Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan Shaw discussed NS’ efforts to remove contaminated soil from the derailment site, as well as the company’s commitment to the East Palestine community in an interview with Bloomberg.
“I’m confident that ultimately the data and the science will prevail and we’ll get a comprehensive plan with the EPA to fully remediate the village of East Palestine,” Shaw said.
The company so far has reimbursed residents and made financial commitments totaling $11.4 million, Shaw said. He reiterated his pledge to fix the damage and help the town over the long term. That includes $300,000 donated to the high school, middle school and elementary school sports programs to make up for cancellations because opposing teams don’t want to come to the town.
“We’re sitting down with community leaders on a long-term investment plan,” he said.
“Right now my focal point is on the environmental remediation, on helping the community recover, helping the community thrive and on safety,” he said. “We’ll have an opportunity to talk in the future about the financial impact of this.”
Shaw called for an industrywide discussion on improving safety that includes railroads, shippers, railcar manufacturers and railcar leasing companies. Norfolk Southern doesn’t own plastic pellet cars, Shaw said, which was the type of railcar that had a wheel bearing failure and likely caused the derailment.