Norfolk Southern announces East Palestine track excavation and remediation plan

ATLANTA, Feb. 22, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) announced that it will now excavate the soil and replace the tracks in the derailment area as part of an enhanced remediation plan. The change comes in response to feedback from the citizens of East Palestine, Ohio. Work on the first rail line will begin immediately, with the second line to be replaced directly after.  

"Our original plan would have effectively and safely remediated the soil under our tracks. As I listened to community members over the past two weeks, they shared with me their concerns about that approach. I appreciate the direct feedback, and I am addressing it. In coordination with Ohio and U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies, we are changing our remediation plan to temporarily remove the tracks so we can excavate the soil. It is important to me that the members of this community have confidence in Norfolk Southern's remediation efforts and that we are working closely with local, state, and federal agencies. An important part of this plan is to listen to the concerns of the community and that's a primary reason why we are going to enhance our plan," said Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan H. Shaw.

All of Norfolk Southern's work at the site has been performed in accordance with widely accepted environmental practices. To date, the company has excavated more than 4,800 cubic yards of soil, or approximately 400 truckloads. Additionally, 1.7 million gallons, or approximately 200 tanker loads, of liquid have been collected for disposal.

The work will begin immediately. Soil preparation will be followed by track removal along the first rail line, excavation of the soil, and then rebuilding the track. The same process will then follow with the second track. Trains will continue running at slower speeds on one track while the other is being excavated. 

The site will be fully remediated in accordance with the company's long-term plan that is being developed with the Ohio and U.S. Environmental Protection Agencies. Below is an overview of the process for the next two weeks:

Remediation Overview

  1. Begin preparation for the removal and excavation of the first rail line.
  2. Install and begin sampling shallow groundwater monitoring wells near the site.
  3. Continue active soil sampling around the site.
  4. Continue evaluating sediment and sampling in Sulphur Run, Leslie Run, and Bull Creek.
  5. Continue to excavate soil on the site.
  6. Continue surface water sampling, while monitoring and aerating the streams.
  7. Evaluate the stormwater infrastructure around the site.
  8. Continue the disposal of impacted water at an approved disposal facility.
  9. Begin shipping impacted soil to an approved disposal facility.

For more information on Norfolk Southern's community engagement and progress in East Palestine, please visit:

About Norfolk Southern
Since 1827, Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) and its predecessor companies have moved the goods and materials that drive the U.S. economy. Today, it operates a customer-centric and operations-driven freight transportation network. Committed to furthering sustainability, Norfolk Southern helps its customers avoid 15 million tons of yearly carbon emissions by shipping via rail. Its dedicated team members deliver more than 7 million carloads annually, from agriculture to consumer goods, and is the largest rail shipper of auto products and metals in North America. Norfolk Southern also has the most extensive intermodal network in the eastern U.S., serving a majority of the country's population and manufacturing base, with connections to every major container port on the Atlantic coast as well as the Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes. Learn more by visiting

SOURCE Norfolk Southern Corporation

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