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Sun May 12, 2019, 12:27 AM

North Dakota to sue Washington state over oil train standard

BISMARCK (AP) — North Dakota is preparing to sue Washington state over a new Washington law requiring oil shipped by rail through that state to have more of its volatile gases removed, which supporters say would reduce the risk of explosive and potentially deadly derailments.

North Dakota officials say the law will make Pacific Northwest refineries off-limits to the energy industry of North Dakota, which is the nation’s No. 2 crude producer. They are also reaching out to other oil-producing states to garner support for the lawsuit, which they expect to file within weeks in federal court. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill into law Thursday. It requires a lower vapor pressure limit for crude shipped by rail than the industry standard and North Dakota requires. Inslee has made climate change a focus of a 2020 Democratic presidential campaign.

Democrat Andy Billig, the Washington Senate Majority Leader who sponsored the bill, said the goal is to reduce the risk from oil being shipped by train from North Dakota’s Bakken oil patch to Pacific Northwest refineries. The volatility of oil trains drew widespread public attention following several explosive derailments, including one in 2013 in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that killed 47 people.

“We know these trains pose a serious risk as we watch them pass through downtown Spokane in sight of Lewis and Clark High School, hospitals, medical buildings, and senior living facilities,” Billig said. “This bill about safety.”

Read more: http://www.minotdailynews.com/wire/?category=5687&ID=94078

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