by Ben Whedon
The state of Ohio this week announced a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern in connection with the February derailment of one of its trains near the town of East Palestine.
Attorney General Dave Yost filed the suit on Tuesday, contending that the railroad violated state and federal laws, among them the Ohio Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), CNN reported.
The Feb. 3 derailment saw toxic materials leak from the railcars and force an evacuation of the town. Authorities were later forced to implement a controlled release of the toxic materials to prevent an explosion.
The Biden administration drew scrutiny for its seemingly sluggish response, with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg becoming a major target of such criticisms. Former President Donald Trump visited the town several weeks later and encouraged President Joe Biden to do likewise, though he has not followed suit.
Yost asserted that the entire episode was preventable, telling reporters on Tuesday that he was “concerned that Norfolk Southern may be putting profits for their own company above the health and safety of the cities and communities they operate in.”
Ohio Sens. Sherrod Brown, D, and J.D. Vance, R, have led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in pushing a rail safety reform bill that would tighten regulations on crew numbers and railcar wheel bearings in response to the derailment, though the measure has yet gain much traction with Senate Republicans.
Ben Whedon is the night editor for the Just the News. He came to the company from Breitbart News and is a graduate of Washington and Lee University.
Photo “Norfolk Southern in East Palestine” by Norfolk Southern.