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Statement from Governor Dayton on Proposed Federal Railway Safety Regulations

July 23, 2014

ST. PAUL, MN – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation proposed new regulations to enhance the safety of trains that transport crude oil across the country, including trains that travel through Minnesota. Governor Mark Dayton sent a letter to federal regulators in March, asking them to move forward in developing these regulations as quickly as possible.
According to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, on average, seven trains carrying over 23 million gallons of crude oil pass through Minnesota on hundreds of rail cars every day. Considering the safety risk these train cars pose to Minnesotans, Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Legislature enacted new state-level safety measures last session. The new regulations proposed today by the federal government would further-enhance those safety measures.
The following is a statement from Governor Dayton.

“The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Announcement of ‘Comprehensive Proposed Rulemaking for the Safe Transportation of Fuel Oil, Flammable Materials’ highlights the rapid growth in that industry. In just five years, the number of crude oil rail-carloads nationwide increased from 9,500 (in 2008) to 415,000 (in 2013). “This surge in rail cars carrying flammable materials is exposing Minnesotans and other Americans to greater risks. The U.S. Department of Transportation must quickly adopt and implement these stronger safety rules and stricter operating regulations to protect the public safety. We will continue our similar efforts at the state level.”