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Freight rail, shipper organizations bestow annual awards for hazardous materials handling

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) has announced the 2012 recipients of the Holden-Proefrock Award, Non-Accident Release Grand Slam Award and TRANSCAER® National Achievement Awards. The awards were presented yesterday at the AAR’s 26th Annual AAR/Bureau of Explosives (BOE) Hazardous Materials Seminar in Dallas.

AAR Assistant Vice President Environment and Hazmat Robert E. Fronczak received the Holden-Proefrock Award, presented annually to a person associated with the railroad industry who has made significant contributions to hazmat transportation safety throughout their career.  With more than 20 years working in the rail hazmat community, Fronczak has helped engender environmental and hazmat safety best practices in the railroad and shipper communities. He also has represented the rail industry on key issues in Washington and among key federal regulatory agencies on issues including tank car standards, safety enhancing technologies and hazmat security and routing practices.

“Bob is a tremendous leader and consensus builder among railroads, shippers, manufacturers, regulators and all key stakeholders that work together in the name of rail hazmat safety,” said AAR Senior Vice President of Safety and Operations Robert VanderClute.  “He is a great asset to AAR, and has greatly advanced environmental and hazmat safety in the railroad industry.”

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.

The 2012 Non-Accident Release Grand Slam Award went to AkzoNobel, INEOS, Linde and Olin Corp. 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.

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 recently received the 2012 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.