U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, issued the following statement after the Surface Transportation Board (STB) announced tonight that it will direct the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and BNSF Railway Company to report by April 18, 2014, their plans to ensure delivery of fertilizer shipments for spring planting and provide weekly status reports beginning April 25, 2014, regarding the delivery of fertilizer on their respective networks:
“This is a step in the right direction for the STB and I am pleased that they acted so quickly after last week’s hearing to address some of the ongoing rail service issues in South Dakota and the surrounding region,” said Thune. “I will continue to press the STB and the railroads to do all they can to improve service across South Dakota during this critical time of year for our farmers. Continued rail service disruptions are not only having a direct impact on agriculture producers, grain handlers, and the ethanol industry, but also on manufacturers and main street businesses across our state.”Last week, Thune addressed the STB at their public hearing on U.S. Rail Service Issues. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee has jurisdiction over freight railroads and the STB. Thune is also a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.