EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw was back in East Palestine on Wednesday, renewing Norfolk Southern’s commitment to do whatever is needed to help the village. He took a tour of East Palestine Park, but also talked about the cleanup, long-term testing and opening of a permanent office.

The park has been described as the heartbeat of the community.

“I’ve heard that a lot when I’ve been here talking to folks about what matters,” Shaw said.

Norfolk Southern has agreed to make a significant investment in the park and is also looking to buy a building and open a permanent office in East Palestine.

“We’re going to stay here for the long term, and so we’re looking at something in town, hopefully, close to Main Street, to make sure that we continue our presence here,” Shaw said.

Shaw said he visited the derailment site twice on Wednesday to check on the progress. He thinks it’ll take a couple more months to complete the cleanup.

“What we’re doing is we’re acting with a real sense of urgency. We also know that we got to do it right and we want to make sure it’s thorough. We’re really coordinated and working under the oversite of the Ohio EPA. We’ve made a lot of progress. We’ve already moved 12,000 tons of dirt off the site and 9 million gallons of water off site,” Shaw said.

Shaw says Norfolk Southern is working with the Ohio attorney general on a plan to provide money for long-term water and health testing, along with property valuations.

“You know, as I’ve sat down with the community members, what I’ve heard from the citizens here is those are the things they’re really concerned about going on for — water, access to health care and their property valuations. So I’ve worked with my team, we’re working with the state AG and I’ve talked with Governor DeWine about it as well as setting up funds that can take those concerns off the table,” Shaw said.

Shaw also reiterated what he has said several times.

“I’m terribly sorry that this has happened and Norfolk Southern is going to do what’s right,” he said.

Shaw ended by saying the railroad has already spent nearly $27 million in East Palestine.

“And that’s just a start. We’re going to be here a year from now, five years from now and 10 years from now. We’re going to have a response that makes East Palestine and Norfolk Southern proud,” he said.