EPA orders Norfolk Southern to conduct cleanup for East Palestine train derailment

EPA orders Norfolk Southern to conduct cleanup for East Palestine train derailment
Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 12:35 PM EST
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EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WXIX) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered Norfolk Southern to conduct all cleanup actions and pay for cleaning services stemming from the Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

According to the EPA, the railway company will be required to:

  • 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.
  • Pay for EPA’s costs for work performed under this order.

As part of the order, the EPA says they will approve a work plan outlining all steps necessary to clean up the environmental damage caused by the derailment.

Norfolk Southern could be compelled to pay triple the cost if they fail to comply with the orders, according to the EPA.

To address the concerns of residents regarding potential indoor contamination, EPA will offer cleaning services to area businesses and families.

The EPA says Norfolk Southern will reimburse them for the costs of the cleaning services, under the terms of the 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. 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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