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Chlorine Institute: FRA understates PTC's benefits to rail industry, public


Yesterday, the Chlorine Institute Inc. (CI) submitted a final report to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) on a cost-benefit study showing that the positive train control (PTC) final rule “vastly understates the technology's benefits to the rail industry and the public,” and could enable railroads to impose a large share of PTC implementation costs on chlorine and other chemical shippers, according to the institute.

Authored by L. E. Peabody & Associates Inc., the report further documents an initial report’s findings on the “substance and extent of the FRA’s understatement of the benefits to both the railroad industry and the society as a whole, and quantifies the real value of PTC,” CI officials said in a letter of transmittal to the FRA.

In March, the institute asked the FRA to re-issue its final PTC implementation rule with a corrected cost-benefit analysis. Although CI “strongly supports PTC,” the institute believes the “faulty cost-benefit analysis” in the current rule fosters a situation that could mean railroads will impose a large portion of PTC costs on shippers of chlorine and other toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) chemicals, CI officials said.

“Only a reevaluation of the assumptions used and the methods employed in conducting the FRA cost-benefit analysis that includes all elements of benefits flowing from (PTC) can correct the deficiencies,” the officials said in a prepared statement. “The Chlorine Institute is willing to assist the FRA to reexamine this vital issue to achieve a statistically appropriate and legally sound conclusion.”

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More News from 5/26/2010