Friday AM April 24th, 2009

Union Pacific looks at safe, environmentally-friendly freight transportation at its chemical safety conference in Houston. Ed Mayberry reports.

Railroads transport about 1.7 million carloads of hazardous cargo annually.  Union Pacific's Bob Grimaila says most hazardous cargo arrives safely, but the conference was a chance for UP's business partners to focus on key safety issues. 

"Our record in safety working together is really, really very good.  In this country, there's over nearly two million hazardous material loads moved on the railroads with 99.99-plus per cent safety record.  But our goal is 100, and so we continue our relationships to work on those things that we can do together to eke out that last little bit and avoid any incidents."

Grimaila says the railroad has collaborated with Dow Chemical and others to continuously improve the safe and secure manufacture, distribution and use of chemical products.

"Absolutely.  You may have seen a recent progress report that Dow Chemical and Union Pacific Railroad released.  We began, in 2006 and 2007, recognizing both of our companies' need for risk reduction and our views are very similar.  So we decided to publish publicly, eight of the things that we were going to do together and report periodically the progress to the public.  And we signed a memorandum of cooperation in 2007, and here just recently released our second update."  

Over 200 Union Pacific business partners attended the Houston chemical safety conference. 

Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.

For more information, UP Environmental Management web site.

image of Union Pacific locomotive Y2315 one of UP's new RailPower GG20B  of out operating locomotives green


Bio photo of Ed Mayberry

Ed Mayberry

Local Anchor, All Things Considered

Ed Mayberry has worked in radio since 1971, with many of those years spent on the rock 'n' roll disc jockey side of the business...