A group of DFL legislators, firefighters and other emergency officials and a citizen group used the second anniversary of Canada's Lac-Mégantic oil train disaster to hold a news conference demanding oil train safety.
That disaster killed 47 in the Quebec town of Lac-Mégantic, and decontamination continues today.
On Tuesday, members of Citizens Acting for Rail Safety held up signs at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency offices in St. Paul that said, "I live in the blast zone." About 326,000 Minnesotans live near train tracks carrying oil tanks.
The safety of oil trains has become a concern as the Bakken oil boom has rapidly increased the transport of fuel across states like Minnesota.
Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, said that in addition to improved rail safety, legislators and rail safety advocates want more transparency from industry about their plans to prevent an accident or deal with one should it occur.
He pointed to a letter sent to BNSF Railway Co. in May that asked for that information after the company promised it at a January hearing.
In a response, Brian Sweeney of BNSF said the company filed the relevant documents with the state as called for by safety and preparedness laws.