- Associated Press - Friday, January 24, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the U.S. needs better oversight of companies that transport hazardous materials through cities by rail.

Emanuel spoke Thursday at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C.

He says recent freight train accidents “should be more than a wake-up call” for American cities. He outlined proposals he says could make communities safer.

One proposal is a federal hazardous materials freight fee imposed on companies that extract crude oil and industrial consumers. The money would go into an account to help rebuild aging rail infrastructure.

He also wants to require companies that carry hazardous materials to have insurance to compensate victims following an accident.

An oil train derailed and exploded in North Dakota last month, creating massive fires. A similar incident occurred in Quebec in July.

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