Original news release published by the Association of American Railroads
Washington, D.C., October 17, 2012 – The Association of American Railroads (AAR) awarded the 2012 Professional Environmental Excellence Award, the highest honor for environmental professionals in the railroad industry, to Union Pacific (UP) Director of Environmental Affairs Lanny Schmid. Based in Omaha, Neb., Schmid, a 27-year veteran of the railroad industry, works tirelessly to identify environmental trends and initiatives to bring about optimal solutions for both his company and the communities through which it operates. The award was presented at the annual Railroad Environmental Conference at the University of Illinois, Urbana.
"Railroads have a great environmental story to tell from a fuel efficiency and emissions reduction standpoint," said AAR President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. "But it is employees like Lanny who are dedicated to both their company and to the preservation of our natural environment that are the rail industry's ultimate environmental advantage."
During his 27-year career with UP, Schmid has held responsibilities in almost all geographic regions and all environmental programs. A great facilitator, his conflict resolution skills have enabled him to bring together federal and state agencies, communities and key personnel from various railroad departments to find workable solutions to environmental issues. For example, in California, he has worked closely with the California Air Resources Board since the mid-1990s to bring the most advanced and environmentally friendly technology to California's South Coast Air Basin before it was commercially available, leading to a 65 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. In Texas, Schmid brought disparate parties together to introduce the Genset locomotive which reduces particulate matter (PM) and NOx by up to 90 percent. He also recently led a program to explore experimental testing of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) to reduce NOx emissions. Working with the locomotive manufacturer and the Sacramento Metro Air District to test both the new technology and other emissions reducing after-treatment technology, the locomotive more than meets the Tier 3 NOx standard and Tier 4 PM standards. He has also being instrumental in obtaining grants to replace 166 older locomotives with newer ones that reduce emissions.
In addition to the many ways he has helped UP, off the job, Schmid, a committed environmentalist, spends countless hours involved in personal environmental causes. Using sustainable practices such as variable rate fertilizing on his family farm, Schmid has successfully reduced the amount of surface runoff and fertilizer released to groundwater. He has also enrolled more than 100 acres of his land in conservation programs to provide and improve habitat for indigenous wildlife and migratory birds. Schmid serves on the Board of Directors for the Lower Platte North Natural Resources District which is dedicated to the "conservation, preservation, and wise use of natural resources."
Schmid was one of six railroad industry professionals nominated for the award which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding performance in environmental awareness and responsibility during the year. The five other nominees are as follows (alphabetically):
Michael Avans, manager of environmental controls with Canadian National (CN) in Chicago, Ill. Avans had a strong environmental background even before joining the railroad in 2002, having previously worked in municipal wastewater treatment in Alabama. Initially responsible for storm water, waste water and locomotive fuel system operation, maintenance and repair, Avans has worked continuously to improve his knowledge on groundwater remediation, environmental site assessment and compliance regulations. Recently promoted to assume responsibilities in CN's busy Chicago Division, his strategic approach to addressing hazmat and environmental issues and spills have protected natural resources and minimized CN's impact on the environment.
Donald L. Camper, regional manager of environmental field services for CSX Transportation in Okeana, Ohio, is a 40-year rail veteran who brings the additional perspective of having been both a trainman and a railroad police officer before he joined the railroad's environmental department. Recent accomplishments include overseeing the recycling of millions of gallons of treated water, thousands of gallons of used oil, 250,000 pounds of lead acid batteries, hundreds of mercury-containing fluorescent lights, 1.5 million wood crossties and hundreds of tons of steel. His team also reduced fuel spillage by 35 percent. He assisted in researching and installing solar panels at the company's Cincinnati yard, and helped develop the company's Environmental Crime Unit. Camper is responsible for CSXT's Northern Region, which covers 11 states and two Canadian provinces and has environmental responsibilities for dozens of facilities.
Andrew Enzman, senior environmental coordinator for Amtrak's Environmental Health and Safety Department based primarily in Wilmington, Del. Enzman maintains environmental compliance throughout a territory extending from Philadelphia to Miami, where he also is responsible for major remediation projects at four widely dispersed locations. In Wilmington, for example, he identified a problem area responsible for high levels of polychlorinated biphenyl and devised a solution that drastically reduced the problem. Also in Wilmington, Enzman devised a program using soy-based degreasers that resulted in much lower levels of volatile organic compounds, a program that has since spread to other locations. His knowledge of soil porosity and runoff coefficients has resulted in a decrease in storm water runoff.
Edward P. Phillips, manager environmental operations with BNSF Railway in San Bernardino, Calif. Phillips' expertise on the many intricacies of California's environmental regulations has served his company and the community well. For example, in response to one regulation requiring all diesel trucks to have a 2010 compliant engine by 2021, Phillips developed a strategy to successfully meet the requirement while eliminating the need for BNSF to purchase additional vehicles. Another initiative Phillips led eliminated storm water from a BNSF yard from entering Richmond, Calif.'s sewer system, helping to reduce the occurrence of Sanitary Sewer Overflows. Phillips also successfully challenged an initial determination by California that would have required the railroad to send old railroad ties to landfills. By developing a tie sampling plan, Phillips demonstrated to the state that the ties should not be classified as hazardous waste and was able to reduce this potential burden on landfills. Phillips also developed an electronic grade-crossing system that replaced the use of fuses, which can often burn out and pose safety concerns and storm water issues.
Ken A. Roberge, manager of environmental program development in Canadian Pacific Railway's (CP) Safety, Environment and Hazmat Department in Calgary, Alb. Roberge has a wide range of environmental responsibilities that include air emissions, hazardous waste, regulatory issues and wildlife protection. Recently, he has been involved in a joint effort between CP and Parks Canada to find innovative ways to reduce grizzly bear fatalities on rail lines. One approach he is investigating uses fencing, motion activated cameras and ElectroMats, which provide low amperage shocks to wildlife, deterring them from crossing the tracks. Roberge also manages the railroad's environmental audit program, and as a result he developed procedures that have greatly reduced the number of locomotive fuel overfills. After Environment Canada issued new regulations, he developed a new storage tank management procedure and is working to develop new training videos that will instruct staff on what to look for during tank inspections.
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.
About Union Pacific
It was 150 years ago that Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific. One of America's iconic companies, today, Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail and providing freight solutions and logistics expertise to the global supply chain. From 2000 through 2011, Union Pacific spent more than $31 billion on its network and operations, making needed investments in America's infrastructure and enhancing its ability to provide safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Coal, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and emphasizes excellent customer service. Union Pacific operates competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways.