The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) President and CEO Eric R. Byer released the following statement on legislation introduced in U.S. Congress to reform the freight rail industry:

“Last month’s devastating train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio has directed the public eye to underlying issues within the freight rail industry that have contributed to a significantly reduced workforce and a serious deterioration in service. We cannot take a passive approach to rail safety any longer. It’s long overdue for comprehensive reforms to be made to improve rail safety and service. Recent bipartisan bills introduced in Congress – including Railway Safety Act of 2023 and the RAIL Act – attempt to address rail safety in measured, yet effective, ways. In the coming weeks, it will be critical that both parties work together to find common ground on provisions to address freight rail operational challenges, training and inspection requirements, train length, enhanced safety measures, and infrastructure improvements. Consensus must be reached in order to ensure a safe and reliable freight rail system in the years to come. NACD looks forward to working with Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to make certain legislation is agreed upon and sent to President Biden’s desk.”