Minnesota bill to protect against oil derailments

Casselton fireball
A fireball goes up at the site of an oil train derailment Monday, Dec 30, 2013, in Casselton, N.D. The train carrying crude oil derailed near Casselton.
Bruce Crummy/AP

Recent explosive train derailments involving North Dakota crude have a pair of Minnesota lawmakers proposing steps to safeguard the state's towns and cities.

Rep. Frank Hornstein and Sen. Scott Dibble, both Minneapolis Democrats, will offer their bill in the legislative session that starts in two weeks.

Their bill calls for state oversight of response planning for oil and hazardous substance spills. It also would increase resources for first responders at the state and local level.

The legislation comes after a fiery derailment near Casselton, N.D., in December and one in Quebec in July. Forty-seven people died in the fire that followed the Canadian derailment.

Both trains were carrying crude from North Dakota's booming Bakken oil patch, which the federal government has warned may be more volatile than other crude.

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