Timeline: Train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is ordering states to stop blocking contaminated waste from a fiery train derailment in Ohio from being sent to hazardous waste storage sites around the nation. A handful of political leaders and states have sought to block shipments from East Palestine. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt last week said he had stopped waste from the derailment from coming into his state. EPA Administrator Michael Regan said on Friday there was no reason for states to block shipments of waste. The EPA has ordered railroad Norfolk Southern to cover the costs of cleaning up from the Feb. 3 derailment.
Ohio has filed a lawsuit against railroad Norfolk Southern to make sure it pays for the cleanup and environmental damage caused by a fiery train derailment on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border last month. The state’s attorney general said Tuesday that the federal lawsuit also seeks to force the company to pay for groundwater and soil monitoring in the years ahead and economic losses in the village of East Palestine and surrounding areas. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost says the fallout from the Feb. 3 derailment will reverberate for many years. Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw has apologized for the impact the derailment has had on East Palestine.
U.S. railroads were warned to take certain cars out of service Thursday after Norfolk Southern discovered loose wheels on a car involved in last weekend’s derailment in Ohio. It’s not clear that the loose wheels caused the derailment near Springfield last Saturday because the National Transportation Safety Board has just begun investigating that crash. But the railroad said the loose wheels on the car could cause a derailment. Rail safety has been in the spotlight ever since last month's fiery derailment near East Palestine, Ohio. There has been a string of other high-profile derailments grabbing headlines lately.
Norfolk Southern’s CEO is apologizing to Congress and pledging millions of dollars to help East Palestine, Ohio, recover from last month's fiery train derailment. But he stopped short on Thursday of fully endorsing a Senate bill that would toughen safety regulations. He also did not make specific commitments to pay for the long-term health care and economic effects to the community. Senators are investigating railway safety and the Biden administration’s response to the disaster. Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw said he was “deeply sorry” for the impact of the derailment and the railroad would “do the right thing." Senators from both parties want to impose new regulations on railroads.
The chief executive of one of the nation’s largest railroads is preparing to tell a Senate committee he is “deeply sorry” for the fiery derailment last month on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. A Senate committee is holding a hearing Thursday to look into the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. Senators are expected to scrutinize railway safety and the response to the crash. Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw has committed more than $20 million so far to help that community recover and has announced several voluntary safety upgrades. But a bipartisan group of senators want to impose new regulations on railways.
The major freight railroads have announced a number of steps they are taking to improve safety in the wake of last month's fiery Ohio derailment. It's not clear, however, that the actions they announced Wednesday will be enough to satisfy regulators and members of Congress who are pushing for changes. Many of the proposals from the Association of American Railroads trade group focus on strengthening the network of trackside detectors the railroads use to spot problems before they can cause derailments. The group proposes installing roughly 1,000 more of them nationwide and tweaking the way railroads use the data from them.
Federal investigators have announced a special investigation into railroad Norfolk Southern. The move follows a fiery derailment on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border in February and several other accidents. The most recent accident led to a train conductor's death early Tuesday. The National Transportation Safety Board says it will begin a broad look at the railroad’s safety culture. It says it has sent investigation teams to look into five significant accidents involving Norfolk Southern since December 2021. The agency also says it was urging the company to take immediate action to review and assess its safety practices.
Authorities say a train and a dump truck collided at a railroad crossing in Ohio, killing the train conductor as he stood on the outside of a car. Cleveland police say the crash happened about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday when the dump truck approached a stop sign at the Cleveland-Cliffs Cleveland Works steel plant. The truck had stopped, but then moved forward and hit the front left side of the train as it moved through a crossing. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating. The crash comes just weeks after a fiery train derailment on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border prompted the evacuation of thousands of people.
