gallons, NS officials said.

The stormwater project demonstrates the railroad's commitment to corporate responsibility and reducing its environmental footprint, said Blair Wimbush, NS' vice president of real estate and corporate sustainability officer.

"Our investment supports a healthier environment while also benefitting the company's bottom line, results that are good for the communities the railroad serves, as well as employees and shareholders," he said.

The Elizabeth River Project, a nonprofit conservation organization that aims to restore the river's water quality, last month presented NS a 2013 "Sustained Distinguished Performance" award for the stormwater project.

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