Letter to Washington
| April 26, 2023

Letter to STB on Freight Rail Service

On behalf of the members of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), I am writing to again thank the Surface Transportation Board (STB) for meeting with us on January 24th and to update the STB on issues that we have confronted with freight rail service in early 2023. As a reminder, the  NSSGA membership comprises of stone, sand, and gravel manufacturers and the equipment makers and service providers who facilitate their operations. Our member firms contribute to over 90% of the crushed stone and 70% of the sand and gravel used yearly in the United States. Aggregates are the backbone of crucial structures such as residences, schools, hospitals, and communities. From housing to transportation, aggregates play a vital role in every aspect of our daily lives.  The NSSGA also includes industrial sand companies, including the two largest producers in the United States.  Industrial sand is the primary raw material for all glass, is used to make almost all metal casting and is a proppant that is essential to the production of US oil and gas.  NSSGA members rely on freight rail to transport aggregates, especially in rapidly growing urban regions. According to the Association of American Railroads (“AAR”), in 2020, freight rail was responsible for transporting 1.1 million rail cars of stone, sand, and gravel, and this number is expected to rise.  The industrial sand industry ships over 30% of product by freight rail; the largest producer in the US ships about 50% of its industrial sand by freight rail.  We wanted to highlight several issues from early 2023 in our update to the STB