Oil train safety must remain a priority

Published: August 25, 2015

oil-train-railMINNESOTA – Lack of action during this year’s legislative session doesn’t mean nothing’s being done regarding rail safety as oil trains keep passing through the state and region.

About 3,000 firefighters and other emergency responders from 80 departments throughout the state have been trained to respond quickly to oil-train-related disasters, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has increased scrutiny of the accident response plans prepared by railroads and emergency personnel.

On the national level, the Federal Railroad Administration permanently extended a requirement for railroads transporting highly explosive oil, such as the crude being shipped from the Bakken region of North Dakota, to disclose the expected movement of their trains. The extension came after prodding from Sen. Al Franken and others.

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