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Members of North Dakota's congressional delegation say they're encouraged by proposed rules for rail tank cars that carry crude oil.....

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Members of North Dakota's congressional delegation say they're encouraged by proposed rules for rail tank cars that carry crude oil.
     Sen. John Hoeven and Rep. Kevin Cramer say the issue of rail safety is important, though they also want commonsense rules that are workable. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp adds that it takes a comprehensive approach that includes government and industry in the discussion.
     U.S. regulators are proposing to phase out thousands of older rail tank cars that carry crude. It's the government's response to a series of fiery train crashes over the past year, including one at Casselton in December that left an ominous cloud over the town and led some residents to evacuate.  Casselton Mayor Lee Anderson says anything that will make oil shipments safer is welcome news.
     ANTLER, N.D. (AP) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have reopened the border station at Antler.  The facility had been temporarily closed Wednesday after a propane leak was discovered. The building was declared to be safe after an inspection by a propane service provider.
     The Antler port of entry is located north of Minot on U.S Highway 256 and Canada Highway 256. It is normally open seven days a week.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The manager of the Bismarck airport and federal officials say they're investigating the report of a man who says he was allowed to board a plane to Denver with someone else's ticket.
     Mick Turner, of Bismarck, tells KXMB-TV that he received the wrong boarding pass when he checked in for the July 10 flight, and then made it past the security checkpoint and onto the plane.  Turner says he didn't realize he had the wrong boarding pass until he got to his seat. He told a flight attendant about the mistake and was asked to leave the plane.
     Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lorie Dankers says TSA is reviewing the allegations. Airport manager Greg Haug calls the incident a "legitimate concern."


     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - Authorities have lifted a half-mile evacuation zone around Red River Supply in Minot following a huge chemical fire that burned for about a day. Smoke from the fire hung over the town most of Tuesday but health officials who tested the air say they've detected nothing that concerns them. Dozens of chemicals burned and officials still don't know what caused the fire.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Federal officials and conservationists say a recent report detailing annual wetland losses in the five-state Prairie Pothole Region highlights the need for increased protection for birds.
     The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its Status and Trends of Prairie Wetlands report earlier this month. The report shows that the wetlands in the region declined by an average of 6,200 acres per year - and some conservationists say the trend isn't slowing down.
     Conservationists and wildlife officials say more emphasis needs to be put on conservation easements and incentive-based programs that protect wetlands on farmland while reimbursing farmers for lost income.
     Officials say Prairie Pothole Region provides breeding and nesting habitat for more than 60 percent of the nation's migratory waterfowl.


   (Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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