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Union Pacific Railroad recently awarded its annual Pinnacle Award for chemical transportation safety to 63 companies.The award recognizes UP customers that implemented successful prevention and corrective plans and achieved a rate of zero non-accident releases (NARs) for regulated hazardous materials shipments, company officials said in a press release.Launched in 1996, the program is open to all UP hazardous material shippers, including chemical and petrochemical customers. Criteria include safe-loading techniques, shipment securement and zero NARs. A non-accident release is an unintentional release of hazardous material during transportation not caused by an accident or train derailment.NARs of hazardous materials in tank cars declined 10 percent on UP's network between 2008 and 2014, due in part to the Class I's hazardous materials safety field personnel's increased inspections and training, as well as customer adherence to Pinnacle Award criteria, UP officials said."Union Pacific is dedicated to helping customers develop and sustain procedures that support the safe transport of the nation's chemicals from products used to purify drinking water to the ingredients required for life-saving pharmaceuticals," said Beth Whited, UP's vice president and general manager-chemicals.