The Secretary of National Transportation recommended ten points for improvement or change nearly three weeks after a train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio.
Pete Buttigieg, in a statement released early Tuesday morning, also issued five special requests to Norfolk Southern. His ten terms of action include five axes for the US Department of Transportation and five required congressional actions.
A Norfolk Southern train carrying hazmat derailed in a small town of just under 5,000 along the Pennsylvania border on Feb. 3, and news coverage has spiraled in the past seven days.
The rail industry, in defense of its safety record, said that 99.9% of hazardous materials reach their destinations without incident. A letter posted on the Union Pacific website said the rate of accidents involving hazardous materials has fallen by 55% since 2012.
Five cars in Ohio were carrying vinyl chloride, a colorless and dangerous gas. The decision to censor and burn on February 6 was heavily criticized.
Related: Train Derailed in Ohio Releases Toxic Chemicals into the Air, So Naturally Pete Buttigieg Focused on White Construction Workers
Buttigieg, who separately wrote a letter to Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw on Sunday, asked the railroad to work with rolling stock owners to implement an urgent safety measure with a 2029 mandate. He also asked the company to be proactive in giving notice to first responders. For hazardous materials being transported across the states, rather than having to search for information after the accident.
Support conservative voices!
Sign up to receive the latest Political news, insights and commentary delivered straight to your inbox.
Buttigieg’s other three points involved workers. He called for the human inspection agents to remain despite the lobbyists’ desire for more use of the technology; protection “from retaliation” for workers who spot safety issues and bring them to attention; and paid sick leave.
Buttigieg says USDOT will begin two inspection programs, one dealing with roads and one with older tank cars. He said the agency will use the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funds to upgrade and improve trails and crossings; It will follow rule changes, including the standard for train crew appointments.
RELATED: Joe Rogan Slaps Pete Buttigieg for Remorse from White Construction Workers, Says Diversity Hiring Leads to “Disasters”
Congress is asked to authorize more fines by the USDOT; To strengthen regulations involving dangerous cargo, and accelerate phased implementation of the hazardous materials rule that is not made mandatory until 2029. Lawmakers are also being asked to create more modern regulations in the rail industry, and to expand hazardous materials training for first responders.
Published with permission from The Center Square.