NTSB to release final report on East Palestine train derailment


(NewsNation) — East Palestine, Ohio, resident Jamie Wallace says her home, water and town are still contaminated, more than a year after a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed.

“Things aren’t good here in East Palestine. They’re not good health-wise, they’re not good with our feeling of safety,” Wallace said.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s final report on the derailment is expected to release between June 24 and 25. The findings are preceded by new data revealing 16 states across the country were impacted by fumes burned in the small Ohio town.

“Getting the final reports, I kind of already know what it’s going to say. We already knew that this contamination had gone as far as it did,” Wallace said on “NewsNation Now”.

Her home was chemically contaminated in the derailment, causing her to move 20 miles away. But she claims her family who remained in the town now face unexplainable health problems, including rashes, seizures and fatigue.

“Without stricter railway safety, I don’t think we’re ever going to get to a point where [there] is not a real possibility of this happening in any American’s backyard,” Wallace said.

Rep. Michele Grim, D-Ohio, said the state has passed multiple, bipartisan rail safety laws in the wake of the incident – but more needs to be done.

“Residents have the right to know how this impacts their health, and we need to make sure we’re monitoring that and letting the residents know how it impacts their health and safety,” Grim said.

In April 2024, a federal judge signed off on a $600 million class action settlement, which could resolve claims against the railroad and its fellow defendants.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost shared in a statement that the settlement would “severely undercompensate” the East Palestine community.

“With its decision to reach a settlement now, the DOJ may have sacrificed its opportunity to use the NTSB’s findings to impose maximum leverage on those responsible for any potential wrongdoing. We are reviewing the now-public settlement proposal, but with so much unknown at this time, it is difficult to assess its impact,” the statement reads.

But Wallace said, when that settlement is divided among families and housing provided by Norfolk Southern is subtracted from payout, many of the most impacted families aren’t receiving much.

“It just makes you really suspicious of these attorneys who are going to make millions and leave,” Wallace shared. “And I’m going to still be sitting in a contaminated home.”

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