Chemical industry plans for replacing chlorine rail tank cars: lots of big claims, usual "Responsible Care" bullshit, no details

Press Release, Golin Harris, November 15, 2006
WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 — Several leading chemical manufacturers today announced plans to replace their entire U.S. and Canadian chlorine tank car fleets by the end of 2017 with new rail tank cars that will feature significantly enhanced safety and security attributes.
Occidental Chemical Corporation (OxyChem), The Dow Chemical Company, US Magnesium LLC and Bayer MaterialScience reaffirmed their drive for continuous improvement in the safe and secure rail transportation of chlorine through this aggressive rail tank car replacement commitment and announced the formation of a Chlorine Rail Tank Car Development Coordination Panel.
This new effort is a logical progression to the next generation of safe and secure rail tank cars. Multiple safety enhancements have been incorporated into the current generation of tank cars and they are performing well, with a strong record of performance in accident situations. In the spirit of Responsible Care® and continuous improvement, the industry is preparing to break through to the next level of safety and security performance-based improvements.
The primary goal of the Coordination Panel is to accelerate the chlorine industry’s development of enhanced tank car designs that can be leveraged across the chemical industry in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation and Transport Canada. The Panel welcomes the participation of other chlorine shippers willing to commit to the same rail tank car replacement plans.
Panel participants believe that enhancing chlorine transportation safety and security is a shared responsibility between shippers, railroads and the government and must go beyond rail tank car design to include a comprehensive review of all the factors involved, including train operations, human factors, routing and track conditions.
Rail transport is the safest mode of transportation for chlorine and other hazardous materials that are critical to the U.S. economy and national security. Although chlorine is best known as a disinfectant for drinking water, it also is essential to the manufacturing of 93 percent of all pharmaceuticals, numerous life-saving medical devices, nearly all crop protection chemicals, and the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), mostly used as building and construction materials — not to mention advanced materials critical to protecting our armed forces.
“Of all the aspects involved in the safe rail transport of chemicals, shippers like OxyChem can have the greatest positive impact on rail tank car design,” said Stephen R. Fitzgerald, OxyChem Sr. Vice President-Manufacturing, Engineering & Technology. “While we believe the current rail tank car fleet is dependable, our commitment to health, safety, environment and security excellence and continuous improvement leads us to support development of a next generation tank car design that incorporates significant safety and security enhancements.”
“We at Bayer bring a great deal of experience in improving rail transit safety and rail car design to the group, and we are pleased to participate. Such active involvement in distribution safety improvement aligns with our commitment to the Responsible Care Initiative,” said Robert Blake, Director- Distribution Safety, Bayer MaterialScience NAFTA. “We believe that any decision on a new tank car design approach should be based on sound science and engineering and consider all factors of design, construction and operation.”
“US Magnesium is looking forward to working with the Chlorine Institute and the members of the industry to achieve significant improvements in transportation reliability and safety,” adds Dr. Howard I. Kaplan, Vice President, Chemicals and By-Products, US Magnesium LLC.
The Chlorine Institute has agreed to facilitate the new Panel, which will work in close coordination with the Next Generation Rail Tank Car project — a joint initiative of Dow, Union Pacific Railroad and Union Tank Car Company. In addition, the Chlorine Institute will incorporate the efforts of its Tank Car of the Future Task Force into these efforts.
“We are pleased to work with these companies and the Chlorine Institute to continue to build upon our shared commitment to Responsible Care,” said Henry Ward, The Next Generation Rail Tank Car Project Leader and Global Director of Transportation Safety and Security for Dow. “Together our efforts will help enable the safe and secure production and distribution of essential products for decades to come.”
The Next Generation Rail Tank Car project is focused on the design and implementation of a next generation rail tank car for highly hazardous chemicals that provides a step change in safety and security performance. This project is part of a much larger set of initiatives to drive improved rail safety and security that include efforts to address operational safety, material sourcing and routing, implementation of advanced tracking technologies and emergency preparedness.
About Occidental Chemical Corporation:
Occidental Chemical Corporation (OxyChem) is a leading North American manufacturer of vinyls, chlorine and caustic soda – the building blocks for such indispensable products as pharmaceuticals, water disinfectants and plastics. The company is based in Dallas, Texas and has manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada, Brazil and Chile.
About The Dow Chemical Company:
Dow is a diversified chemical company that harnesses the power of science and technology to improve living daily. The Company offers a broad range of innovative products and services to customers in more than 175 countries, helping them to provide everything from fresh water, food and pharmaceuticals to paints, packaging and personal care products. Built on a commitment to its principles of sustainability, Dow has annual sales of $46 billion and employs 42,000 people worldwide. References to “Dow” mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted.
About Bayer MaterialScience:
Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with nearly 19,000 employees at 40 sites around the world and 2005 sales of 10.7 billion euros. Our innovative developments in coating, adhesive and sealant raw materials, polycarbonates, polyurethanes and thermoplastic urethane elastomers enhance the design and functionality of products in a wide variety of markets, including the automotive, construction, electrical and electronics, household and medical industries, and the sports and leisure fields. Our inorganic basic chemicals unit produces chlorine and related essential products for the chemicals industry. Let us give life to your vision. Bayer MaterialScience – Where VisionWorks.
About US Magnesium LLC:
US Magnesium LLC (a member of the Renco Group) is the United States’ only producer of magnesium metal and has been producing since 1972. The magnesium plant is located on the west shore of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. The Great Salt Lake provides an inexhaustible supply of feedstock of magnesium chloride brine for the plant. The plant uses a highly sophisticated internally developed technical process for magnesium production, and is known for having the highest quality products. Chlorine production and sales is an integral part of the magnesium process and US Magnesium is committed to the safe production and distribution of co-product chlorine throughout the western United States
About The Chlorine Institute:
The Chlorine Institute Inc. (CI) founded in 1924, is a technical trade association of companies that are involved in the safe production, distribution and use of chlorine, sodium and potassium hydroxides and sodium hypochlorite, and the distribution and use of hydrogen chloride. CI’s 219 member companies represent the complete value chain-from chlorine producers to packagers, distributors, users and suppliers. The Institute’s North American producer members account for 98 percent of the total chlorine production capacity of the U.S. Canada. CI’s packager members now represent 100 percent of the total U. S. market. For more information, please visit .
® Registered service mark of the U. S. American Chemistry Council.
For Editorial Information:
Tina Janczura
GolinHarris (312) 729-4349

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