Norfolk Southern CEO to testify before Congress; read part of his prepared statement here


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More than a month after a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine followed by a series of other derailments and accidents, CEO Alan Shaw is set to testify Thursday before Congress.

Shaw is set to apologize for the derailment, according to the prepared remarks released Wednesday.

“I am deeply sorry for the impact this derailment has had on the people of East Palestine and surrounding communities, and I am determined to make it right.”

Alan Shaw, CEO Norfolk Southern

The East Palestine derailment happened on Feb. 3 when a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials went off the tracks and bursted into flames. One of the toxic chemicals on board the train was vinyl chloride, a chemical known to cause cancer.

“We will clean the site safely, thoroughly, and with urgency. We are making progress every day,” Shaw said. “Working now under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s recent Unilateral Administrative Order, we have submitted a long-term removal plan that will guide our comprehensive testing program for the community’s water, air, and soil.”

He added that officials are continuing to do water, soil and air monitoring in East Palestine.

Officials did a controlled release of five of the train cars, releasing the chemicals into the air three days after the derailment in an effort to prevent a more dangerous explosion. The controlled released forced nearly half of the town of 4,800 residents to be evacuated.

Five weeks after the derailment, some residents are still cautious about returning to their homes as others begin to report health problems including headaches and nausea.

Norfolk Southern committed more than $20 million in reimbursements to families, the East Palestine Fire Department and other entities.

Shaw’s hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Senator JD Vance are expected to testify as well.