Norfolk Southern Railway has agreed to compensate homeowners near the train derailment site in East Palestine, Ohio, for decreases in their property values, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) announced yesterday.
The Class I will establish a fund that will “make whole” residents who sell their homes for less than their value before the Feb. 3 train derailment, Cruz said in a press release.
In a letter detailing the new fund, NS President and CEO Alan Shaw agreed to establish the fund now rather than wait for ongoing litigation to end. The company has already contracted with a firm to evaluate the local property market and develop a plan, he wrote.
“Initially, we expect eligible homeowners for this compensation to include those with homes within an approximately 5-mile radius of the derailment, and who sell their homes for less than their property’s pre-Feb. 3 appraised value,” Shaw said in the letter.
Shaw sent the letter to Cruz, ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, as well as to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the committee’s chair; and Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), who introduced the Railway Safety Act of 2023 in response to the Feb. 3 derailment.
The committee is slated to take up the bill today.