President Biden praises proposed Railway Safety Act
President Joe Biden praised the proposed bipartisan Railway Safety Act of 2023 Thursday evening.
"This legislation provides us with tools to hold companies accountable to prevent tragedies like the Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine and to make those communities whole," President Biden said.
According to the statement, the law strengthens safety requirements for all trains carrying hazardous materials and phases in newer, safer tank cars over the next two years. It will also add hotbox detectors every 10 miles to prevent derailments like the one in East Palestine.
The bill increases HAZMAT fees for railroads to pay for grants to train state and local firefighters to respond to hazmat incidents and dramatically increases fines for safety violations.
"This bill will make important progress – and we need to do even more, like require state-of-the-art braking systems, provide more funding for federal safety inspections, invest in worker safety, fortify state emergency management and response, and hold companies like Norfolk Southern accountable not just for the immediate damage, but also the long-term health and economic damage to communities like East Palestine," President Biden said.