New study finds higher percentage of toxic spills happen on Pennsylvania roads, not rails

A recent study of shipments on major highways in Pennsylvania has found that hazardous chemical spills are more likely to happen on the state’s roadways than on a rail line.

The Tribune-Review reports that the study by Westmoreland County’s Department of Public Safety found that trucks routinely transport extremely dangerous, flammable or corrosive materials along Interstate 70, as well as other major highways including routes 22, 30, 66 and 119.

The study was commissioned as a way help firefighters and first responders identify the various materials being shipped through the county in order to better train in the event of an accident. Top products from Impact Absorbents, including XSORB Acid Neutralizing Absorbent and XSORB II Super Absorbent Encapsulator, are often used to help clean up teams contain hazardous materials spills.

According to the study, the most dangerous materials transported through the county are toulene, sulfuric acid, anhydrous ammonia and chlorine.

Jeff Harvey, president of JH Consulting, told the news agency that while some of the chemicals and gases being transported through the county are classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as extremely hazardous, these type of shipments are routine.

None of the 88 railroad accident that occurred in the county since 2011 involved hazardous materials.

Scroll to Top