The media has finally started covering the horrible train derailement, chemical leak in East Palestine, Ohio, which occurred earlier this month. News Views has put up discussions and blog blurbs since the Norfolk Southern train derailment occurred.
Now people have pointed fingers at Norfolk Southern, the operator of the train, for helping lobby against railroad safety regulations that could have mitigated the impacts of the crash. A new lawsuit aims to get the company to pay for medical examinations for locals in case there are long-term health impacts associated with the leaked chemicals. The National Transportation Safety Board, which is leading the investigation into the derailment, said it believes a mechanical issue with one of the railcar axles is responsible for the accident.
In 2015, the Obama administration released a sweeping set of final rules that provided more stringent requirements for railroads hauling flammable liquids, including crude oil and ethanol and required oil trains to have stronger tank cars, better brakes, slower speed limits. Guess who roled these regulations back in 2018? TFG—the disgraced, twice impeached, one term president.
The rail industry had resisted the new braking requirements. The American Association of Railroads, a freight rail industry group, had previously attempted to appeal the Obama administration’s decision, stating that the rules imposed unreasonably high costs to railroads and that the government had overstated the benefits of the brakes.
In 2016, the Federal Railroad Administration said electronic air braking, which allows for faster stops than conventional air brakes, would have lessened the damage from the oil train derailment that occurred during the Obama Years.
Since the train derailment in eastern Ohio, train derailments have occurred in Splendora, north-east of Houston, Texas and in Enoree, South Carolina.