DARLINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WKBN) – Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro announced Monday that Norfolk Southern will pay communities in Pennsylvania impacted by the East Palestine train derailment, and it’s just a starting point.
Following a meeting with Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw in which Shapiro said he demanded the rail company cover the entirety of the costs incurred by the Commonwealth, local agencies and local fire departments that responded to the derailment, Shaw agreed to set up a $1 million community relief fund for businesses and residents in Beaver and Lawrence counties who lost revenue as a result of the incident.
At the Governor’s request, Norfolk Southern agreed to pay the Commonwealth to recoup losses due to its train derailment and cover costs that may accrue over time with continued testing and monitoring.
The money from Norfolk Southern is broken down in the following manner:
- $5,000,000 to reimburse local fire departments in Western Pennsylvania that need to replace contaminated or damaged equipment that was used in responding to the derailment.
- $1,000,000 for a Community Relief Fund to be run by Beaver and Lawrence County officials to support business owners and residents impacted by the derailment.
- $950,000 to cover Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) work in Western Pennsylvania.
- $400,000 for the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s (DOH) services, including:
-Costs associated with the Health Resource Center (HRC) – which has already served more than 250 residents in since opening on February 28 – like rent, supplies and staff time.
– Costs associated with DOH’s Poison Control Call Line, which has tracked every call related to train derailment.
- $30,000 to cover the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s (PEMA) staff time since the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center (CRCC) activation.
“Norfolk Southern’s train derailment has hurt communities in Western Pennsylvania, and to make matters worse, the company’s disregard for crisis management best practices injected unnecessary risk into the situation and created confusion for residents and first responders,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “Norfolk Southern must do better – and the entire cost of this derailment and its impact on the Commonwealth must be picked up by them, not the people of Pennsylvania. My Administration is doing whatever it takes to help Pennsylvanians impacted by this incident, and I will continue to hold Norfolk Southern accountable for their actions.”
Norfolk Southern’s agreement to pay these costs is separate and apart from any otherwise applicable legal obligations that might be imposed.