"Before Ohio Derailment, Norfolk Southern Lobbied Against Safety Rules"

"The Trump administration abandoned rail safety rules that were pursued during the Obama era. The Biden administration is trying to revive some of them."

"Three months before one of his railroad’s trains derailed and burned in Ohio, Norfolk Southern chief executive Alan Shaw shared a picture of him and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg smiling together after a meeting in Washington.

Shaw thanked Buttigieg, saying they had discussed shared goals for economic growth and infrastructure investments. Shaw presented his railroad as a climate-friendly alternative to sending freight by truck.

“Every time we shift freight from highway to rail, we reduce carbon emissions, ease congestion, and reduce wear on the nation’s publicly funded highway infrastructure,” Shaw wrote in a LinkedIn post.

But the meeting also had another purpose, according to a memo drafted later by a Transportation Department lawyer: It was an opportunity for Norfolk Southern to raise concerns about a proposed federal rule that would require trains, in most cases, to have two crew members. Federal regulators have argued that two workers could better respond to derailments and other emergencies, but the industry has pushed back against the proposal."

Ian Duncan, Luz Lazo, and Michael Laris report for the Washington Post February 18, 2023.


"Buttigieg Urges U.S. Railroads To Boost Safety, Not Oppose Reforms" (Reuters)

"Many in East Palestine, Skeptical of Official Tests, Seek Out Their Own" (New York Tines)

"Here's What The Derailed Ohio Train Was Carrying -- and What Was Burned" (Washington Post)

"Norfolk Southern's Profits and Accident Rates Rose in Recent Years" (New York Times)

"The Worst U.S. Chemical Disasters Caused by Train Derailments" (Earther)

"White House Defends Response to Ohio Train Derailment" (Reuters)

"‘We Will Get To The Bottom Of This,’ EPA Tells Residents Near Ohio Derailment Site" (Washington Post)

"Pa. Governor Accuses Train Company Of Mishandling Ohio Derailment" (Washington Post)

"Buttigieg Calls For Higher Maximum Fines For Railroad Safety Breaches" (Washington Post)

"Officials Burned Off Toxic Chemicals From Ohio Train. Was It The Right Move?" (Washington Post)

"Biden Admin Details Ohio Toxic Train Cleanup, Points To Congress" (E&E News)

"Agencies, Lawmakers Announce Federal Aid For Eastern Ohio" (E&E News)

"What the Ohio Train Derailment Says About the Dark Side of Plastics" (Bloomberg Green)

"Water Testing After Ohio Derailment — Led By Rail Company Itself — Condemned As ‘Sloppy’" (HuffPost)

"Ohio Chemical Train Disaster Spotlights Vacancy at US Regulator" (Bloomberg)

Source: Washington Post, 02/20/2023