Railroads push for right to refuse to transport hazardous chemicals

05/20/2009 | USA Today

Railroad companies are petitioning federal regulators for the right to refuse to carry toxic chemicals such as chlorine over long distances and want regulators to cut back on trains transporting hazardous materials because of the potential for a catastrophic release of deadly chemicals in an urban area. The chemical and fertilizer industries oppose the effort by railroad companies, which are required to transport the materials under federal law. If they were able to refuse shipments, railroads "would effectively control the supply and demand" of materials, said Scott Jensen, a spokesman for the American Chemistry Council.

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