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The American Chemistry Council yesterday honored Norfolk Southern Railway with the Responsible Care® Partner of the Year Award for the Class I's exemplary performance and safety record in transporting chemicals.NS was one of the three companies and the only freight railroad to receive the council's premier partner award. The award goes to high-performing companies involved in the distribution, transportation, storage, use, treatment, disposal, and sales and marketing of chemicals vital to American businesses and households, NS officials said in a press release."Our partnership with the council and its member shippers represents a strong commitment across business sectors to ensure the safety and security of our employees, communities and environment while delivering the quality service that our customers expect," said NS Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Wheeler.Since 1996, NS has participated in the voluntary Responsible Care Partner program, which is the chemical industry's environmental, health, safety and security performance initiative. As a program participant, NS must achieve third-party certification of its business management systems every three years, a rigorous process that includes reviews of the railroad's safety, environmental stewardship and security.