Norfolk Southern agrees to pay $15M civil penalty for East Palestine train derailment

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  • Norfolk Southern agreed to pay $15 million in penalties and $57.1 million in past cleanup costs for a 2023 derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
  • The railroad has vowed to make safety improvements, install safety equipment and improve training under a proposed consent decree.
  • The U.S. Justice Department and EPA sued Norfolk Southern to ensure it covers all cleanup and long-term costs of the derailment.

Norfolk Southern agreed to pay a $15 million civil penalty and $57.1 million in past government cleanup costs as well as millions in future costs to resolve a U.S. government lawsuit over a 2023 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, court documents show.

Under a proposed consent decree, the railroad also agreed to make significant safety improvements, install additional safety equipment, improve training and to pay for medical monitoring for health impacts tied to the derailment and release of hazardous chemicals.

The U.S. Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency sued Norfolk Southern in March 2023 to ensure that the railroad pays the full cost of cleanup and any long-term effects of the derailment. Norfolk Southern will also reimburse EPA for future response costs under the proposed consent decree that is subject to public comment and court approval.

NORFOLK SOUTHERN TO PAY $600 MILLION SETTLEMENT FOR EAST PALESTINE TRAIN DERAILMENT

The civil penalty is for violations of the Clean Water act.

The company, which did not admit wrongdoing as part of the settlement, did not immediately comment.

Last month, Norfolk Southern agreed to pay $600 million to settle a class action lawsuit over the derailment. The settlement covers claims from residents and businesses in the city and impacted surrounding communities.

The incident sparked calls for railroad safety reforms in Congress, but legislation has stalled.

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