Private and Social Costs of Hazardous Material Transportation: A Model for Anhydrous Ammonia Distributions in North Dakota
Zimanski, Michael Robert
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The transportation of anhydrous ammonia, which is classified as a hazardous material, poses risk to the transporter, surrounding communities, and the environment. The commercial transportation of anhydrous ammonia is highly regulated, while the private transport is not subject to the same degree of mandates. Given the regulatory policies, the current locations of licensed dealers of anhydrous ammonia within North Dakota may be leading to a scenario where a private transporter has an incentive to disobey these policies and thereby expose him/herself, the surrounding communities, and the environment to unnecessary risk. Three stylized counties were constructed to represent the attributes of the eastern, central, and western counties of North Dakota. Attributes included transportation infrastructure, population distribution, and crop composition. Mathematical programming techniques were then utilized to determine the number and optimal location of licensed dealers of anhydrous ammonia within these counties. The results were then compared and contrasted with the current locations of licensed dealers throughout North Dakota to determine if the regulatory policies are sufficient in that they are not encouraging unsafe actions of the transporters and thereby endangering the transporters, surrounding communities, and the environment. The results indicated that the current regulatory structure associated with the transportation of anhydrous ammonia is sufficient to limit incidents.
Master of Science