Federal Regulators Remind Crude Industry About Packaging - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Federal Regulators Remind Crude Industry About Packaging

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Federal regulators are now requiring extensive tests on crude oil moving by train. New information released this week shows Bakken crude is more volatile than other oils and more likely to emit flammable gases.

Valley News Live reporter Ashley Bishop investigates what the regulations mean for transporting Bakken crude across the valley.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is reminding the oil industry that testing must be completed before loading their product on rail cars. That's after inspectors found eleven of 18 samples of crude taken from Fargo were not assigned to the correct packing group.

Oil assigned to packing group one has been rated more volatile than oil assigned to packing group three. Gasoline, diesel, and ethanol are all transported in packing group two. Research has shown Bakken crude to have lower flash- and boiling points than other crude, making it more likely to be assigned to the top two risk categories.

The U.S. DOT requires rail cars designated for packing groups one and two to have extra safety devices.

The Fargo fire department says they are prepared for a derailment situation like Casselton if it ever happened in the city. "We actually just practiced this in November," Fargo Fire Chief Steve Dirksen told Valley News Live. "We had a tabletop disaster with having a derailment right down the street."

Chief Dirksen says all kinds of hazardous materials may be traveling through the city on any given day, and the fire department will continue to prepare for the worst.

The Fargo Fire Department has signed a memorandum with BNSF and taken receipt of a foam trailer which would help fire fighters responding to situations involving hazardous materials, like the December 30 derailment of a train carrying crude oil through Casselton.

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