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AAR announces annual hazardous material handling honors

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has announced the 2011 recipients of the Non-Accident Release Grand Slam Award, the Holden-Proefrock Award and the TRANSCAER® National Achievement Awards. The awards were presented today at the AAR’s 25th Annual AAR/Bureau of Explosives (BOE) Hazardous Materials Seminar in St. Louis, Mo. The 2011 Non-Accident Release Grand Slam Award went to Canexus, Kemira, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, NOVA Chemicals, Oxbow Sulphur and Valero Energy Corporation.  AAR and the BOE bestow the Non-Accident Release Grand Slam Award annually to companies that are exemplary shippers of hazardous materials.  To be eligible to receive the award, a shipper must be honored individually by at least four Class I railroads and have zero non-accident releases (NAR) the previous calendar year.  A hazardous materials non-accident release is an unintentional release of a hazardous material while in transportation, but not involving an accident. Norfolk Southern’s Michael E. Stiner was honored with the 2011 Holden-Proefrock Award. Throughout his 38 years in the industry, Stiner, a hazardous materials compliance officer, been a consistent leader both within the company and the industry regarding safety, emergency preparedness, and safe handling of hazardous materials.  Steiner has personally instructed over 10,000 emergency responders throughout his career and has organized numerous national emergency response training events as well as table-top and full-scale training drills. His contributions to the development of the industry’s HM-1 hazmat rules, emergency response guidelines for responders and an online interactive training program for employees have not only help to improve the hazmat safety record of his company, but that the industry as well. “For more than two decades, Mike has devoted his professional life to hazardous materials, environmental protection, and safety. He has been a great asset to his company and the communities in which we operate,” said NS Manager Hazardous Materials David Schoendorfer. The Holden-Proefrock Award is presented annually to a person, associated with the railroad industry, who has made significant contributions to hazardous materials transportation safety throughout his or her career.  The award is named in honor of Roy Holden, a former AAR employee and a pioneer in tank car design and safety, and Art Proefrock, a former Hulcher Emergency Services employee who was a pioneer in hazardous materials transportation emergency response. Six Class I railroads including BNSF Railway Company, CN Dangerous Goods Team, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Corporation and Union Pacific Railroad also received honors at the event with a 2011 TRANSCAER® National Achievement Award in recognition of their extraordinary efforts in support of the TRANSCAER® initiative. TRANSCAER® (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) is a voluntary national outreach effort that focuses on assisting communities to prepare for and to respond to a possible hazardous material transportation incident.  TRANSCAER® members consist of volunteer representatives from the chemical manufacturing, transportation, distributor, and emergency response industries, as well as the government.