Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw faced questions about the decision to vent and burn vinyl chloride at a Wednesday hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation over a month after a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) asked Shaw if anyone in the decision-making process disagreed with the recommendation to vent and burn the vinyl chloride from all five tank cars.
Two Pennsylvania state lawmakers representing areas affected by the February train derailment less than a mile beyond the Ohio border are drafting legislation to enhance railroad-safety rules.
The emerging bill by Representatives Jim Marshall (R-Beaver Falls) and Rob Matzie (D-Ambridge) would tighten maintenance and oversight standards for wayside hotbox detectors, limit the length of trains, set a minimum number of train staff, toughen supervision of railroad-safety compliance and facilitate reporting of violations. The legislators also say their measure will create a mechanism for better communication regarding the transportation of toxic substances.
At a Wednesday hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that in light of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, freight trains should have mandates for both inward and outward-facing image and audio recorders.
According to NTSB Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy, the train involved in the East Palestine derailment was only equipped with an inward-facing camera and because it was immediately put back into service following the accident, the data from the day of the derailment was overwritten.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine visited East Palestine, Ohio to receive remediation updates on Friday, exactly six weeks since a Norfolk Southern train derailed wreaking havoc on the environment and negatively impacting the health of residents.
Although soil is being removed in the area more swiftly than before, according to DeWine, “it’s never fast enough.” Despite the fact that 1,620 tons of earth were removed last week as opposed to 910 tons the week before, there is still a substantial amount.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chair said on Sunday that Norfolk Southern’s proposed “six-point strategy” safety plan is “not robust enough,” following multiple mishaps from the railroad giant that included the derailment of a train carrying toxic chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio.
Norfolk Southern’s CEO, Alan Shaw, testified before the U.S. Senate last week over a month after a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine creating a fiery catastrophe which jeopardized both the health of residents and the environment.