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Rules Proposed for Transporting Crude Oil by Rail

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Casselton, ND (WDAYTV)-The rail industry is one major step closer to having more regulations on hauling crude oil.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing new rules - but are they enough to ease concerns of communities who see millions of gallons of crude going through.

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Lee Anderson/Casselton Mayor: "they gotta come up with a better way of moving it that's going to be safer for everybody involved."

Casselton Mayor Lee Anderson knows first hand about the dangers of shipping crude oil on the rails.

His community is still feeling the effects of last December. explosion Nat. that derailment has since been repeatedly used as an example of the need for better rail safety.

New rules have now been proposed.

They include increased inspection standards, lowered speed limits and braking standards, more safety requirements for shipping routes, and updated standards for tanker cars carrying crude oil.

Anderson: "I'm sure that everything's going to help, it's not going to stop them from having problems but it's going to make it better when they do."

While U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp says she applauds the proposed new rules, she says the two year deadline to get rid of all of the old tank cars might be too difficult for the rail industry.

Every rule will be closely looked at during the 60-day-public comment period.

U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp/(D) North Dakota: "We'll continue to comb through this rule to make sure that everything that we had hoped would be in it is actually in the rule but also to make sure that this rule substantially improves the opportunity for crude to continue to be on the rails."

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven/(R) North Dakota: "Everybody needs to weigh in to make sure that the standards are workable, and that's the next step, and get that final rule so that we have certainty for the industry, and most of, most important of all, safety for the public.">

Heitkamp says the soonest she thinks the rules could take effect is in 2015.

You can review their full text online at www.regulations.gov .

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