- Associated Press - Friday, May 1, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota’s congressional delegation says new federal safety rules for transporting crude by rail are important to improving safety.

U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven and U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer responded to the new rules Friday. They require tank cars within 5 years to have an outer shell, a thermal lining and thicker steel walls to prevent them from rupturing.

Cramer says the new requirements are a “sensible approach” to dealing with outdated rail car designs but cautioned that new regulations alone won’t realistically prevent accidents.

Hoeven says the new standards are “vitally important” in giving the industry regulatory certainty. But he says there’s more to be done, including adding more inspectors.

Heitkamp says the new rules are a “needed and important” step toward improving crude transportation by rail.

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