Bob Casey pushes for health studies following Norfolk Southern’s derailment

Bob Casey

Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa), arrives in the Senate subway for a vote in the Capitol on Tuesday, May 2, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

By Sean Kitchen

May 24, 2024

Sen. Bob Casey’s legislation would conduct a five year health study monitoring the long term impacts of the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment.

Legislation to study the ongoing health impacts by the Northfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio last year advanced out of the US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee by a 19-2 vote on Thursday and is waiting for approval from the full Senate.

The East Palestine Health Impact Monitoring Act was introduced by US Sen. Bob Casey and would establish a five-year-long public health study looking into the potential health impacts of the derailment.

“The people of Darlington and East Palestine are still reeling from the disaster caused by Norfolk Southern’s train derailment. This bill will help give these communities the answers they deserve about the potential long-term impact of the derailment on their health,” Casey said in a statement. “I am going to keep supporting Darlington families’ efforts to rebuild their lives for as long as it takes.”

The legislation will direct the US Department of Health and Human Services to fund a study, which will cost $2 million per year, that measures the ongoing health of residents in Darlington, Pa. and East Palestine, Ohio.

Earlier this year, Casey, along with US Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pennsylvania) and US Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-Allegheny), secured $3.6 million in federal funding to expand access to safe drinking water in Darlington.

“Norfolk Southern’s derailment spewed chemicals and a toxic fireball in our region, threatening our water and more,” Deluzio said in a statement. “Since then, folks in Darlington Township have been worried about the safety of their drinking water, and that is unacceptable.


  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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