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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – June, 28, 2017 – The
Association of American Railroads (AAR) today announced that Norfolk Southern’s
Andrew Paul has been awarded the 2017 John H. Chafee Environmental Excellence
Award. Named in honor of the late Rhode Island senator, a strong advocate for
green causes and the ecofriendly benefits of rail transportation, the annual
award recognizes a railroad employee who has demonstrated the highest level of
environmental stewardship in the previous year.
“As an industry that is grounded in a deep sense of responsibility to our
communities, the freight rail industry is committed to creating a legacy of
sustainability for future generations,” said AAR President and CEO Edward R.
Hamberger. “No mode of ground transportation surpasses freight rail when it
comes to delivering for our customers and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Andrew Paul’s work at Norfolk Southern has transformed how his railroad thinks
about capital building projects to focus on energy solutions that are
After 30 years serving in the Navy, Andrew Paul took the lead of Norfolk
Southern’s energy services program as Senior Manager of Energy and Facility
Services. In just 5 years, he has outfitted more than 100 shops, yards, and
offices with longer-lasting, energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems. These
investments have generated a savings of $4.9 million in annual energy and
maintenance costs and reduced emissions by nearly 36,000 metric tons – equal to
removing 7,500 passenger vehicles from the road.
Paul has also helped local supervisors better understand how energy is being
used across the railroad through an energy audit program that helps identify
ways to save money and reduce environmental impacts. In his most ambitious
project, Paul is leading the way on a three-year, $53 million energy conversion
project of Norfolk Southern’s largest locomotive shop, which is scheduled for
completion later this year.
In addition to Paul, five other railroaders were nominated for the 2017 John H.
Chafee Award. Below are brief descriptions of the other nominees.
Jesse Contreras – BNSF
In his role as General Foreman, Jesse Contreras has
demonstrated a strong commitment to increasing environmental awareness and
establishing best practices for his colleagues at the Barstow Mechanical Shop.
Contreras oversees all daily inspections as well as leads the Environmental
Best Way initiative. Among his successes during his nine years with BNSF,
Contreras led an initiative to install new, energy-efficient lanterns, which
resulted in $32,000 in annual savings. Contreras is also actively involved in
California’s emissions reduction plan.
Milton Dempsey – Union Pacific
Milton Dempsey is often described by his colleagues as “the guy who always
seems to be in the right place at the right time.” During his 14 years of
service to Union Pacific, he has developed an ability to identify potential
issues and address them before they become problems. In 2016, a derailment
created a puncture in a car capable of carrying 23,000 gallons of lube oil near
storm drains leading to a river. Dempsey identified that the risk for soil and
water contamination was high and took quick action to dam and dike the drains,
a critical step to mitigate the incident and prevent product from reaching the
David Nechvatal – CSX
As an Industrial Engineer for CSX, David Nechvatal has focused on process
improvements in locomotive and rail car maintenance and fueling. In October
2015, Nechvatal led a Fuel and Retention Tank Spill Prevention team that
reviewed and updated all fueling and retention tank procedures leading to a 39
percent reduction in gallons spilled in 2016 compared to the prior year and
approximately $360,000 savings in tank spill remediation. Nechvatal also
managed an initiative to upgrade Nozzle Pressure control systems, which had led
to fuel releases at several locations. After his initial recommendations proved
successful, he is now working to deploy this upgrade at additional locations.
Michael T.J. Singelyn
– Canadian National
Michael Singelyn is a third-generation railroader, who has risen through the
ranks since joining Canadian National in 1998. Back in 2003, Singelyn took
ownership of the railroad's scrap tie program, which under his leadership has
diverted 95 percent of rail ties – more than 20 million – from the landfill. He also was
instrumental to Canadian National’s Shoreline subdivision cleanup, which helped
end a decades long legacy of waste and illegal dumping.
John Tull – Amtrak
John Tull has led high-impact energy projects that have paid for themselves in
under three years. Over his tenure at Amtrak, he has reduced the railroad’s
emissions by more than 10 million metric tons of carbon or the equivalent of
taking 2,135 cars off the road. Those projects also resulted in tens of
millions of dollars in savings for the company. In his own time, he and his wife
constructed a green roof on his house in downtown Philadelphia.
For more information contact: AAR
Media Relations at email@example.com or 202-639-2345.
About AAR: The
Association of American Railroads (AAR) is the world's leading railroad policy,
research and technology organization focusing on the safety and productivity of
rail carriers. AAR members include the major freight railroads of the U.S.,
Canada and Mexico, as well as Amtrak. Learn more at www.aar.org.
Follow us on Twitter: @AAR_FreightRailor Facebook: www.facebook.com/freightrail.