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States balk at keeping oil train info from public

June 5, 2014

BILLINGS, Montana (AP) — U.S. railroads forced to turn over details of crude oil shipments are asking states to sign non-disclosure agreements. Some states are refusing, saying the information should be public.

Federal officials last month ordered railroads to make the disclosures following a string of fiery tank car accidents in North Dakota, Alabama, Virginia and Quebec, where 47 people died last year.

The information due Saturday includes route details, train frequency and emergency response information for trains hauling 1 million gallons (3.8 million liters) or more of crude.

BNSF, Union Pacific and CSX are seeking agreements that the information won’t be publicized, saying it is security sensitive.

Officials in Wisconsin, Montana, Illinois, North Dakota, Idaho and Washington state have refused to sign, citing open record laws and the need for public awareness.

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