Governor Josh Shapiro Announces Pennsylvania Fire Departments and First Responders Have Been Repaid $1 Million by Norfolk Southern So Far
March 30, 2023
Governor Shapiro is monitoring Norfolk Southern’s compliance with his demands, and continues to deliver on his promise to hold Norfolk Southern accountable for any and all impacts to Pennsylvania.
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Josh Shapiro announced that Norfolk Southern has completed their first $1 million in reimbursements to Pennsylvania fire departments, first responders, and Beaver County Hazmat. This initial $1 million from Norfolk Southern is part of the funding Governor Shapiro secured in reimbursements for equipment that was damaged or contaminated during the response and remediation to Norfolk Southern’s train derailment in East Palestine. Fire companies from Beaver, Lawrence, and Washington Counties responded to the derailment and the controlled vent and burn – and Governor Shapiro is working to ensure they receive any and all funding they need.
Governor Shapiro continues to deliver on his promise to hold Norfolk Southern accountable for any and all impacts to the Commonwealth. Last month, Governor Shapiro secured an initial commitment from Norfolk Southern to pay for millions in damages to Pennsylvania and impacted residents in Beaver and Lawrence Counties, including covering costs to local responders.
“Norfolk Southern’s train derailment hurt communities in Western Pennsylvania, put our first responders at risk, and has taken up immense local and state resources,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “Norfolk Southern must do better – and the entire cost of this derailment and its impact on the Commonwealth must be picked up by them, not the people of Pennsylvania. This critical funding will help make fire departments and first responders whole, and my Administration will continue to hold Norfolk Southern accountable for any and all impacts on our Commonwealth.”
“Our fire companies and first responders put their health and safety on the line for Pennsylvanians each day – we are proud of the good work they do and we thank them for their service,” said Acting Pennsylvania State Fire Commissioner Thomas Cook. “In order to continue doing their jobs safely and effectively, our firefighters need the right gear. We urge Norfolk Southern to continue to swiftly reimburse our departments and their local partners for any damaged equipment.”
In addition to securing this critical funding for Pennsylvania fire departments and first responders, Governor Shapiro has led the way to ensure that Pennsylvania residents are receiving reimbursements for losses they incurred as a result of Norfolk Southern’s train derailment. Governor Shapiro is fighting for Pennsylvanians like those he met with in Darlington Township – who just this week received reimbursements for 20 dozen eggs they lost after the derailment. Pennsylvanians who want to apply for reimbursements should visit this link to learn how to apply as the Shapiro Administration continues working to hold Norfolk Southern accountable and secure funding for all damages to our Commonwealth.
The Shapiro Administration plans to maintain a long-term presence in Beaver County to continue assisting residents impacted by the Norfolk Southern train derailment. Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) staff are continuing to conduct the Assessment of Chemical Exposure (ACE) survey among residents and first responders living near the derailment. The surveys help residents identify symptoms, experiences, and concerns about the impact of the train derailment on their lives.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has been conducting independent water and soil sampling to closely monitor water contamination risks within a two-mile radius of the East Palestine derailment. Concerned residents who are beyond the two-mile radius may reach out to DEP to request testing by calling 412-442-4000.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture launched a hotline for concerned farmers and producers. Those who have questions or concerns can contact the hotline at 855-777-6735.
Visit the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s (PEMA) dashboard for more information about resources available to Pennsylvania residents.