1st District Representative Tim Walz, who is a member of a U.S. House subcommittee on rail safety, was part of a hearing Wednesday that focused on recent rail accident's and what could be done to make transporting hazardous materials safer.
KTTC-TV reports Walz and others questioned federal officials about recent incidents involving railroad oil tanker cars.
Federal railroad administrator Joseph Szabo testified that in the last ten years train accidents and derailments are actually down 47 percent and highway-rail grade crossing accidents are down 35 percent.
Szabo said three working groups have been meeting and were asked to issue recommendations on improved safety procedures by April 1st.
An outcry has developed in the Mississippi River valley after a Canadian Pacific oil tanker leaked 12,000 gallons of crude oil for some 70 miles between Red Wing and Winona.