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Oil train regulation passes in California

SAN FRANCISCO — California lawmakers on Friday passed legislation requiring railroad companies to tell emergency officials when crude oil trains will chug through the state.

The bill would require railroads to notify the state’s Office of Emergency Services when trains carrying crude oil from Canada and North Dakota are headed to refineries in the most populous U.S. state.

The bill now goes to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown..

“We have a spotlight on this issue because of the seriousness of the risk to public safety that it presents,” said the bill’s author, Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson.

The legislation follows a disastrous oil train derailment in Canada that killed 47 people and spilled 1.6 million gallons of crude last year. Another train carrying Bakken crude derailed near Casselton after hitting a grain train, causing a large explosion.

Railroads are not currently required to proactively share their oil train schedules with first responders.

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