The Chlorine Institute filed comments today affirming its strong support
for efforts by several of its members to restore liability fairness to
rail transportation of chlorine and other chemicals by Canadian Pacific
At issue is CP's attempt to shift liability to the shippers, including
chemical producers, for all consequences of accidents involving chlorine
and other toxic inhalation hazard and poison inhalation hazard (TIH and
PIH) chemicals regardless of the cause of the accident. This
attempt at stealth self-indemnification was imposed without negotiation
or input from chemical producers and shippers. In their complaint filed
with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), TIH/PIH shippers argue
the CP action violates Canada's rail liability regulations.
Chlorine Institute President Frank Reine explained that North American
railroads have a common carrier obligation to ship properly packaged and
handled hazardous materials, including chemicals. TIH and PIH chemicals
are often essential for public health, manufacturing, agriculture,
communications and national security, so they must be transported to
where they are needed.
"Shipping these materials by rail is remarkably safe," Mr. Reiner noted.
"There have only been three major TIH accidents since 2001, and the U.S.
National Transportation Safety Board found these to be the result of
errors by rail carriers, not shippers." However, "By shifting their
liability to shippers, the railroads hope to either force TIH and PIH
materials into other means of transportation, or, force shippers to pay
for all damages even if they are not at fault," Mr. Reiner said.
As the battle for fair and open access to rail transportation shifts
north of the border to Canada, "The Chlorine Institute wants its members
and its transportation partners to know that it will continue to support
efforts to maintain the ability to safely and economically ship these
essential chemicals," Mr. Reiner concluded.
For more information visit the Chlorine Institute website at www.chlorineinstitute.org
or contact Ben Zingman (443-802-8809 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
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