HARRISBURG, Pa. (WKBN) – Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro’s administration is working to ensure fire departments in western Pennsylvania are reimbursed by Norfolk Southern for the costs of replacing all equipment contaminated during the response to the East Palestine train derailment.
Fire stations in Beaver, Lawrence and Washington counties have reported contaminated turnout gear, hose and Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA), along with some drop tanks for water supply operations.
According to a news release from Shapiro’s office, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Office of the State Fire Commissioner have reached out directly to local fire departments and are working with them to identify and catalog their damaged and contaminated equipment, and to streamline submissions to the Norfolk Southern claims director.
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“First responders answered the call – their departments deserve to be made whole and we expect Norfolk Southern to quickly reimburse any department that responded to the derailment and needs to replace equipment. My administration will continue to hold Norfolk Southern accountable for any and all impacts on the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Shapiro.
Last week, Shapiro submitted a letter to Norfolk Southern raising questions about the emergency response that was undertaken in the immediate aftermath of the derailment and vowing to hold the company accountable.
He also joined Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan for a press conference in East Palestine on Tuesday and then met with affected residents in Beaver County.