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AAR bestows top environmental award to BNSF's Smith


The Association of American Railroads (AAR) yesterday awarded the 2014 Professional Environmental Excellence Award to BNSF Railway Co. Manager of Environmental Remediation David Smith.  

Considered the highest honor for rail industry environmental professionals, the award recognizes an individual who demonstrated outstanding performance in environmental awareness and responsibility during the year.

Smith has continued to exhibit a high degree of environmental awareness through exemplary work performance during his 38-year career, AAR officials said in a press release. He began his railroad career sweeping snow from switches in a BNSF yard in Nebraska and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science and Master’s degree in geology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Smith manages environmental remediation projects at a variety of sites and led an effort to get a portion of BNSF land adjacent to the Whitefish River donated to Whitefish, Mont., for use as a park called Whitefish Landing. His use of earned-value analysis in the park project was critical to keeping the project on track and reducing overall site costs by $3 million, AAR officials said. 

"Environmental stewardship is a key foundation of the rail industry and the Professional Environmental Excellence Award showcases those dedicated professionals who advance technologies and practices in this important area," said AAR President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Hamberger. "Employees like David, who are committed to greener and cleaner technologies and more efficient operating practices, will ensure our environment is preserved and protected in the years ahead."

The four other award nominees were CSX Corp. Manager of Environmental Field Services Michael Gregory, Union Pacific Railroad Manager of Hazardous Materials Michael Moore, CN Environmental Officer Nancy Terrault-Somogyi and Canadian Pacific System Manager of Environmental Assessment Joe Van Humbeck.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/29/2014