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It's time to stop producing and transporting dangerous chemicals around the nation, AAR's Hamberger says

Chemical companies should stop manufacturing dangerous compounds that have to be transported by rail and truck when safer substitutes are available. And if they refuse, Congress might force them to through the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2008.

That's the message Association of American Railroads President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Hamberger delivered to chemical producers via a statement he released yesterday following a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on the anti-terrorism bill.
"We can no longer continue to risk the lives of millions of Americans by using, transporting and storing highly toxic chemicals when there are safer alternatives commercially available," he said. "If chemical companies would take that step, the threat of a terrorist attack would be greatly reduced, America would be a safer place [and] railroads would no longer be required by the federal government to transport some of the most highly toxic chemicals around the country."

In addition, trucks filled with toxic chemicals would no longer navigate highways, and many manufacturing facilities and water treatment plants no longer would store large quantities of chemicals that are attractive to terrorists, said Hamberger.
The Center for American Progress reports that as many as 25 water utilities that previously received chlorine gas by rail have switched to safer treatment options, such as liquid bleach or ultraviolet light. As a result, more than 26 million Americans who live near those facilities are safer, said Hamberger, quoting from the report.

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More News from 2/28/2008