Railroads rack up $15 million in 2016 penalties - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Railroads rack up $15 million in 2016 penalties

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

The Transportation Department says it assessed more than $15 million in civil penalties against the U.S. railroad industry this year for safety violations and other infractions, a slight increase over 2015.
    
Friday's announcement came as Union Pacific, the nation's largest freight railroad, agreed to improve safety on lines used to haul crude oil following a fiery June derailment in Oregon.
    
There have been at least 27 oil train accidents across North America over the past decade. A 2013 wreck and explosion killed 47 people in Quebec.
    
Of the major railroads, BNSF Railway racked up the most penalties in 2016, totaling $3.4 million. Union Pacific had $3 million in penalties from more than 1,000 violations.
    
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement that the Federal Railroad Administration's enforcement program helps prevent needless accidents and deaths.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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