Feds: Oil from Dakota fields improperly classified

Government investigators have found crude oil being transported from North Dakota’s Bakken region was misclassified in samples taken from 11 out of 18 truck shipments en route to rail loading stations, federal transportation officials said Tuesday.
By JOAN LOWY Modified: February 4, 2014 at 10:33 pm •  Published: February 5, 2014
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In brief

Crude had wrong class

Government investigators have found crude oil being transported from North Dakota's Bakken region was misclassified in samples taken from 11 out of 18 truck shipments en route to rail loading stations, federal transportation officials said Tuesday.

Hazardous materials shipments are supposed to be classified into one of nine categories depending on the risk involved. If the materials are misclassified, they could wind up being shipped in less protective tank cars and emergency personnel might follow the wrong protocols when responding to a spill.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration said it has proposed fining three companies involved in the shipments — Hess Corp., Whiting Oil and Gas Corp., and Marathon Oil Co. — a total of $93,000.

A runaway train with 72 tank cars of Bakken oil derailed, exploded and burned in July in the downtown area of Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

Associated Press

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