Federal regulators this week fined three companies a total of $93,000 after surprise inspections showed Bakken crude in rail tank cars wasn’t properly labelled.

Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Transportation found that 11 of 18 samples from cargo tanks were not properly identified and labeled, the New York Times reported.

Hess Corporation, Whiting Oil and Gas Corporation, and Marathon Oil Corporation were cited for the violations.

The surprise inspections begun after a series of train accidents involving volatile Bakken crude from North Dakota.

The most serious incident killed 47 people in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec and destroyed the town’s center.

“The inspections were carried out by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration,” the New York Times said.

Regulators said Tuesday inspections will begin “to include other factors that affect the proper characterization and classification of oil, such as corrosiveness, hydrogen sulfide content and gas concentrations,” the report said.

About 400,000 carloads of crude oil traveled by rail last year, up from 9,500 in 2008, according to the Association of American Railroads.


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