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Tag Archives: emergency response

AP survey: How cities are handling surge in oil trains

Mile-long trains carrying millions of gallons of crude have become a common sight in cities around the U.S., raising concern about the possibility of a catastrophic derailment near crowded neighborhoods or critical infrastructure. In the wake of a half-dozen fiery crashes this year, The Associated Press surveyed nearly a dozen cities with populations of more than 250,000 to gauge how ...

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The silver lining in the Heimdal derailment

Earlier this week another oil train derailed, this time near Heimdal in central North Dakota. Anti-oil activists could almost be heard panting in their excitement, rushing to the media with talking points about “bomb trains” and lax regulation of oil shipped on America’s rail lines. Rep. Ron Guggisberg, a North Dakota Democrat from Fargo, went on MSNBC to make political ...

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Cleanup continues after East Texas tornado, 2 killed

VAN, Texas — Cleanup continues in an East Texas town after a tornado left two people dead, several critically hurt and dozens of buildings damaged. The Van Independent School District canceled classes again Tuesday amid damage to campuses. School was also called off Monday. A man and a woman were killed Sunday night when the tornado hit Van, a town ...

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Like opening a soda can: Local firefighters attend crude by rail emergency response training

WILLMAR — Railroad disasters involving Bakken crude oil are much like opening a can of highly carbonated soda, but instead involve dangerous, explosive materials. Even large quantities of water and foam sometimes are not enough to stop fires on train cars carrying the highly flammable oil, Bird Island Assistant Fire Chief Dave Woelfel said. Woelfel learned how to combat these ...

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House panel guts funds for North Dakota rail safety program

BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota House budget writers have stripped funding for a state-run rail safety program intended to supplement federal oversight of burgeoning oil train traffic after a string of accidents involving trains carrying crude. The Public Service Commission had requested $972,000 in the next two-year budget cycle to fund the program that included two rail safety inspectors and ...

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Cantwell: Act now on oil trains

Now is the time to act to reduce the continued risk of crude oil moving through the region by rail, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell said during a visit to Vancouver on Wednesday. The Washington Democrat and local leaders repeatedly stressed the volatility of the oil itself. Speaking inside Pacific Park Fire Station No. 10 in east Vancouver, the group noted ...

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Swinomish sue to get Bakken oil trains off tribal lands

The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community on Tuesday went to federal court to block BNSF Railway from sending 100-car oil trains through reservation lands, claiming the company is violating an easement that sharply restricts rail traffic. The easement signed by the railway’s predecessor company in 1991 permits only two trains a day of 25 cars or less from transiting the reservation. ...

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Emergency responders in Minot area say they need more help

MINOT, N.D. — Minot-area emergency responders need more training and personnel to better protect their growing communities, members of local fire and law enforcement agencies told one of North Dakota’s U.S. senators. Agency heads aired their concerns with Sen. Heidi Heitkamp on Friday in Minot at a round-table meeting, the Minot Daily News reported. Emergency responders told Heitkamp that a ...

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No injuries in separate blasts in North Dakota oil patch

ALEXANDER, N.D. — No injuries were reported in two large fires in the western North Dakota oil patch over the weekend. McKenzie County Emergency Manager Karolin Rockvoy says emergency crews from Alexander and Williston were called to an oil and gas waste disposal site north of Alexander about 3:30 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters had the blaze contained about 5 ½ hours ...

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County Commission buys land from Foundation

CARLSBAD – Eddy County commissioners hope the purchase of the Permian Basin Training Center will help continue the facility’s mission. The purchase of 89 acres of land and structures at the Permian Basin Regional Training Center by Eddy County from the Carlsbad Foundation was approved Feb. 27. The land, worth about $12 million, according to a news release from the ...

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