EPA orders Norfolk Southern to clean up after Ohio train derailment
USDOT Secretary Buttigieg calls on the rail industry to improve accountability and safety.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered Norfolk Southern to “conduct all necessary actions associated with the cleanup from the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment.”
Norfolk Southern will be required to clean up contaminated soil and water resources, participate in public meetings at EPA’s request, and cover all costs for work performed under the order. These costs include cleaning services rendered for residents and businesses.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan thanked Biden for reaffirming his commitment to supporting the cleanup efforts. “We are going to hold Norfolk Southern accountable to clean up and pay for the mess they made,” Regan added.
Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called on the rail industry to “take immediate, commonsense steps to improve accountability and safety.” These steps include accelerating the phasing-in of safer tanker cars and providing workers with paid sick leave.
The USDOT will also initiate a focused safety inspection program on routes that carry high-hazard flammable trains (HHFTs).
Buttigieg tweeted: “Profit and expediency must never outweigh the safety of the American people. The freight railroad industry should make these changes now while we continue to act as an administration – and I look forward to working with Congress to deliver better accountability and safety.”
- EPA Orders Norfolk Southern to Conduct All Cleanup Actions Associated with the East Palestine Train Derailment | US EPA
- USDOT Secretary Buttigieg Calls on Rail Industry to Take Immediate, Commonsense Steps to Improve Accountability and Safety and Highlights Ways Congress Can Support these Efforts | US Department of Transportation
- Michael Regan, U.S. EPA on Twitter
- President Biden on Twitter
- Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Twitter
- U.S. Department of Transportation Fact Sheet: Steps Forward on Freight Rail Industry Safety & Accountability | US Department of Transportation
Media Coverage (5)
- Associated Press
- EPA takes charge of cleanup in toxic Ohio train derailment
- EPA orders Norfolk Southern to clean up Ohio train derailment site
- Norfolk Southern CEO defends railroad’s response to Ohio derailment
- U.S. orders Norfolk Southern to clean polluted Ohio derailment site
- Washington Post
- Biden EPA to take over cleanup of toxic Ohio derailment disaster