East Palestine Train Derailment: Profits Over Safety
By: Jacob Regan
The U.S. Government is suing Norfolk Southern for environmental and public health damages caused by its train derailment in Ohio. On the evening of Friday, February 3, 2023, a train owned by Norfolk Southern derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. Fifty of the train cars derailed or were affected by the derailment, and 20 of which contained hazardous substances. Such substances included vinyl chloride, combustible liquids, butyl acrylate, and benzene residue. Early morning Saturday, February 4, around 2:00 A.M. EST, the EPA arrived on-site to assist in clean-up. On February 21, the EPA issued a unilateral administrative order, commanding Norfolk Southern to perform additional cleanup duties. On February 25, a few weeks after citizens who evacuated the area returned, the EPA and other federal agencies began conducting outreach to East Palestine residents, including opening a support hotline. Throughout the rest of February and March, the EPA continued interacting with the community and monitoring the air, water, and soil/sediment in the town and nearby, while pressuring Norfolk Southern to increase its measures.