- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

ONALASKA, Wis. (AP) - Nearly 100 emergency responders are training this week for the possibility of a large oil spill on the Mississippi River caused by a train derailment.

The training is a response to rapidly rising rail shipments of crude oil from North Dakota that pass by the Mississippi. North Dakota has more than doubled its oil production in the last two years to more than 1 million barrels a day.

Federal, state and local emergency responders gathering in the La Crosse area will practice deploying booms to contain a spill, learn how to deal with oil-covered wildlife and train in communication and organization.

David Morrison of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is directing the exercise. Morrison says the energy boom is bringing a lot of crude oil in regular proximity to natural resources and refuge areas.

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