Crude by Rail in Idaho: Existing Practices and Avenues for Regulation. The recent growth in domestic oil production is shifting the transportation of oil from pipelines and ships to railroads. Since the advent of 'crude by rail' around 2011, the number of oil train derailments has increased dramatically, often resulting in disastrous consequences for exposed communities and ecosystems. Upon derailment, highly combustible crude frequently spills - on some occasions exploding - resulting in water and soil contamination, infrastructural damage, and even human fatalities. This nascent landscape of oil transportation raises many policy and planning challenges for communities across the country, and there is still a limited understanding of what can be done to protect people and the environment from related risks. In the State of Idaho, BNSF and Union Pacific Railroads carry oil through the northern panhandle, traveling along rivers, over drinking water sources, and through isolated, rural communities. This research was conducted for the state's Department of Environmental Quality, with an aim to understand what state-level policies could be adopted to minimize the likelihood of oil spills, and to hold responsible parties accountable in spill scenarios. Semi-structured interviews, document analysis, and spatial analysis were used to answer questions pertaining to state taxation authority, emergency planning and response, and railroad routing.