(St. Paul, MN)  —  Proposed rail safety legislation is introduced today in the Minnesota House after a companion bill cleared a key committee Friday in the state Senate.  It comes just days after a BNSF train derailed and caught fire in the west-central Minnesota community of Raymond, forcing evacuations of hundreds of residents. 

Minneapolis Democrat Frank Hornstein says his bill strengthens training requirements for responding to rail incidents. It also provides a timeline of response when hazardous substances, including oil, are involved — and reinstates an assessment on railroads and pipeline companies to pay for emergency preparedness. 

Senate sponsor, Moorhead Democrat Rob Kupec, says “While rail transportation and pipelines play an important role in our economy, we need to ensure that the Minnesota communities they pass through have the proper knowledge and tools to protect life and property.”