The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered Norfolk Southern on Tuesday to pay for the cleanup of the East Palestine, Ohio train wreck and chemical release as federal regulators took charge of long-term recovery efforts and promised worried residents they wouldn’t be forgotten.
Using its authority under the federal Superfund law, EPA told Norfolk Southern to take all available measures to clean up contaminated air and water, and also said the company would be required to reimburse the federal government for a new program to provide cleaning services for impacted residents and businesses.
“In no way, shape or form will Norfolk Southern get off the hook for the mess they created,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan vowed at a news conference in East Palestine. “I know this order cannot undue the nightmare that families in this town have been living with, but it will begin to deliver much-needed justice for the pain that Norfolk Southern has caused.”
He warned that if Norfolk Southern fails to comply, the agency will perform the work itself and seek triple damages from the company.
Back locally with the Feds now joining Ohio and Pennsylvania in their efforts to force Norfolk Southern to clean up the mess they left behind there are still question about how far that mess is spreading.
So far, State and Federal leaders say there are no widespread concerns.
“One of the things we did Today at our home visits was to drink the water. This village water is safe. ”
“I want to be very clear about something, Pennsylvania continues to see no concerning air readings after this incident.”
Further water testing in both states is also underway.
Governor Josh Shaprio said Pennsylvania’s first results should be done in the coming days.