Updated Mar 5, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Another Norfolk Southern train derails in Ohio, no hazardous materials aboard

A member of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) takes water samples from Sulphur Run creek following a train derailment

A member of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) takes water samples from Sulphur Run creek on Feb. 23 following a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A second Norfolk Southern train derailed Saturday near Springfield, Ohio, the second such incident involving the railroad in the state in about one month.

Driving the news: No hazardous chemicals were released from the train, officials said at a news conference Sunday. Two tankers had residual amounts of diesel exhaust fluid, and the other had residual amounts of polyacrylamide water solution.

  • No injuries were reported, county officials said in a statement.
  • Approximately 20 of the 212 cars derailed around 5pm local time with four tankers identified as carrying non-hazardous materials, officials said.
  • An investigation into the derailment is still ongoing, authorities said Sunday afternoon.

State of play: A shelter-in-place order was initially issued to residents living within 1,000 feet of the derailment site and was later lifted, the statement added.

  • The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency determined that the derailment did not pose a danger to the public water systems or private wells.
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) tweeted Saturday that both President Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had called him to offer assistance from the federal government.
  • No spillages have been detected at the site, though site remained “active," the Springfield Township Fire Chief Dave Mangle said at a news conference early Sunday morning, local news reported.

Norfolk Southern on Sunday confirmed to Axios that one of its trains had derailed near Springfield, Ohio.

  • "No hazardous materials were involved or injuries reported," the company said in a statement. "We are coordinating with local authorities on site and expect to have the wreckage cleared by mid-day."

Worth noting: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told ABC's "This Week" Sunday that he had spoken to local officials the night before, including DeWine.

  • Brown said the officials were "pretty satisfied" with Norfolk Southern's response to the derailment but that he himself was "not entirely satisfied."
  • "Those cars were mostly empty. But I want to know if there are any contaminants sort of left in those mostly empty cars that might have affected Clark County near the fairgrounds, all the way into Springfield."

The big picture: The derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials in East Palestine, Ohio on Feb. 3 forced the company to release and burn hazardous contents from some of the train cars, prompting mounting concerns over health risks and toxic effects.

  • The company said at the time that burning the cargo was necessary to prevent the threat of explosions from the hazardous materials in the train. It has since faced heightened scrutiny over the move and its possible impacts on the surrounding community and environment.

Go deeper: House GOP plans Ohio derailment hearings

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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