Gov. Josh Shapiro says Norfolk Southern has pledged several million dollars to cover the cost of the response and recovery in Pennsylvania after last month’s derailment of a train carrying toxic chemicals just across the border in Ohio. Shapiro’s office said Monday that Norfolk Southern will pay $5 million to reimburse fire departments for equipment that was contaminated or damaged in the response and $1 million to Beaver and Lawrence counties to help business owners and residents whose livelihoods were damaged. The cleanup from the Feb. 3 derailment continues in East Paletine, Ohio, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Norfolk Southern to cover the costs of cleaning up.
Authorities in Ohio say there is no indication of any risk to public health from the derailment of a Norfolk Southern cargo train between Dayton and Columbus, the second derailment of a company train in the state in a month. Norfolk Southern said 28 of the 212 cars on the southbound train, including two empty tanker cars, derailed shortly before 5 p.m. Saturday in Springfield Township near a business park and the county fairgrounds. Residents living within 1,000 feet were asked to shelter in place as a precaution, but officials early Sunday said there was “no indication of any injuries or risk to public health at this time.”
About 20 cars of a Norfolk Southern cargo train derailed near Springfield Saturday evening, the second derailment of the company’s trains in Ohio in a month, officials said. But unlike the Feb. 3 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, a company spokesperson said there were no hazardous materials aboard the train, The Columbus Dispatch reported. The train, which did not have passengers, derailed around 5 p.m. by State Route 41, near the Clark County Fairgrounds. 20 cars of the 212-car train derailed while traveling south, the Norfolk Southern spokesperson said. The Clark County Emergency Management Agency has asked residents within 1,000 feet of the derailment to shelter in place.
Republicans say the federal response to a train derailment in an eastern Ohio village shows Democrats are not focused on policy at home. But Sen. Sherrod Brown is trying to prove them wrong. He is gearing up for a reelection race in Ohio. Republicans have found success in the state over the last decade. But Brown has survived with a message that focuses on economic policy and support for workers. The East Palestine train derailment presents a new test for him. He has made several trips to the region and this week led bipartisan action to address the wreck.
Residents are saying they’re still suffering from illnesses nearly a month after a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in Ohio. They confronted the railroad’s operator Thursday at a town forum. Some demanded to know whether they’d be relocated from homes they’re afraid to live in. The railroad announced it was ready to begin moving more contaminated soil from underneath the tracks. But it says buying homes and moving people out of East Palestine hasn’t been discussed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it is ordering Norfolk Southern to begin testing for dioxins. The toxic chemical compounds can stay in the environment for long periods of time.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is ordering rail operator Norfolk Southern to begin testing for dioxins in the area where a train carrying toxic chemicals in Ohio. Elected officials and residents in East Palestine have been questioning why there has not been testing for dioxins, a harmful collection of chemicals that may have been released into the air when officials burned off vinyl chloride in the rail tank cars. Scientists say burning vinyl chloride can indeed generate highly toxic dioxins, some of the most dangerous human-made compounds. Some say it is important to test for the compounds now.
A $12.6 billion, two-year Ohio transportation budget has cleared the state House. Proposed safety measures in response to the fiery East Palestine train derailment are part of the budget. The rail safety provisions include mandating two-person crews for freight trains and certain notifications to train operators when wayside detector systems sense a defect. The Ohio Railroad Association argues several of the rail safety provisions are preempted by federal law. State lawmakers disagree. The budget mainly funds highway projects over two years and includes $1 billion for rural highways. Another provision would lower fees for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle owners. The proposal now goes to the Senate.
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has proposed legislation that would make railroads, like the one involved in last month’s fiery crash and toxic chemical release in Ohio, subject to a series of new federal safety regulations and financial consequences. Regulators also announced a plan Wednesday to step up inspections of the tracks that carry the most hazardous materials. Democrat Sherrod Brown and Republican JD Vance are key co-sponsors of the bill, introduced Wednesday. It responds to regulatory concerns raised by the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine. The legislation would subject all trains carrying hazardous materials to additional safety regulations and state notification requirements. It would increase penalties for violations.
