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More Details Released on Virginia Crude Oil Train Routes

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The public in Virginia is getting an early look at details regarding trains loaded with crude oil that often travel through the state.

CSX operates up to five trains per week with crude oil in Virginia, according to a report that was filed with Virginia’s Department of Emergency Management this month.

This disclosure was filed due to new requirements issued by the Department of Transportation, which mandates that companies operating trains with more than 1 million gallons of Bakken oil to inform state emergency responders.

These reports are supposed to be shared with emergency management organizations so that they can better prepare for a wreck in their region. This notification includes information from the rail company about how to respond safely to a derailment involving crude oil.

Bakken crude, which is pumped in North Dakota from oil shale, is highly combustible. A train that was carrying 3 million gallons of Bakken crude to a Yorktown VA refinery crashed in Lynchburg April 30. Several cars fell into the James River.

The transfer facility in Yorktown is the only oil refinery in the whole state.

In the crash in Lynchburg, information about the train’s route were withheld by the state, after CSX insisted. The railroad previously required states to sign non disclosure agreements for the route notification reports. But with the new regulations, some states are starting to provide this information to the public.

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