EPA to Assume Control of Ohio Derailment Response
The agency will require Norfolk Southern to remediate East Palestine's toxic site
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will take control of the response to the Ohio train derailment and order rail company Norfolk Southern to clean up the contamination, the agency said Tuesday, the Biden administration’s strongest response yet to the disaster.
Rather than clean up the toxic wreck voluntarily, as it has done so far, Norfolk Southern will be required to remediate the site under a plan approved by the EPA, which will also take over some aspects of the response from Ohio. Norfolk Southern will also have to pay the remediation costs — as well as pay for cleaning services that the agency will offer to residents and businesses, participate in public meetings and share information publicly, according to the EPA.
The EPA's step comes 18 days after the Feb. 3 train derailment, which released toxic chemicals and fumes over a wide area. In the two weeks since evacuated residents were allowed to return to their homes, national attention on East Palestine has intensified, as many residents remain angry and fearful about potential contamination and health effects.
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