Beginning Saturday, railroads must notify states when certain large shipments of crude oil come through by train. The new rule is in response to safety concerns with crude-by-rail.
The emergency order, issued by the federal Department of Transportation last month, applies to trains carrying a million gallons or more of crude from the Bakken formation in North Dakota. That's the oil that has exploded in numerous fiery derailments, including one in Quebec last summer that killed 47 people.
Brad Alexander, spokesman for California's Office of Emergency Services, says the state hasn't received any notifications yet, but has gotten a non-disclosure agreement from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF).
"As a public entity, we can't sign a non-disclosure agreement," he said. "But we want to let BNSF know that we will be treating this information with great respect and keeping it in accordance with federal and California laws."
BNSF said Friday the company will comply with the order, even if states don't sign the agreement. The railway operates oil terminals in Richmond, Sacramento and Bakersfield. The other major railroad in California, Union Pacific, said through a spokesman that it does not currently transport any Bakken oil through California.