Water Community Reaches Out to Congress on Rail Rule

AWWA, in collaboration with four other water associations, has sent to?congressional committees?a?joint letter?urging an extension of the upcoming deadline for railroads to comply with Positive Train Control regulations.

AWWA ? along with the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), the Association of California Water Agencies, the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) ? urged Congress to protect America?s water treatment facilities from treatment chemical shortages that could occur due to the rule.

The Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008 required railroads to install positive train control by this Dec. 31. The system regulates the speed and track movements of trains and applies to passenger trains and to trains carrying substances dubbed an inhalation risk. That includes chlorine and anhydrous ammonia. A majority a fright railroads are not even close to meeting this deadline and many are planning to stop shipments of the chemicals in question in mid-November so that no cars are stranded on Dec. 31.

The water association letter was addressed to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Nearly all chlorine is shipped via rail from manufacturers to re-packagers/distributors. This interruption of rail transportation will affect both gaseous chlorine and sodium hypochlorite as sodium hypochlorite manufacture employs gaseous chlorine.? ?

Members wishing to better understand the details of this issue should contact?Kevin Morley at kmorley@awwa.org.

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