HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Governor Josh Shapiro announced that he has received commitment from Norfolk Southern to pay millions of dollars for damages to Pennsylvania and its residents as a result of the Feb. 3 train derailment in Ohio.

According to the Governor’s Office of Communications, this announcement came days after Shapiro met with the CEO of Norfolk Southern, Alan Shaw.

The Feb. 3 train derailment in Ohio impacted residents in Beaver and Lawrence counties, where Shapiro advised residents to evacuate while Norfolk Southern conducted a “controlled release” of chemicals found within the train cars.

Since then, Shapiro has communicated that he has been frustrated with the derailment response.

According to the Governor’s Office of Communications, the funding is a starting point and Shapiro is going to continue to push Norfolk Southern for further accountability, as well as to cover additional costs.

During the meeting, it is stated that Shapiro demanded Norfolk Southern to cover the entirety of the costs that were incurred by Commonwealth agencies and local fire departments that responded to the derailment. Shapiro also demanded that a $1 million community relief fund was set up for businesses and residents in Beaver and Lawrence counties who lost revenue as a result of the derailment.

Norfolk Southern agreed to pay the Commonwealth to recoup losses due to the train derailment, as well as cover costs that may accrue over time with continued testing and monitoring.

“Norfolk Southern’s train derailment has hurt communities in Western Pennsylvania, and to make matters worse, the company’s disregard for crisis management best practices injected unnecessary risk into the situation and created confusion for residents and first responders,” said Shapiro. “Norfolk Southern must do better – and the entire cost of this derailment and its impact on the Commonwealth must be picked up by them, not the people of Pennsylvania. My Administration is doing whatever it takes to help Pennsylvanians impacted by this incident, and I will continue to hold Norfolk Southern accountable for their actions.”

According to the Governor’s Office of Communications, Norfolk Southern has agreed to pay:

  • $5,000,000 to reimburse local fire departments in Western Pennsylvania that need to replace contaminated or damaged equipment that was used in responding to the derailment. 
  • $1,000,000 for a Community Relief Fund to be run by Beaver and Lawrence County officials to support business owners and residents impacted by the derailment. 
  • $950,000 to cover Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) work in Western Pennsylvania.
  • $400,000 for the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s (DOH) services, including:
    • Costs associated with the Health Resource Center (HRC) – which has already served more than 250 residents in since opening on February 28 – like rent, supplies, and staff time. 
    • Costs associated with DOH’s Poison Control Call Line, which has tracked every call related to train derailment. 
  • $30,000 to cover the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s (PEMA) staff time since the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center (CRCC) activation. 

The Governor’s Office of Communications noted that Norfolk Southern’s agreement to pay these costs is separate from any legal obligations the company might face.