Norfolk Southern CEO agrees to testify before Congress on Ohio train derailment

Norfolk Southern Chief Executive Alan Shaw to testify before Senate panel next week

Norfolk Southern Chief Executive Alan Shaw has agreed to testify before Congress regarding the Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. 

In a statement Wednesday, the rail operator said Shaw would testify before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on March 9. 

"Alan will share what he knows about the incident," Norfolk Southern told FOX Business. "As the [National Transportation Safety Board] has noted, there are also industry-wide issues, and we would expect that other industry participants will also be involved in future hearings. The rail industry needs to learn as much as it can from East Palestine, as can the owners of the rail cars." 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
NSC NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORP. 224.50 +2.56 +1.15%

EPA DIRECTOR ADVISES EAST PALESTINE CHILDREN TO STAY OUT OF CREEKS, STREAMS AMID OHIO TRAIN DERAILMENT 

Committee Chairman Tom Carper, D-Del., also confirmed Shaw's testimony. 

East Palestine disaster site

Norfolk Southern's chief executive will answer Congress' questions next week on the freight train derailment that happened on Feb. 3, in East Palestine, Ohio.  (AP Photo/Matt Freed, File / AP Newsroom)

"This is an issue that affects a lot of folks and we and to make sure we get to the truth, and we want to make sure we get there sooner rather than later," he reportedly said. "We look forward to his testimony, and that of other state and local officials, including appropriate people from the [Environmental Protection Agency]."

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has proposed legislation that would make railroads, like the one involved in last month’s fiery crash and toxic chemical release in Ohio, subject to a series of new federal safety regulations and financial consequences. The Railway Safety Act of 2023, co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown and JD Vance, a Democrat and Republican, respectively, and four others of both parties and introduced Wednesday, responds to regulatory concerns raised by the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, near the Pennsylvania border. 

CHEMICAL DISPOSAL FROM OHIO TRAIN DERAILMENT CAUSES CONCERN: ‘NOT TOO HAPPY ABOUT IT’

Ohio train derailment

Residents of East Palestine, Ohio, remain concerned about long-term health risks. (AP Photo/Matt Freed, File / AP Newsroom)

The legislation would subject all trains carrying hazardous materials to additional safety regulations and state notification requirements, and increase penalties for violations. 

Though no one was injured or killed, the accident and its aftermath imperiled the entire village and nearby neighborhoods in both states. It prompted an evacuation of about half the town's 4,000 residents, an ongoing multi-governmental emergency response and lingering worries among villagers of long-term health impacts.

Eats Palestine smoke plume

Congress is seeking more regulation on trains carrying hazardous materials after the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.  (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File / AP Newsroom)

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

"Through this legislation, Congress has a real opportunity to ensure that what happened in East Palestine will never happen again," Vance said in a statement. "We owe every American the peace of mind that their community is protected from a catastrophe of this kind."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.