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Rail Won't Reduce Toxic Spill Risk


Rail Won't Reduce Toxic Spill Risk

A claim by the environmental group, ECO, that carrying more goods by rail would somehow reduce the risk of toxic chemical spills, is absurd, ACT deputy leader Ken Shirley says.

"Rail accidents are just as prevalent as trucking accidents. When there is a spillage, whether from a train or a truck, it's equally likely to drain into waterways - particularly when fire is involved and water is used in fire-fighting.

"Even when hazardous goods are carried by rail, it's still necessary to use trucks to deliver them to the rail head and then to distribute them at the other end. This multi-handling, multi-modal method of transport actually increases the risk of an accidental spillage.

"New Zealand has tough laws for the transport and handling of hazardous substances. When the law is flouted, offenders should be prosecuted.

"From time to time, accidents will occur and the trucking industry must be vigilant to minimise the risks," Mr Shirley said.

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