Dust Settles after Utility Fight with BNSF

The verdict is in: Coal shippers led by Arkansas Electric Cooperative will have to comply with BNSF Railway’s (BNSF) loading instructions aimed at suppressing coal dust emissions from Powder River Basin coal trains after the Surface Transportation Board (Board) ruled the requirements were permissible.  Since 2009, utilities have fought the requirement to apply surfactants to their coal loads leaving the region. The current proceeding stems from modifications that BNSF made to its tariff after part of the original version was ruled unreasonable.  The Board found that shippers did not provide enough data showing that the spraying mandate was unreasonable or that BNSF was unreasonably shifting costs to customers.  The Board ruling takes effect January 12, 2014.  Read more here.

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