Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Gov. Shapiro Ensuring Local PA Fire Departments Are Reimbursed By Norfolk Southern For Contaminated Equipment

On February 22, Gov. Shapiro announced his administration is working to ensure fire departments in Western Pennsylvania are reimbursed by Norfolk Southern for the costs of replacing all equipment contaminated during the response and remediation to the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine on February 3rd.

Fire companies from Beaver, Lawrence, and Washington Counties responded to the derailment and the controlled vent and burn. 

While no fire departments are significantly impeded in being able to respond and serve the public at this point, many have reported contaminated turnout gear, hose, and Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) along with some drop tanks for water supply operations.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and the Office of the State Fire Commissioner have reached out directly to local fire departments and are working with them to identify and catalogue their damaged and contaminated equipment, and to streamline submissions to the Norfolk Southern Claims Director.

“Pennsylvanians impacted by this incident are safe right now because of the hard work and public service of first responders and fire departments in Western Pennsylvania,” said Gov. Josh Shapiro. “First responders answered the call – their departments deserve to be made whole and we expect Norfolk Southern to quickly reimburse any department that responded to the derailment and needs to replace equipment. My Administration will continue to hold Norfolk Southern accountable for any and all impacts on the Commonwealth.”

“Our fire companies and first responders put their health and safety on the line for Pennsylvanians each day – we are proud of the good work they do and we thank them for their service,” said Acting Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner Thomas Cook. “In order to continue doing their jobs safely and effectively, our firefighters need the right gear. We urge Norfolk Southern to swiftly reimburse our fire departments, it’s the right thing to do.”

Pennsylvania continues to see no concerning air or water quality readings following this incident.

For more information, visit DEP’s Ohio/PA Train Derailment webpage.

Upcoming Event:

-- Carnegie Science Center Webinar Feb. 23: Ohio/PA Train Derailment; Submit Your Questions  [PaEN] 

Related Articles:

-- Gov. Shapiro Lays Out Serious Concerns Regarding Norfolk Southern’s Incident Management After Meeting With Beaver County Officials  [PaEN - 2.14.23]

-- Gov. Shapiro Announces Pennsylvania Will Conduct Independent Water Sampling Following Ohio/PA Train Derailment  [PaEN - 1.16.23]

-- PA Agriculture On Ohio/PA Train Derailment Impacts: 2 Reports Of Horses Affected By Smoke Immediately Following Controlled Burn; No Reports Of Livestock, Domestic Animal Health Symptoms After [PaEN - 2.18.23]

-- ​​DEP Provides Update On Actions Monitoring Air, Water For Impacts From Ohio/PA Train Derailment  [PaEN - 2.20.23]

-- Feb. 21: Gov. Shapiro Visits Ohio/EPA Train Derailment Site; Beaver County To Give Update Hear More From Residents; Case Referred To AG For Criminal Investigation  [PaEN - 2.21.23]

-- Two PA Senate Committees To Hold Hearings On Ohio/PA Train Derailment: Emergency Preparedness- Feb. 23; Transportation- Feb. 27 - Public Invited To Submit Questions  To Transportation [PaEN - 2.17.23]

[Posted: February 22, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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