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N. Dakota: Feds should stop Washington’s rail rules


BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota plans to ask the Trump administration to intervene in a dispute over Washington state’s new safety restrictions on oil shipped by rail.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem told The Bismarck Tribune he plans to petition the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to tell Washington state that it doesn’t have the authority to require crude shipped by rail through Washington to have more of its volatile gases removed than North Dakota requires.

Washington passed the requirement to reduce the chances of massive explosions during derailments.

North Dakota officials say the Washington state requirement essentially bans crude-by-rail traffic to refineries throughout the Pacific Northwest and is a potential blow to North Dakota’s energy industry.

Stenehjem’s office is also working on a federal lawsuit against Washington alleging that the requirement violates interstate commerce law.

Tara Lee, a spokeswoman for Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, says the issue should be settled in court, “not via press release.”

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