Buttigieg urges safety changes after fiery Ohio derailment
- (AP) — Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg wants the nation’s freight railroads to immediately act to improve safety while regulators try to strengthen safety rules in the wake of a fiery derailment in Ohio that forced evacuations when toxic chemicals were released and burned.
- He also said Congress should raise the current $225,455 limit on railroad safety fines at least tenfold to create a better deterrent.Buttigieg criticized railroads for lobbying against the braking rule and challenging it in court.
- Mike DeWine was incredulous when he learned the Norfolk Southern train that derailed didn’t carry that “high-hazardous” designation, meaning that the railroad didn’t have to notify the state about the dangerous chemicals it was carrying.“This is absurd,” DeWine said.
- “I do think that there’s a moment to look in the mirror as an entire industry and decide what we can do better,” said Greg Regan, president of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department coalition.
- Buttigieg announced a package of reforms Tuesday — two days after he warned the railroad responsible for the derailment, Norfolk Southern, to fulfill its promises to clean up the mess just outside East Palestine, Ohio, and help the town recover.
- That is likely just the start, as the EPA made clear Tuesday that Norfolk Southern will be responsible for the cleanup costs, and several lawsuits have already been filed against the railroad.
By JOSH FUNK Associated PressOMAHA, Neb. (AP) Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg wants the nations freight railroads to immediately act to improve safety while regulators try to strengthen s [+8253 chars]