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EPA Orders Norfolk Southern To Cleanup Ohio Train Derailment



On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered Norfolk Southern, the company at the center of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, to cleanup the toxic chemical spill.

The Norfolk Southern train derailment occurred on February 3 when dozens of rail cars, including 11 carrying toxic chemicals, derailed in a town near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. 

A controlled burn of the spilled chemicals was conducted to prevent an explosion, which released large clouds of toxic gas that has killed nearby animals.

According to a press release from the EPA, Norfolk Southern must “Identify and clean up contaminated soil and water resources; Reimburse EPA for cleaning services to be offered to residents and businesses to provide an additional layer of reassurance, which will be conducted by EPA staff and contractors; Attend and participate in public meetings at EPA’s request and post information online; [and] Pay for EPA’s costs for work performed under this order.”

“The Norfolk Southern train derailment has upended the lives of East Palestine families, and EPA’s order will ensure the company is held accountable for jeopardizing the health and safety of this community,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “Let me be clear: Norfolk Southern will pay for cleaning up the mess they created and for the trauma they’ve inflicted on this community.”

“I’m deeply grateful to the emergency responders, including EPA personnel, who’ve been on the ground since day one and ensured there was no loss of life as a result of this disaster,” Regan added. “As we transition from emergency response, EPA will continue to coordinate closely with our local, state, and federal partners through a whole-of-government approach to support the East Palestine community during the remediation phase. To the people of East Palestine, EPA stands with you now and for as long as it may take.”

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