Federal regulators are urging freight railroads to reexamine the way they use and maintain the detectors along the tracks that are supposed to spot overheating bearings in the wake of the fiery Ohio derailment and several other recent crashes where faulty bearings are suspected to be the cause. The safety advisory the Federal Railroad Administration issued Tuesday stops short of telling the railroads exactly what to do, but it encourages them to make sure these detectors are getting inspected often enough and that the railroads have safe standards for when to stop a train after an overheating bearing triggers a warning. More than three dozen railcars came off the tracks near East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 3 and the resulting fire involving toxic chemicals forced evacuations.
The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says he doesn’t want any stigmas attached to the Ohio community where a train derailed and spewed toxic gases three weeks ago. EPA Administrator Michael Regan says he’s pushing the railroad to clean up the mess as fast as possible. He says the agency is continuing to monitor the air around East Palestine. State and federal officials say testing has shown no signs of contamination from the derailment in the air or the village’s water system. The EPA on Tuesday opened an office where people can sign up for air monitoring and cleaning services.
Federal officials say contaminated waste from the site of a fiery train derailment in Ohio have started moving out. The shipments started Monday and comes after concerns were raised during the weekend about oversight of where the waste was being shipped. The Environmental Protection Agency also announced that two new hazardous waste sites will receive some of the shipments. Those two sites are at an incinerator in Grafton, Ohio, and a landfill in Roachdale, Indiana. The EPA says it is now getting closer to identifying enough certified facilities to take all of the waste from the site of the derailment in East Palestine.
Federal environmental authorities say shipment of contaminated waste from the site of a fiery train derailment will resume Monday to two Ohio sites. An Environmental Protection Agency administrator said Sunday that some liquid waste will be taken to an underground injection well in Vickery, while solid waste will go to an incinerator in East Liverpool. The agency had ordered a ‘pause’ in shipments a day earlier after material was taken to sites in Michigan and Texas. A state official said all rail cars except for those held by federal transportation officials had been removed, allowing collection of more contaminated soil and installation of monitoring wells.
Federal environmental authorities have ordered a temporary halt in the shipment of contaminated waste from the site of a fiery train derailment in Ohio involving hazardous materials. Region 5 administrator Debra Shore of the Environmental Protection Agency said Saturday the agency had ordered Norfolk Southern to “pause” shipments from the East Palestine derailment but vowed that removal of the material would resume soon. She said officials had heard concerns from residents and others in a number of states. No one was injured when 38 cars derailed Feb. 3 but fears of a potential explosion prompted an evacuation and a controlled burn of toxic vinyl chloride.
Residents of East Palestine, Ohio, say they are still fearful as activist Erin Brockovich warns they are in for a long battle after a train derailment earlier this month. Brockovich spoke to an overflow crowd Friday at a high school auditorium in the town where the Norfolk Southern train crashed Feb. 3. Officials seeking to avoid an uncontrolled blast had the area evacuated and opted to release and burn toxic vinyl chloride from five rail cars, sending flames and black smoke billowing into the sky. Brockovich told residents to trust their instincts and not people who dismiss their worries.
President Joe Biden has directed federal agencies to go door-to-door in East Palestine, Ohio, to check on families affected by the toxic train derailment that has morphed into a political controversy. House Republicans, meanwhile, have opened an investigation into the derailment, blaming Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for what they contend was a delayed response to the fiery wreck. House Oversight chairman James Comer became the latest lawmaker Friday to jump into what has become a political proxy war as both parties lay blame on the other after the Feb. 3 derailment and chemical leak that led to evacuation of the small Ohio community.
U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and J.D. Vance sent a letter to the directors of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency last week asking why it was not testing for dioxins, a harmful suite of chemicals the senators claimed got into the air in East Palestine when officials burned off the vinyl chloride in the rail tank cars. Scientists say burning vinyl chloride can indeed generate highly toxic dioxins, some of the most dangerous human-made compounds. Some say it is important to test for the compounds now, before they have a chance to bioaccumulate, or build up, in the plants and animals that people eat.
