Press Release

Welch Pushes for Support for East Palestine Families After Norfolk Southern Derailment

Mar 23, 2023

WASHINGTON – During a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing yesterday, Senator Peter Welch (D-VT) called for stronger support for families in East Palestine, OH, who were exposed to toxic contaminants following the February 3rd derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying vinyl chloride and other toxic chemicals. Families in East Palestine face an uncertain future, as Norfolk Southern and the United States Environmental Protection Agency work to remediate more than 25,000 tons of contaminated soil and approximately 7.5 million gallons of contaminated liquid wastewater. While Norfolk Southern has agreed to temporarily relocate some families, it remains unclear how much long-term support the company will provide for the residents of East Palestine.  

“Small communities have something very, very special. And it’s trust. You trust one another. And there’s been a breach of trust here,” said Sen. Welch , addressing East Palestine resident Misti Allison, whose young son was traumatized by the derailment. “One of the biggest beneficiaries of the trust in a community like yours [is] Norfolk Southern. They can roll their 2-3 mile trains through there without anybody asking a question because you trust them to do the right thing. And they didn’t do the right thing.”  

To hear Sen. Welch’s full opening statement, please click here or click the image below.