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US railways want shipping data kept private


Some US railway companies want state officials to sign confidentiality agreements to ensure hazardous shipping information doesn’t reach the public.

US Railways are under a federal order to disclose whether they are shipping volatile oil from the Bakken Region of North Dakota, however, railroad giants BNSF, Union Pacific and CSX are among a group of operators that don’t want that information to go beyond state officials.

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Some states, such as Washington and Wisconsin, are refusing to sign the confidentiality agreements, noting that they may actually violate state public record laws.

The US Department of Transportation issued an emergency order in May 2014 requiring railroads that haul more than about 35 tank cars of volatile crude oil from the Bakken oilfields to provide state emergency planning authorities with information on trains’ routes, volume and frequency.


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