Railroad will use Ohio-based firms for derailment cleanup


EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (AP) — Norfolk Southern has agreed to exclusively use Ohio-based businesses to clean up the site of a fiery train derailment last month in a small town near the Pennsylvania state line.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost made the announcement Wednesday. Yost said he thought it a good idea that the railroad hire statewide businesses to do the work, which could take two years to complete.

No one was injured in the Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine, but concerns over a potential explosion led state and local officials to approve releasing and burning toxic vinyl chloride from five tanker cars that forced the evacuations of half the village and closed schools for a week.

Fifteen Ohio-based companies are already involved in the ongoing cleanup. Under the agreement announced by Yost, Norfolk Southern would be allowed to select an out-of-state vendor in the unlikely case that no Ohio companies have the expertise to complete specific work.

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