U.S. Reaches Settlement with Norfolk Southern Over East Palestine Derailment

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement valued at over $310 million with Norfolk Southern Railway Company to pay for damage caused by the Feb. 3, 2023 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. Together with other response costs and rail safety enhancements, Norfolk Southern estimates that it will spend more than $1 billion to address the contamination and other harms caused by the East Palestine derailment and improve rail safety and operations. 

Under the settlement, Norfolk Southern has agreed to: 

  • Spend an estimated $235 million for all past and future costs. 
  • Pay a $15 million civil penalty under the Clean Water Act. 
  • Pay $25 million for a 20-year community health program for qualified individuals in affected counties – including those in Pennsylvania – as well as first responders who worked at the site. 
  • Implement long-term monitoring of groundwater, surface water, and private drinking water for a period of 10 years. 
  • Improve the safety of transporting hazardous materials by rail. 
  • Improve coordination with government officials and other stakeholders during emergency responses, including derailments involving a hazardous material spill, as well as any vent and burn proposed by the company. Click here to read the press release. 
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