Recent train derailments have alarmed railway towns in Ohio and around the nation. Regrettably, these incidents have coincided in a string of train derailments that appear to be occurring almost monthly.
Train travel has traditionally been a reliable way to move freight. The spate of accidents is motivating citizens to review factors concerning their health and well-being when such events occur.
Coping with more than crash worries
Often, the first concern after a train derailment is the safety of passengers and workers, as well as anyone else who may have been near the tracks. However, a train wreck also brings along environmental risks.
Travel by rail is not only the least expensive method of transport for many items, but the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Railroad Administration also touts train transport as one of the safest methods for moving hazardous materials.
Unfortunately, the discovery that trains may not have up-to-date safety features may be coming too late for townsfolk who face exposure to dangerous chemicals after a derailment.
After the Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine, the State of Ohio decided to take action. The state’s attorney general is suing the rail company for the costs surrounding the incident.
While the authorities are taking the lead in cleaning up the toxic waste, the pollution could trouble citizens for years to come. Officials are demanding that the train company continue to cover the cost of future groundwater and soil tests.
In addition to this suit, other residents and businesses are filing claims against the company because of the derailment’s impact on them. Claims assert that the accident may not only affect physical health but also harm the economy and home values in the affected rail towns.