A Texas county official says there are outstanding questions about the transportation and disposal of toxic wastewater that has been moved to a Houston suburb from the site of an Ohio train derailment. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo says 500,000 gallons of wastewater from a fiery Feb. 3 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, has been delivered to Deer Park, Texas, with 1.5 million more gallons set to arrive. The wastewater has been delivered to Texas Molecular, which injects hazardous waste into the ground for disposal. The company tells television station KHOU it is experienced in disposing hazardous material.
The crew operating a freight train that derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, didn’t get much warning before dozens of cars went off the tracks, and there is no indication that crew members did anything wrong. That's according to federal safety investigators, who released a preliminary report Thursday into the fiery wreck that prompted a toxic chemical release and an evacuation. The National Transportation Safety Board says the train's crew did not receive a critical warning about an overheated axle until just before dozens of cars went off the tracks. The report's release came as Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg made his first visit to East Palestine since the wreck nearly three weeks ago.
The White House is calling on congressional Republicans to increase the fines levied on rail companies for safety violations in the wake of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. There are still safety and health concerns among residents in the village after dozens of train cars being pulled by Norfolk Southern went off the tracks on Feb. 3 and released chemicals into the area. The White House says that the highest fine that can be charged to companies for violations involving the transportation of hazardous materials is $225,455. That’s less than 1% of Norfolk Southern’s profits last year of $3.27 billion.
Donald Trump is criticizing the federal response to the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, as a betrayal. The former president and now presidential candidate visited the village on Wednesday. He told residents that the community needs “answers and results,” not excuses. The Feb. 3 derailment led to evacuations and fears of air and water contamination after a controlled burning of toxic chemicals aboard the cars. The developments have become the latest front in America’s political divide. The Biden White House says Trump himself could have done more as president to toughen regulations and prevent such disasters.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg wants the nation’s freight railroads to immediately act to improve safety while regulators try to strengthen safety rules in the wake of a fiery derailment in Ohio that forced evacuations when toxic chemicals were released and burned. Buttigieg announced the reforms Tuesday — two days after he warned Norfolk Southern to fulfill its promises to clean up the mess just outside East Palestine, Ohio, and help the town recover. The railroad reiterated its commitment to safety and aiding East Palestine but didn't directly respond to Buttigieg's criticism. The head of the EPA plans to return to the town Tuesday to talk about the next steps in the cleanup and efforts to keep people safe.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Norfolk Southern to pay for cleanup of the East Palestine, Ohio, train wreck and chemical release. The order came Tuesday as federal regulators took charge of long-term recovery efforts. The EPA warned Norfolk Southern that if it failed to comply, the agency would perform the work itself and seek triple damages from the company. Norfolk Southern’s CEO promised to do what’s necessary to ensure the community's long-term health. The developments came nearly three weeks after more than three dozen freight cars — including 11 carrying hazardous materials — derailed, prompting an evacuation and the intentional release and burn-off of toxic vinyl chloride in five of the rail cars.
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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is warning the CEO of Norfolk Southern that the freight rail company must “demonstrate unequivocal support for the people” of East Palestine, Ohio, and surrounding areas. A fiery train derailment led to the release of chemicals and has residents expressing concerns about their health. In a letter Sunday, Buttigieg also criticized the rail company for lobbying in the past against safety measures. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Friday that the chemicals that spilled into the Ohio River are no longer a risk. But people in the community say they have constant headaches and irritated eyes.
The president of Norfolk Southern made a visit to East Palestine, Ohio, on Saturday following criticism from residents and political leaders about the company’s response to the fiery derailment of a freight train carrying toxic materials earlier this month. Fox Business reports that company president and CEO Alan Shaw told reporters Saturday he was there “to support the community” but declined further comment. Gov. Mike DeWine earlier said Shaw needed to go to East Palestine and answer questions after company officials skipped a Wednesday public meeting, saying they were worried about physical threats. The company has vowed to ensure that residents and the environment “not only recover but thrive.”