Commissioner Hopes to Change Rail Safety - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Commissioner Hopes to Change Rail Safety

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Almost 50 million tons of product move across the state by rail annually. Currently, regulating and inspecting the rail system falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government, but a regulator is looking to change that.

Commissioner Julie Fedorchak outlined a proposal for a state run rail safety program that would work with the federal rail administration. The plan would create three new jobs, two inspectors that would have the same authority as a FRA worker, along with a manager. The inspectors would focus on the track system and the equipment used to move various products throughout the state.

"These people will be 100 percent focused on North Dakota. And that's the challenge with the FRA, these people have more of a regional and a national focus and they are looking at the big picture from a national standpoint. We want to focus on what the issues are here, and use some of our resources to improve safety here at home," says Fedorchak.

The PSC submitted their budget to the governor earlier this week, which included the funding for this program. The program would cost $1 million for one year, and Fedorchak says if the funding is approved the earliest the program could begin at the end of 2015.

 

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