Environmental Compliance

Our Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS) supports environmental compliance by establishing environmental procedures and training programs for employees across the corporation. Our environmental audit program provides a systematic review of compliance with environmental regulations and internal procedures. The audit program currently includes 32 large and medium facilities that are audited on a biennial basis by a trained, independent auditor. In addition to the full compliance audits, Amtrak environmental staff conducted 38 small facility assessments (SFAs) in FY2019 for facilities and operations that present a lower environmental risk. Both the audits and SFAs require development of a corrective action plan (CAP) to address the issues identified, and the facility must provide regular reports until all findings are closed.

Our environmental compliance program recognizes facilities for innovative or leading practices that reduce risks to the environment. These best practices are shared on our internal website for other facilities to adopt. Here are a few of the positives highlighted in FY2019:

  • At our New Orleans Maintenance Facility, the Engineering department replaced creosote-treated wooden rail ties with concrete ties in several locations. Concrete ties have a longer shelf life, thus reducing frequency of replacement and disposal associated with creosote ties as well as eliminating creosote leaching potential.
  • At the Providence, Rhode Island maintenance-of-way facility, Engineering personnel improved rail tie storage operations. After paving and installing mats under the ties, they installed a perimeter berm that was pinned down to keep the mats in place. This makes it easier to move the ties without damaging the mats, which protects the ground from the creosote in new ties.
  • The Odenton, Maryland maintenance-of-way facility improved energy efficiency the following facility upgrades by completing several upgrades:
    • LED lighting was installed on the main building exterior
    • Two oil-fired hot water heaters were replaced with a single more efficient, Energy Star-rated electric unit
    • Six older and air-leaking roll-up doors in the Material Control warehouse were replaced with better sealing doors to enhance insulation properties
  • At the Seattle Maintenance Facility, the Mechanical department enhanced environmental compliance with the following measures:
    • Three new container labeling stations were installed in shops at the facility
    • Two new can puncturing units were purchased to replace older units that were often left open due to the design of the lid/closure mechanism
    • Banners were created to detail how to respond to an oil release
    • Silt sleeves were installed on the sewer drains in the northern half of the property
    • Track mats were installed under equipment when not in service to provide leak protection