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Ohio sues Norfolk Southern over East Palestine train derailment

Ohio has filed a federal lawsuit against Norfolk Southern, accusing the rail company of violating state and federal laws in relation to the Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine.

"This derailment was entirely avoidable," Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said Tuesday. "I'm concerned that Norfolk Southern may be putting profits for their own company above the health and safety of the cities and communities they operate in."

The train that derailed was carrying toxic chemicals, including vinyl chloride. Officials, concerned the cars might explode, ordered a controlled burn of the chemicals. Vinyl chloride is a carcinogen, and East Palestine residents are now worried about their health and future issues that might arise.

Norfolk Southern said in addition to cleaning up the derailment site, it will invest in the East Palestine community and give monetary assistance to residents and businesses affected by the accident. In a statement released Tuesday, the company said it is "listening closely to concerns from the community about whether there could be longterm impacts from the derailment. This week we met with Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost to discuss three additional programs we plan to develop in conjunction with his office and other community leaders and stakeholders."

Yost said the lawsuit was filed to ensure Norfolk Southern keeps its promises, CNN reports, including repayment of "present and future costs incurred by the state in responding to the emergency, providing public services, preventing future harm to the environment and public health, restoring natural resources, and abating the nuisance." Ohio also wants Norfolk Southern to "conduct future monitoring of soil and groundwater at the derailment location, the surrounding areas, and beyond."