Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to hold Norfolk Southern financially responsible for a train derailment in East Palestine that allegedly caused the release of over one million gallons of hazardous chemicals. The Complaint alleges numerous violations of the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and Ohio’s environmental protection laws, as well as common law causes of action for negligence, public nuisance and trespass. According to the Complaint, the alleged violations resulted in a volume of hazardous pollutants being released into the air, water and ground, posing substantial, long-term threats to human health and the environment.
The suit cites the company’s accident rate, which allegedly has risen 80% in the past 10 years. AG Yost asks the court to require Norfolk Southern to conduct future monitoring of soil and groundwater at the derailment location, the surrounding areas and beyond and to submit a closure plan to the Ohio EPA.