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Emergency Management to study response plans for oil train incidents

The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services has hired an outside firm to help assess the state’s preparedness and response to incidents involving trains carrying Bakken crude oil.

Witt O’Brien’s LLC will do the study.

"Their task is to develop a report that wiull give us a baseline idea of what our response capabilities are for any sort of crude oil transportation-related incidents," said DEM spokesperson Cecily Fong. "Once we have that picture, that'll give us all the information we need to develop appropriate response plans."

Fong says the plan will be a statewide plan – but with a local focus.

"Obviously, these incidents are occurring at the local level," said Fong. "For instance, the Casselton derailment last December. We will be developing a plan that will take all the data that Witt O'Brien's pulls together, and we will craft a response plan specific to that report."

Fong says the study should be completed in eight months. The state is paying Witt O’Brien’s $350,000.

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