The Mexican Railroad Association (AMF) confirmed that both the operation and regulation of the movement of cargo between Mexico and the United States continues without changes after the declarations of the Secretary of Transportation of that country, Pete Buttigieg, regarding the movement of hazardous materials derived from the derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, Ohio.
"As long as a formal resolution is not issued by the United States authorities, the entire operation and regulation will continue until now in the same way without affecting transportation between the two countries," he told T21.
It should be remembered that Pete Buttigieg presented a series of measures to tighten the safety of the transport of hazardous materials by rail, and also proposed raising the fines for companies in this type of situation.
Commenting on these remarks, Ian Jefferies, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads (AAR), said that the railroads are firmly committed to solutions that directly address the cause of the accident and can prevent a similar one from occurring.
"Independent NTSB investigators are continuing their work to identify the cause of the crash and contributing factors. That investigation must continue unimpeded by politics and speculation, so the findings can guide what additional measures may have prevented this accident," he said.
So he insisted that attention must be focused on the most pressing issue, which is to ensure that the East Palestine community "has all the support it needs to move forward."
Also read: The US seeks to tighten security in the transport of hazardous materials by rail
Humberto Vargas, Vice President of Marketing and Sales in Mexico of Union Pacific (UP), commented that the railway complies with the regulations and regulations that apply to the industry for the handling of dangerous cargo.
"At UP we have very high standards in terms of security and our percentage of incidents continues to decrease each year and we will maintain that same policy as dictated by the sector," he said.
He said that until Secretary Buttigieg"s proposals are analyzed, there will be no official position on them. In the same sense is Paul Hirsch, assistant vice president of the Business Unit in Mexico of BNSF Railway.
Connie Roseberry, UP"s executive vice president and chief safety officer, said that while the Ohio incident highlights the potential risks associated with hazmat transportation, 99.9% of all hazmat shipments by rail reach their destination without incident. and since 2012, the rate of hazardous materials incidents has decreased by 55% and, in the last 10 years, less than 1% of all such events by train have resulted in a release of these products.
It will be this Thursday when the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the main agency to provide updates on the incident, issues a preliminary report on it.
On February 3, 38 Norfolk Southern Railway carriages derailed, causing a fire that damaged another 12 carriages. There were 20 wagons of hazardous materials loaded with polyethylene, lubricating oil waste, vinyl chloride, benzene, among others, 11 of which derailed. No deaths or injuries were reported, but environmental damage was reported.