The Minnesota congressman on a U.S. House subcommittee on rail safety is armed with input from city leaders, first responders and state agencies from his state and Wisconsin as he heads to a hearing on the issue in Washington D.C.
1st District Representative Tim Walz met with leaders from both states Monday to gather information on how Congress could help tear down barriers to help keep rail lines safe when hazardous materials are on board.
The House subcommittee meets Wednesday afternoon. Major safety incidents, including a fiery oil train derailment's near-miss of a small North Dakota town, have spurred increased concern about rail safety.
Winona Fire Chief Curt Bittle, in Minnesota, and La Crosse Fire Chief Gregg Cleveland, in Wisconsin, told Walz each state's regulations can be a big barrier to responding when an incident involves both Minnesota and Wisconsin.