Friday, February 17, 2023

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

On February 17, Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Adams), Majority Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, announced the Committee will hold a hearing February 23 at the Community College of Beaver County to hear testimony on the impacts to local residents and the emergency response to the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

The hearing will focus on the emergency response to the train derailment and subsequent controlled chemical burn. It will also feature testimony from concerned residents.

The Committee is seeking testimony from the following individuals and groups--

-- Representatives from Norfolk Southern Railway,

-- Officials from the office of Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro,

-- Administrators from Pennsylvania state agencies involved in the response ,

-- Local officials, and

-- Residents affected by the derailment

The hearing will be held Community College of Beaver County, located at 1 Campus Drive in Monaca starting at 10:00 a.m.  Click Here to watch online.

Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Adams), Majority Chair of the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, and can be contacted by calling 717-787-4651 or sending email to:  Sen. Katie Muth (D-Montgomery) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-1398 or sending email to

Transportation Committee

On February 17, Sen. Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-Cambria), Majority Chair of the
Senate Transportation Committee, announced the Committee will conduct a fact-finding public hearing February 27 on hazardous materials transported by rail in this Commonwealth.

“The recent train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, has generated tremendous concern over the transportation of hazardous materials by railroads through our communities,” said Sen. Langerholc. “It is vital that this committee address these questions while reviewing the federal and state laws, regulations and policies. The residents of this Commonwealth deserve answers.”

On Feb. 3, Norfolk Southern was moving 150 train cars, including 20 cars carrying hazardous materials, that derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, near the border of Beaver County, Pennsylvania. 

On Feb. 6, Norfolk Southern conducted a “controlled burn” of the train cars containing vinyl chloride, which created national attention on the safe transport and management of hazardous materials by rail.

Pennsylvania ranks first in the nation with the highest number of operating railroads (65) and fifth in the total track mileage (more than 5,600 miles).

Questions Invited

The public is invited to submit questions on the transportation of hazardous materials by railroads at the following website.  Click Here to submit.

The hearing will be held February 27 in Hearing Room 1, North Office Building starting at 10:00 a.m.  Click Here to watch the hearing online.

Sen. Wayne Langerholc (R-Cambria) serves as Majority Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and can be contacted by calling 717-787-5400 or send email to:   Sen. Marty Flynn (D-Lackawanna) serves as Minority Chair and can be contacted by calling 717-787-6481 or click here to contact Senator.

More Information

Visit DEP’s Ohio/PA Train Derailment webpage for more information on the state’s response.


-- WITF: PA Emergency Services Implore State For Urgent Help With Staffing, Funding - Fire, EMS, Police

-- StateImpactPA - Reid Frazier: Ohio/PA Train That Derailed Wasn’t Considered ‘High Hazard,’ Could Stricter Rules Make Hazardous Material Transport Safer?

-- Post-Gazette - Ford Turner: PA Lawmakers Slamming Norfolk Southern As ‘Ignorant’ And Greedy After Ohio/PA Train Derailment 

-- TribLive: PA Cong. Deluzio Calls For Congressional Action After Ohio/PA Train Derailment

-- TribLive: Online Resources For Information On Ohio/PA Train Derailment

-- TribLive: Allegheny County Air Quality Remains Unaffected By Train Derailment, Officials Say

-- Post-Gazette - Anya Litvak, Others: What We Know About Health Concerns Related To Ohio/PA Train Derailment

-- AP: Ohio To Open Medical Clinic Near Ohio/PA Trail Derailment As Health Worries Linger

-- Post-Gazette: Ohio Residents Fear For Their Health And Answers Are Hard To Find - ‘How Long Is This Going To Last?’

-- USA Today: Ohio/PA Train Derailment Fact Check: What’s True And What’s False?

-- Wheeling News: NTSB Looking At Overheated Wheel Bearing In Ohio/PA Train Derailment Investigation

-- PA Capital-Star: Casey, Fetterman Join Ohio Counterparts To Call For More Federal Action On Ohio/PA Train Derailment

-- New Jersey Monitor: Ohio/PA Train Derailment Prompts New Calls To Block PA Natural Gas Transport Plan By Train/Truck To Proposed New Jersey LNG Export Terminal

-- AP: EPA Chief At Ohio/PA Train Derailment Site: ‘Trust The Government’

-- USA Today: EPA Will ‘Hold Norfolk Southern Responsible’ For Ohio/PA Train Derailment, Cleanup

-- Bloomberg: Norfolk Southern CEO Pledges To Ensure Safety Of Ohio Town After Train Derailment

-- Norfolk Southern: Furthers Environmental Efforts In East Palestine, Ohio [Train Derailment Site]

-- Bloomberg: Ohio/PA Train Crash Unleashes Local Rage, Suspicion Over Toxic Chemicals

-- CNN: Ohio Residents Worry Rashes, Headaches, Other Symptoms May Be Tied To Chemicals From Ohio/OA Train Crash

-- Canton Repository: Lawsuit: Fish And Animals Dying As Far As 20 Miles Away From Ohio/PA Train Derailment Site

Related Articles This Week:

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

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

-- 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] 

-- Ohio/PA Train Derailment, Pipeline Explosions, Uncontrolled Releases Put Spotlight On Public Health, Safety Threats Posed By Petrochemical, Natural Gas Industrial And Pipeline Infrastructure In PA  [PaEN]

-- Groups Urge DEP To Temporarily Halt Operations At Shell Petrochemical Plant In Beaver County; File 2nd Notice Of Intent To Sue For Air Pollution Violations  [PaEN]

-- DEP Issued 754 Notices Of Violation For Defective Oil & Gas Well Casing, Cementing, The Fundamental Protection Needed To Prevent Gas Migration, Groundwater & Air Contamination, Explosions  [PaEN]

-- Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard - Feb. 11 to 17  [PaEN] 

-- Susquehanna River Basin Commission Approves 38 Water Use Requests For Shale Gas Well Drilling Pads In Bradford, Clearfield, Lycoming, Potter, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wyoming Counties  [PaEN] 

-- Better Path Coalition Hosts Feb. 21 Webinar On DEP's Federally-Funded Oil & Gas Well Plugging Program [PaEN] 

-- Environmental Health Project Blog: Natural Gas Compressor Stations - A Guide To Protecting Your Health And The Environment [Photo: FracTracker, Clinton County] [PaEN]

-- PA Environmental Defense Foundation Files Court Motion To Prevent Unconstitutional Spending Of DCNR Oil & Gas Revenues For Nonconservation Purposes  [PaEN]

[Posted: February 17, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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