Ohio sues Norfolk Southern for derailment of East Palestine

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost speaks in Columbus, Ohio on February 20, 2020.

Julie Carr Smith | AP

Ohio sues railroad company Norfolk in the south about the derailment of a train laden with toxins in eastern Palestine last month, the Attorney General announced on Tuesday.

The lawsuit alleges multiple violations of state and federal laws relating to hazardous waste, water pollution, air pollution and operational negligence, the state’s attorney general, Dave Yost, said during a news conference. The state is seeking damages, civil penalties and a “declaratory judgment that Norfolk Southern is responsible,” he said.

“This derailment was completely avoidable,” Yost said, adding that Norfolk Southern has seen an 80% increase in accidents over the past decade. “The aftermath of this highly preventable accident will reverberate in Ohio and the people of Ohio for years to come.”

Norfolk Southern officials were not immediately available for comment.

On February 3, a Norfolk-Southern freight train carrying 11 tank cars carrying hazardous materials derailed and subsequently derailed near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, raising concerns about the environmental and health impacts on the surrounding community.

This photo taken with a drone shows the ongoing cleanup of portions of a Norfolk-Southern freight train that derailed Thursday, February 9, 2023 in eastern Palestine, Ohio.

Gene J Puskar | AP

Railway workers have reported feeling ill while cleaning up the derailment site. Yost said Tuesday he’s heard from people who have had sore throats and other irritations while visiting the site, noting that he felt “discomfort” himself at the site.

Yost said “there are a lot of things we don’t know yet” regarding whether the chemical spill will have long-term effects on farmers and their livestock.

“An important part of this lawsuit is to ensure that these long-term impacts are not only not forgotten, but addressed,” Yost said.

Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw told a Senate panel last week that the company plans to completely clean up the site and offer financial assistance to affected residents.

“It was an epic disaster and the cleanup is going to be expensive,” Yost said. “It will cost some significant dollars to bring the people of eastern Palestine back as close as possible to the position they were in before February 3rd.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2023/03/14/ohio-sues-norfolk-southern-over-east-palestine-derailment.html Ohio sues Norfolk Southern for derailment of East Palestine


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