EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said he’s been following news of last Friday’s train derailment in East Palestine and the efforts of local officials to get neighbors back in their homes and businesses.

Brown said he’s been talking with federal safety and transportation officials in the days since the derailment and evacuation saying he’s been “disturbed” by what he’s calling a lack of attention at the federal level to train safety.

“I’m concerned about what this means to the health of the people. Not just in East Palestine but Columbiana County, generally, and north to Mahoning County or south,” Brown said.

Brown says he wants to see action to ensure all railroad companies are doing what they can to protect their employees and maintain their trains and equipment.

The Transporation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO sent a letter Thursday to the Federal Railroad Administration to express concerns about the safety of freight rail operations in the U.S. and to urge more oversight.

The group cited safety threats and an increase in derailments on several railroads since the adoption of the Precision Scheduled Railroading operating model in 2015, the letter read.

Precision railroading is intended to increase efficiency and reduce costs, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

The group also cited a program where rail workers can report safety incidents “without fear of repercussion” but said, “not one of the seven major U.S. freight railroads voluntarily use the program.”