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NS worker earns initial AAR environmental award


Norfolk Southern Railway employee Paul Contrado April 5 received the first John H. Chafee Environmental Award from Association of American Railroads.
Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee presented the award named after his late father, a leading environmentalist who helped promote the environmental advantages of rail transportation.
AAR selected Contrado from a group of six nominees representing each of North America’s Class Is.
The award is presented to a railroad employee who dedicates his or her free time and effort to protecting the environment but doesn’t work in a railroad’s environmental division.
Contrado, an NS supervisor in Virginia Beach, Va., developed a process ensuring locomotive shop wastewater is cleaned before it’s discharged, helping his terminal earn several Pretreatment Excellence Gold Awards. He also conceived and implemented a program at NS’ car shop designed to recover and recycle coal that otherwise would have been wasted, and helped design a storm water collection treatment system that’s been nominated for several environmental compliance and design engineering awards.
Off the job, Contrado is actively involved in a local Elizabeth River project cited by Environmental Protection Agency as an outstanding example of how public and private cooperation can improve urban area fishing and swimming.
"The railroad industry is blessed with tens of thousands of environmentally-conscious people," said Edward Hamberger, AAR president and chief executive officer, in a prepared statement. "These are people who in addition to their daily job responsibilities have dedicated extra time and effort to protecting the environment."