Trump administration moves to block Washington oil train law

In this Dec. 30, 2013 file photo, a fireball goes up at the site of an oil train derailment near Casselton, N.D.  .AP Photo/Bruce Crummy

BILLINGS, Mont. — The Trump administration on Monday moved to block a Washington state law that imposed safety restrictions on oil shipments by rail following a string of explosive accidents.

The Department of Transportation determined federal law preempts the Washington law adopted last year, which mandated crude from the oil fields of the Northern Plains have more of its volatile gases removed prior to being loaded onto rail cars.

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. Washington’s law was aimed at boosting safety for schools and homes that are near passing oil trains.

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