First District Congressman Tim Walz is reacting to the U.S. Department of Transportation announcement of new proposed rules to improve safety when shipping highly flammable hazardous materials, like Bakken crude in North Dakota, via rail.
The proposal includes phasing out the use of the older tanker cars unless retrofitted to new safety standards and notifying first responders in communities that trains with high levels of crude are traveling through:
Walz issued a statement saying quote--"The last thing we want is to see communities like Winona, Wayzata, or La Crescent added to the lists of other cities where oil trains have derailed and exploded. The safety of our communities is of the utmost importance,"--end quote
Walz has been a leading voice in the push to increase rail shipping safety. In February, Walz has also convened meetings with local community leaders, first responders, U.S. DOT officials, and energy and rail officials to discuss freight rail shipping safety in communities across Minnesota, including St. Paul, Rochester, Winona and Waseca.