Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg commemorated the one-year anniversary since a train derailed in Ohio, and pushed for the passage of the Railway Safety Act.
“It’s been one year since the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio,” Buttigieg wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “The people of that community — and so many others — have called on Congress to pass bipartisan railroad safety legislation, but the Railway Safety Act is still waiting.”
“With 1,000+ train derailments each year in this country, it is long past time for Congress to act,” he continued.
Last year a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in the town of East Palestine, Ohio, prompting short evacuations and larger concerns about the potential impacts on the environment and the community.
Residents continue to worry about the effects of the crash and say authorities have been cagey with answers about potential ongoing threats.
Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and JD Vance (R-Ohio) unveiled the Railway Safety Act aimed at preventing more toxic trail derailments and strengthening federal safety regulations. It also sets up new financial consequences for violators.
The bill has faced opposition from Senate Republicans, who say they are not yet on board. Senate GOP says their concerns lie with the part of the legislation allowing the Department of Transportation to set the specifics of the new rules.