Norfolk Southern CEO will tell Senate Committee he's 'deeply sorry for the impact' of East Palestine derailment
The CEO of Norfolk Southern will tell lawmakers he's "deeply sorry for the impact this derailment has had on the people of East Palestine and surrounding communities" during a Senate hearing about the train wreck Thursday, according to written testimony obtained by NBC News.
Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw claims he is "determined to make it right" in that written statement.
"We will clean the site safely, thoroughly, and with urgency. We are making progress every day," Shaw will tell members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
In the statement, Shaw says financial assistance cannot change what happened, but that it is an important part doing the right thing. Norfolk Southern has made reimbursements and investments of more than $20 million in total, including by helping more than 4,200 families through its Family Assistance Center in East Palestine.
"I want to be clear: this financial assistance is just a down payment," Shaw will continue. "I’ve met with community leaders, business owners, school officials, clergy, and others to begin to identify ways we can invest in the future prosperity of East Palestine and support the long-term needs of its people. We will continue to invest in East Palestine for as long as it takes to help the community recover and thrive."
Shaw will tell the committee that Norfolk Southern is working around the clock to remediate the remaining issues and monitor for any impact on public health and the environment.
"We continue to listen to the experts and cooperate with state, federal, and local government agencies. We are committed to this monitoring for as long as necessary," he will add.
Shaw will also stress that the company is committed to making the rail industry safer.
"Finally, Chairman Carper, Senator Capito and members of the Committee, I want to state again how deeply sorry we are for the impact of this derailment on East Palestine, surrounding communities and all of the people who have been affected," the CEO will conclude. "We are making progress in the recovery and know our work is not yet done. On behalf of the more than 19,700 hard-working employees of Norfolk Southern, I pledge that we won’t be finished until we make it right."
Below is a copy of Alan Shaw's testimony: