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Feds: Oil train details not security sensitive

6-18-14

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — U.S. transportation officials say details about volatile oil train shipments are not sensitive security information as railroads seek to keep the material from the public following a string of fiery accidents.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered railroads to give state emergency officials specifics on oil-train routes and shipment volumes to prepare for accidents.

Railroads have convinced some states to sign agreements restricting the information’s release for business and security reasons.

Federal Railroad Administration Associate Administrator Kevin Thompson said Wednesday that the agency has determined the information is not sensitive information that should be withheld from the public to protect security.

Montana officials say they will publicly release the oil-train information next week. Washington state also plans to release the information under state open records laws barring a legal challenge.

An oil-train derailment and explosion in Quebec last July killed 47 people.