June 18, 2014 in City

Some state officials intend to release details on oil trains

From staff and wire reports

BILLINGS, Mont. — Montana officials intend to release details next week on oil trains passing through the state despite efforts by railroads to keep the information from the public.

Andrew Huff, chief legal counsel for Gov. Steve Bullock, said Wednesday that federal officials confirmed the information was not security sensitive. Huff says its release would raise awareness and help protect public safety.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx last month ordered railroads to provide specifics on oil train routes, crude volumes and other information to states following a string of explosive accidents.

Railroads say the order covers confidential information that could be misused if it was made public.

Washington state officials also intend to release the details next week.

Some states have agreed to keep it confidential. Others are still weighing the issue.

In Idaho, the information is being shared with local emergency responders on a “need to know” basis, but isn’t available to the public, said Elizabeth Duncan, spokeswoman for the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security.

The agency is awaiting clarification from the U.S. Department of Transportation, she said.

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