Biden Administration Expects Civil Penalties Paid After Ohio Train Disaster

Senior officials informed journalists on Friday that the Biden administration is exploring civil fines for Norfolk Southern, as well as a legally enforceable order.

This order would be to guarantee the firm pays for remediation costs related to the hazardous incident in Ohio on February 3.

Penalties to be Paid

Administration representatives described the activities carried out by FEMA, the EPA, Health and Human Services, the Transportation Department, and the National Transportation Safety Board in a call.

This work was reportedly aimed at emphasizing the efforts among many organizations on the ground in East Palestine, Ohio.

The authorities will perform the repair and charge Norfolk Southern three times as much money, authorities announced Friday, despite the railroad’s prior commitment to cover the costs.

Numerous government representatives observed that tragedies in the past, such as the 2013 crash in Quebec of a speeding train transporting crude oil, prompted regulations and legislative change.

They expressed their confidence that this could have comparable results.

The representatives also tried to defend the clamor of scrutiny of what many see as a tardy reaction by the government.

In specific, this includes DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who did not say anything openly about the disaster until more than a week after it occurred.

He is now claiming a mandatory evacuation was in position prior, due to the risk of a blast, and authorities were informing people to stay out of the area. Additionally, they said employees in the field could become distracted by high-ranking authorities’ presence.

The issue of if electronic control pneumatic braking systems may have prevented the catastrophe was discussed by authorities in the conversation.

A rule which would have compelled their deployment on specific trains transporting extremely dangerous chemicals was removed under the Trump administration in 2015.

This was mandated by law after a National Academy of Sciences investigation could not demonstrate clearly how they were superior to alternative braking choices.

As soon as we approved it in 2015, an onslaught of lawsuits was filed against it, according to one intelligence source.

In 2016, Congress raised the threshold for the rule’s costing system and instructed us to basically rewrite it with additional fees to take into account.

The official continued; therefore, we determined the security gain was enough. Then, Congress intervened. Thus, that artificially raised the standard for the regulation and showed this part of the rule wasn’t supported.

Disaster Unavoidable

As it would have applicable “ONLY to HIGH HAZARD FLAMMABLE TRAINS,” NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy insisted on Thursday that whether the rule was in place or not, the train wouldn’t have had those breaks installed and the disaster still would have happened.

She said the train that wrecked in East Palestine contained only three placarded Class 3 volatile liquids wagons.

This article appeared in Conservative Cardinal and has been published here with permission.