Hoeven Statement on the Surface Transportation Board Rail Service Decision

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement on the U.S. Surface Transportation Board’s (STB) decision to order Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) and BNSF Railway to report to STB by April 18 their plans to ensure delivery of fertilizer shipments for the spring planting of crops. Further, the railroads are required to provide the board with weekly status reports, including delivery data and number of cars associated with agricultural deliveries.

“STB’s decision to require railroads to have a plan for delivery of fertilizer to farmers is an acknowledgment that the window for planting is narrow and timely delivery is vital to a good harvest. CP and BNSF need to develop a plan that devotes enough resources as are necessary to meet their obligations to all their clients. That means ensuring that farmers get their crops planted and fertilized, grain shippers get their harvest to market and other industries are also served in a timely fashion.”

Hoeven spoke to BNSF Railway Executive Chairman Matt Rose on the phone this weekend to urge the railroad to do everything it can to ensure timely delivery of fertilizer for spring planting. In response, BNSF agreed to assign unit trains with locomotives to move fertilizer to customers more quickly, work with customers to load and unload cars rapidly so that the whole system can move faster and assign more crew to move the increased unit trains.