UNITED STATES NEWS

Justice Department sues Norfolk Southern over derailment

Mar 31, 2023, 6:25 AM | Updated: 8:26 am

The federal government filed a lawsuit against railroad Norfolk Southern over environmental damage caused by a train derailment on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border that spilled hazardous chemicals into nearby creeks and rivers.

The U.S. Department of Justice said it’s seeking to hold the company accountable for “unlawfully polluting the nation’s waterways and to ensure it pays the full cost of the environmental cleanup,” in the lawsuit filed Thursday.

It’s asking for fines under the Clean Water Act and for a judgment to hold the railroad accountable for past and future costs.

The derailment in early February led to the evacuation of half of the 5,000 residents of East Palestine when responders intentionally burned toxic chemicals in some of the derailed cars to prevent an uncontrolled explosion.

Chemicals from the derailed cars and firefighting foam seeped into creeks and rivers near the village, with some eventually ending up in the Ohio River. So far, more than 9 million gallons (34 million liters) of wastewater have been removed from the site and hauled to hazardous waste storage sites in Ohio and other states, according to the state officials.

Government officials say tests haven’t found dangerous levels of chemicals in the air or water in the area, but many residents remain concerned about their long-term health.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said three weeks after the disaster that the spilled contaminants killed an estimated 44,000 fish, mostly small ones such as minnows.

Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw has repeatedly apologized for the impact the derailment and the company has pledged to pay for the cleanup. The railroad has promised so far to spend close to $28 million to help the Ohio community recover while also announcing several voluntary safety upgrades.

Connor Spielmaker, a spokesperson for Norfolk Southern, said the company is focused on the cleanup and working at the direction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Our job right now is to make progress every day cleaning up the site, assisting residents whose lives were impacted by the derailment, and investing in the future of East Palestine and the surrounding areas,” he said in a statement.

Ohio filed a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern just over two weeks ago to make sure it pays for the cleanup and environmental damage, and pays for groundwater and soil monitoring in the years ahead.

United States News

Associated Press

AP Source: General Motors and Bedrock real estate plan to redevelop GM Detroit headquarters towers

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors and real estate firm Bedrock will jointly study how to redevelop the automaker’s huge headquarters tower complex in downtown Detroit, a person briefed on the plans said. GM CEO Mary Barra and and Bedrock Chairman Dan Gilbert plan to hold a news conference Monday afternoon to discuss the deal involving […]

1 hour ago

Former President Donald Trump waves as he arrives at Manhattan criminal court with his legal team o...

Associated Press

Prosecutors seek $3,000 fine against Trump over social media posts that they say violate gag order

Donald Trump arrived Monday at a New York court for the start of jury selection in his hush money trial, marking a singular moment in U.S. history.

1 hour ago

Associated Press

The Latest | Jury selection set to begin in Trump’s history-making hush money trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump arrived Monday at a New York court for the start of jury selection in his hush money trial, marking a historic moment as the former president and presumptive nominee for this year’s Republican presidential ticket answers to criminal charges. It’s the first criminal trial of any former U.S. commander-in-chief […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Justice Thomas misses Supreme Court session Monday with no explanation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was absent from the court Monday with no explanation. Thomas, 75, also was not participating remotely in arguments, as justices sometimes do when they are ill or otherwise can’t be there in person. Chief Justice John Roberts announced Thomas’ absence, saying that his colleague would still participate […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

FBI opens criminal investigation into Baltimore bridge collapse, AP source says

The FBI is conducting a criminal investigation into the deadly collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge that is focused on the circumstances leading up to it and whether all federal laws were followed, according to someone familiar with the matter. The person was not authorized to discuss details of the investigation publicly and spoke […]

4 hours ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

Sponsored Articles

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Justice Department sues Norfolk Southern over derailment