The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designated San Pedro & Southwestern Railroad (SPSR) as a partner in EPA's "SmartWay" Transport Partnership program.
The Benson, Ariz.-based shortline was recognized August 7 for its success improving both fuel efficiency and environmental performance by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
“This is an exciting development,” said Scott Parkinson, president of ARG Transportation Services, SPSR’s parent company. “We are one of only 18 rail carriers in the nation to earn this distinction.”
The railroad said SPSR Operations Manager Richard Archunde and Administrative Assistant Ellie Islas were instrumental in gaining this recognition. Archunde credited SPSR employees.
“They have helped us save fuel, lower costs and reduce adverse environmental impacts,” Archunde said.
He noted that, compared to trucks, railroads typically move four times more freight per gallon of fuel while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, since “SmartWay” began in 2004, its 3,000 members have saved 65 million barrels of oil, eliminated 28 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and reduced 478,000 tons of nitrogen dioxide and 22,000 tons of particulate matter.
ARG Transportation Services acquired SPSR in November 2003 from RailAmerica, Inc. (now Genesee & Wyoming Inc.). ARG also operates the 133-mile Coos Bay Rail Link, headquartered in Coos Bay, Ore.