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Rail News: Safety

Montana panel to review state's rail safety program


The Montana Public Service Commission (PSC) on Tuesday voted to examine the state's rail safety program.

Commission staff will complete a state railroad safety risk assessment and draft an action plan in six months, PSC officials said in a press release.

Additionally, the regulatory division administrator will fill the vacant inspector position with a specialist in motive power and equipment inspection.

The commission has directed staff to provide quarterly updates, PSC officials said.

"This is an enormously important undertaking, given the growing concerns over hazardous substances traveling by rail through our communities and along our river banks. We must do it right," said Commissioner Roger Koopman.

After the plan is drafted, the PSC will decide whether to seek funding for the program in the next legislative session. The funding could be used to hire additional inspectors, PSC officials said.