Cincinnati, OH – Today, Congressman Greg Landsman (OH-01) joined Members of the Ohio Congressional delegation in introducing bipartisan legislative action to prevent future train derailments.
Congressman Landsman has joined Democratic and Republican Members of the Ohio Congressional delegation in new legislative action designed to prevent future train derailments like those that devastated East Palestine, Ohio.
The Reducing Accidents in Locomotive (RAIL) Act – legislation led by Congresswoman Emilia Strong Sykes (D-OH-13) and Congressman Bill Johnson (R-OH-06) – follows collaborative and comprehensive work by all 15 Members of the Ohio Congressional delegation to both help East Palestine recover, and to prevent future train derailments. This work includes a recent letter sent by the Ohio Congressional delegation to the Federal Emergency Management Agency calling for immediate delivery of federal resources to East Palestine in the aftermath of the disaster.
The new legislative action announced today as part of the bipartisan RAIL Act includes:
- Increasing inspections on all trains, including those carrying hazardous materials
- Strengthening regulations to prevent wheel bearing failures, which caused the East Palestine train derailment
- Increasing maximum penalties for violations of rail safety regulations
- Increasing funding for Hazardous Materials Training for First Responders
- Directing the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate new rules to improve safety based off the findings of the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation in conjunction with the Federal Railroad Administration
“Folks in East Palestine need to know that this won’t happen again, and Representatives Sykes and Johnson are bringing people together to pass this bipartisan RAIL Act,” said Congressman Landsman. “By increasing federal inspection capabilities, preventative measures, and funding for first responders, the bipartisan RAIL Act is a critically important first step to strengthen American rail safety for the 21st century. I’m all in to get this passed and to work with this same bipartisan group to make sure families in East Palestine are made whole and get their town back.”
Congressman Landsman expects this legislative action to be part of a phase 1 approach to responding to the disaster in East Palestine and train derailment, and he is working with Members of the Ohio Congressional delegation on determining what additional legislative actions are necessary to ensure that the community and residents recover, Norfolk Southern is held accountable, and additional safety regulations are implemented following the conclusion of ongoing federal investigations.
The text of the RAIL Act can be found here.