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U.S. Orders Railroads to Alert States When Oil Is Shipped

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Ooil trainsThe U.S. Transportation Department issued an emergency order designed to reduce the risks of transporting crude from North Dakota’s booming Bakken region by rail, a week after an oil train derailed and burned in Virginia.

The order requires railroads to notify state emergency agencies when they haul Bakken crude through communities. A separate advisory discourages carriers from using an older tank car known as the DOT-111 tied to some accidents, though the order doesn’t ban their use.

“The safety of our nation’s railroad system, and the people who live along rail corridors is of paramount concern,” Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement.

Recent accidents have heightened concern about transporting oil by trains. Last year, a train operated by one person that was left unattended overnight rolled into the center of Lac-Megantic, Quebec, and touched off an explosion that destroyed half the town and killed 47 people.

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