Five Questions Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw Refuses to Answer About Vinyl Chloride Controlled Burn Decision at Ohio Train Derailment

Norfolk Southern Corp. CEO Alan Shaw failed to answer five key questions posed to him by The Star News Network on Monday about the February 6 controlled burn of vinyl chloride conducted at the East Palestine, Ohio site of his company’s February 3 trail derailment:

1 – Mr. Shaw stated he was personally in the room when the decision was made to execute a controlled burn of vinyl chloride. In what city and building was that room located?

2 – Who else was physically in that room and who else was connected by phone to that room when that decision was made?

3 – Was the On-Site EPA Coordinator in that room or on the phone when that decision was made, and did that On-Site EPA Coordinator make the decision? Or did someone else make the decision?

4 – Can you provide us with signed documentation from the On-Site EPA Coordinator which authorized Norfolk Southern to execute the controlled burn on February 06, 2023?

5 – Governor Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania stated that subsequent to the derailment on February 03, that employees and executives of Norfolk Southern separated themselves from the united command location where state and local agencies were gathered, and failed to initially share with those state and local agencies Norfolk Southern’s plans to execute a controlled burn on February 06. Is Governor Shapiro’s statement accurate? If not, how so?

On Saturday, WKBN 27 News filed this report when Shaw visited East Palestine briefly:

The man in charge of the Norfolk Southern railroad returned to East Palestine on Saturday to see for himself how the cleanup of the train derailment and subsequent controlled release is going.

For the second time since the train derailment, Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw was back in East Palestine. He met with the mayor, the fire chief and Congressman Bill Johnson, and with an employee of Norfolk Southern who lives in town, as well as employees and neighbors.

He was also at the meeting in-person the Monday after derailment when the decision was made regarding the controlled release.

Tuesday morning, a spokesperson for EPA’s Region 5 told The Ohio Star, “EPA did not order the controlled burn. The local fire chief was the incident commander who made the decision in consultation with Norfolk Southern, local law enforcement, and response officials from Ohio.”

Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Josh Shapiro (D-PA) blasted Norfolk Southern for “corporate greed and incompetence” at a press conference in East Palestine, which was also attended by Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) and EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

Former President Donald Trump will visit East Palestine on Wednesday.

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Michael Patrick Leahy is the Editor in Chief of The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Leahy on Twitter at @michaelpleahy.
Photo “Alan Shaw” by Alan Shaw.


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