US Sen. Brown discusses bipartisan rail safety act following East Palestine train derailment

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 9:27 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 20, 2023 at 3:20 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on Monday discussed the bipartisan rail safety act following February’s toxic train derailment in East Palestine.

The bill, which was introduced alongside Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH), aims to increase training for train workers and to hold rail carriers, including Norfolk Southern, responsible for the damages caused within the impacted communities.

“We all know what Ohioans in East Palestine have dealt with over the last month. And that train likely ran right through Cleveland first, right past the region’s freshwater supply,” Brown said during the press conference. “Railroad company lobbyists spent years fighting every effort to make our railroads safer, cutting more than 30 percent of their workers in less than 10 years.”

The proposed legislation also comes nearly a week after Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against the Virginia-based rail carrier for the damages caused in the Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine, followed by the subsequent controlled release of the toxic, cancer-causing chemical known as vinyl chloride.

Norfolk Southern also launched a new six-point safety plan following a preliminary investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) into the East Palestine derailment.