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BILLINGS, Mont. - The U.S. oil industry is challenging new rules aimed at reducing the risk of catastrophic accidents involving crude moved by rail.

The American Petroleum Institute petitioned the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. to block a requirement that railroad tank cars known to fail be phased out or upgraded.

The petition filed late Monday also challenges a requirement for more advanced braking systems on fuel-hauling trains.

At least 24 oil trains have been involved in major fires or derailments over the past decade in the U.S. and Canada. Another occurred last week when an oil train derailed and caught fire in central North Dakota, forcing the evacuation of a small town.

Environmental groups say the new rules don't go far enough. They are considering their own legal challenge.

News 2's Investigative Unit previously reported on the rail cars and the changes made so emergency workers could be better prepared in case of a disaster.

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