Last Updated on February 27, 2023 at 10:05am
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) today provided an update on environmental monitoring and community assistance for the Village of East Palestine, Ohio. Norfolk Southern is committed to ensuring the health and safety of the community and to help the community recover and thrive. As of the evening of February 14, Norfolk Southern has:
- Completed more than 400 in-home air tests in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other governmental agencies. In-home air monitoring has not detected substances related to the incident and does not indicate health risks.
- Implemented an extensive outdoor air monitoring program in the community. Thousands of data points have been collected, which continue to indicate no risk to health from incident-related substances. Air monitoring is also being conducted in the broader region outside of the Village of East Palestine.
- Actively sampling the Village of East Palestine’s drinking water supply wells, drinking water system, and private wells in areas potentially impacted by the incident.
- Distributed over $1.5 million in direct financial assistance to more than 1,000 families and a number of businesses to cover costs related to the evacuation. Those include reimbursements and cash advancements for lodging, travel, food, clothes, and other related items.
- Established a $1 million fund available immediately to the community.
After a further review of areas affected by the evacuation orders and at the request of East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway and other public officials, the company announced today that it is expanding the geographic area eligible for reimbursements for costs and inconvenience related to evacuating the region. All East Palestine residents in the 44413 zip code are now eligible. Residents should bring proof of residency with them to the Family Assistance Center.
Those in need of assistance should visit the Norfolk Southern Family Assistance Center at Abundant Life Church located 46469 State Route 46, New Waterford, Ohio, or call 1-800-230-7049. Residents who want air and water testing should contact the Residential Re-Entry Request Hotline at (330) 849-3919. If residents have further questions or concerns, they may call the CTEH Taggart Road Hotline at (234) 542-6474 to speak with a toxicologist.
This progress follows an announcement yesterday that the company is creating a $1 million fund to be available immediately as one component of its planned support for the community. The fund will supplement other efforts to support residents, businesses, and first responders, which include:
- Reimbursing the East Palestine Fire Department $220,000 to replace Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) air packs, which allow firefighters to breathe compressed air when responding to fires.
- Providing more than 100 air purifiers for residents to use in their homes. Air purifiers are also being purchased for the East Palestine municipal building in coordination with the City Manager.
- Coordinating and funded cleaning and air monitoring services for the East Palestine Elementary and High Schools.