Sundquist Supports Bipartisan Railway Safety Act

A tank car sits on a trailer as the cleanup of portions of a Norfolk Southern freight train that derailed over a week ago continues in East Palestine, Ohio, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. AP photo

Mayor Eddie Sundquist is encouraging federal legislators to support the bipartisan Railway Safety Act in order to prevent future train derailment tragedies.

In a press release on Monday, Sundquist announced that he is supporting the bipartisan Railway Safety Act, urging Jamestown’s federal representatives to support the legislation in an attempt to prevent additional tragedies like the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

“The City of Jamestown and its residents are directly impacted by rail safety,” Sundquist said. “A rail line that carries potentially hazardous materials runs right through the middle of our city.”

Sundquist said he is joining 400 mayors through the National League of Cities to support what he described as a “common-sense, bipartisan solution” regarding railway safety. He explained that the Railway Safety Act legislation was developed by both Democrats and Republicans to address issues that cause over 1,000 train derailments in the United States per year.

“This includes holding railroads accountable by improving reporting standards, making sure communities that face derailments are the ones who actually receive the fiscal support needed to recover, and that NTSB expert safety recommendations are implemented, and that oversight of these regulations are improved and enforced,” he said.

Railway safety has been a major topic of concern across the United States over the past couple months. Following the derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, Ohio, in February, concerns over railroad regulations and the amount of yearly train derailments have led to pressure on federal lawmakers to craft legislation to prevent future tragedies.

While there have been multiple train derailments since the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine in February, the incident in East Palestine has been highlighted due to the dangers presented by hazardous chemicals that were exposed to the environment during the train derailment.

Earlier this month, a report by the Associated Press indicated that residents in Ohio are continuing to suffer from illnesses caused by hazardous chemicals in the train derailment. The bipartisan legislation supported by Sundquist and the National League of Cities is intended to address these concerns and prevent people from being exposed to hazardous chemicals in the future.


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