A new Minnesota law aims to protect the state from hazards created by increasing amounts of oil passing through Minnesota by rail and pipeline.
Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill Tuesday. The law requires railroad and oil pipeline companies operating in Minnesota to help pay for training and emergency preparedness programs.
State officials will collect $2.5 million annually from railroad and pipeline companies for three years. That money will help first responders get ready for derailments and spills.
The law provides for new safety measures, including three new inspectors that railroads also will fund. A $2 million state program will pay for crossing improvements such as gates and signals. Railroads must install better lighting in areas where trains with more than 25 tanks of hazardous material are assembled and dissembled.