EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg will be traveling to East Palestine on Thursday, a day after former President Donald Trump’s visit to the area.
Buttigieg plans to meet with community members affected by the Norfolk Southern train derailment, receive an update on the ongoing investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, which is expected to issue its initial findings on Thursday, and hear from USDOT investigators.
He will be joined by Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Administrator Amit Bose and Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown.
On Tuesday, Secretary Buttigieg issued a set of actions that USDOT, the rail industry and Congress could take immediately—without waiting for the NTSB’s report on East Palestine— to increase rail safety on the tracks that run through communities across the country. That includes allowing USDOT to give out stiffer penalties for rail safety regulations violations and reversing a delay to the rail industry’s deadline to use more robust rail cars carrying hazardous materials.
Buttigieg has also directed FRA staff to speed up work on its final rule requiring at least two crew members on trains.
WKBN spoke to Buttigieg about his actions on Tuesday. You can see that full interview here.
Friday, environmental activities Erin Brockovich will be coming to East Palestine for a town hall event.