Thursday, March 30, 2023

Shapiro Announces Norfolk Southern Repaid PA Fire Departments, First Responders $1 Million

On March 30, Gov. Shapiro announced Norfolk Southern has completed their first $1 million in reimbursements to Pennsylvania fire departments, first responders, and Beaver County Hazmat. 

This initial $1 million from Norfolk Southern is part of the funding Gov. Shapiro secured in reimbursements for equipment that was damaged or contaminated during the response and remediation to Norfolk Southern’s train derailment in East Palestine. 

Fire companies from Beaver, Lawrence, and Washington Counties responded to the derailment and the controlled vent and burn – and Gov. Shapiro is working to ensure they receive any and all funding they need.

Gov. Shapiro continues to deliver on his promise to hold Norfolk Southern accountable for any and all impacts to the Commonwealth. 

Last month, Gov. Shapiro secured an initial commitment from Norfolk Southern to pay for millions in damages to Pennsylvania and impacted residents in Beaver and Lawrence Counties, including covering costs to local responders.

“Norfolk Southern’s train derailment hurt communities in Western Pennsylvania, put our first responders at risk, and has taken up immense local and state resources,” said Gov. Shapiro.  “Norfolk Southern must do better – and the entire cost of this derailment and its impact on the Commonwealth must be picked up by them, not the people of Pennsylvania. This critical funding will help make fire departments and first responders whole, and my Administration will continue to hold Norfolk Southern accountable for any and all impacts on our 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 continue to swiftly reimburse our departments and their local partners for any damaged equipment.”

In addition to securing this critical funding for Pennsylvania fire departments and first responders, Gov. Shapiro has led the way to ensure that Pennsylvania residents are receiving reimbursements for losses they incurred as a result of Norfolk Southern’s train derailment. 

Gov. Shapiro is fighting for Pennsylvanians like those he met with in Darlington Township –who just this week received reimbursements for 20 dozen eggs they lost after the derailment. 

Pennsylvanians who want to apply for reimbursements should visit this link to learn how to apply as the Shapiro Administration continues working to hold Norfolk Southern accountable and secure funding for all damages to our Commonwealth.

The Shapiro Administration plans to maintain a long-term presence in Beaver County to continue assisting residents impacted by the Norfolk Southern train derailment. 

The Department of Health staff are continuing to conduct the Assessment of Chemical Exposure survey among residents and first responders living near the derailment. The surveys help residents identify symptoms, experiences, and concerns about the impact of the train derailment on their lives.

The Department of Environmental Protection has been conducting independent water and soil sampling to closely monitor water contamination risks within a two-mile radius of the East Palestine derailment. 

Concerned residents who are beyond the two-mile radius may reach out to DEP to request testing by calling 412-442-4000.

The Department of Agriculture launched a hotline for concerned farmers and producers. Those who have questions or concerns can contact the hotline at 855-777-6735.

Visit the PEMA’s Train Derailment Dashboard for more information about resources available to Pennsylvania residents. 


-- Post-Gazette - Ford Turner: PA Wants Norfolks Southern To Reimburse Farmers Who Lost Meat Sales After Train Derailment 

-- WESA/The Allegheny Front: Questions Remain About Testing, Cleanup Of Streams After Norfolk Southern Train Derailment

-- - Robert Swift: PA Budget Hearing On Health Dept. Covers Train Derailment, Post-COVID Landscape

-- Seven Weeks After Trail Derailment, Residents Struggle With The Unknown

-- TribLive: ‘Shell-Shocked’ East Palestine, Ohio Residents Seek Normalcy After Train Wreck

-- Courier Times: Delaware River Chemical Spill Includes Toxin Released In Norfolk Southern Train Derailment, The Latest On The Spill

-- Politics PA: Casey, Fetterman, Brown Introduce Rail Safety Legislation

-- Post-Gazette: EPA Waited Weeks After Train Derailment To Test For Dioxins, Residents, Advocates Demand More Transparency

-- CNN: CDC Team Studying Health Impacts Of Ohio Train Derailment Fell Ill For 24 Hours During Investigation Reporting Same Symptoms As Residents

-- WESA/The Allegheny Front: EPA Office Of Inspector General To Investigate Agency’s Response To Norfolk Southern Train Derailment 

-- AP: U.S. Justice Dept. Sues Norfolk Southern Over Train Derailment Environmental Damage

-- Politics PA: DOJ, EPA File Lawsuit Against Norfolk Southern For Unlawful Discharge Of Pollutants And Hazardous Substances At Train Derailment Site

-- TribLive Editorial: Norfolk Southern Lawsuits Are Necessary Enforcement Of Railroad’s Promises

Related Article:

-- Dept. Of Health Establishes Community-Based Health Resource Network To Provide Long-Term Assistance To Residents Impacted By Norfolk Southern Train Derailment  [PaEN] 

[Posted: March 30, 2023]  PA Environment Digest

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