Home » Norfolk Southern furthers environmental efforts in East Palestine

Norfolk Southern furthers environmental efforts in East Palestine

Last Updated on February 27, 2023 at 10:05am

ATLANTA, February 17, 2023 – Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) continues its comprehensive and extensive site cleanup effort in East Palestine, Ohio with regulatory oversight from multiple agencies, aiming to meet or exceed regulatory requirements and alleviate the concerns of its residents.

Norfolk Southern is committed to coordinating the cleanup project and paying for its associated costs. Several local, state, and national authorities are working with Norfolk Southern to confirm the necessary cleanup standards to achieve and maintain a safe environment for residents. Recovery crews are using highly specialized systems in their work, and their efforts have resulted in safe air and municipal water sources, as validated by testing done by federal and state environmental and health agencies. Work will continue, under the oversight of the agencies, until the area is restored and in compliance with regulatory requirements.

Oversight of the project involves federal, state, and local authorities with various jurisdictions, areas of expertise, and regulations they must abide by. For example:

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is working with the Ohio EPA to analyze soil, water, and air samples to determine environmental safety.
  • The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is examining the impact of the incident on wildlife.
  • The Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Emergency Management Agency, and Columbiana County Health District are sharing health and safety information and guidance for the public.
  • Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, in collaboration with the Biden administration, have involved the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other experts from the Department of Health and Human Services to continue to examine public health risks and impacts from the chemicals released from the incident.

Norfolk Southern’s primary focus is to lead the recovery and cleanup efforts overseen by and consistent with the direction provide by all of these agencies. The efforts began as soon as crews could safely approach the site and continues today.

The first phase of the cleanup has concentrated on safety measures to preserve life and property, as well as excavating more than 9,000 tons of contaminated debris and soil for proper disposal and more than a million gallons of impacted water. The contaminated water is being transported out of the area by truck for disposal at a licensed disposal facility, and the contaminated soil will be transported away from the site to an appropriately permitted facility once all approvals are received.

Norfolk Southern is deeply committed to the cleanup work to ensure that East Palestine’s residents and natural environment not only recover but thrive.

“Our company will be working tirelessly every day to get East Palestine back on its feet as soon as possible,” said Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan H. Shaw. “We know we will be judged by our actions, and we are taking this accountability and responsibility very seriously.”


Investor Inquiries:
Luke Nichols, 470-867-4807

Images from East Palestine, Ohio

A liquid containment rig helps crews remove standing water from the site to prevent runoff.
Crews of cleanup testers track progress multiple times a day, helping identify soil or water to be removed. More than 1 million gallons of liquid have been removed from the site so far.
Heavy equipment removes soil on and below the surface. Contaminated soil is removed from the site and transported for treatment.
Dozens of large-capacity tanks securely store removed contaminants for processing.
A line of tanker trucks on standby for managing water on site.

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