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Cruz Secures Commitment from Norfolk Southern to compensate residents whose homes lost value after East Palestine derailment

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  In case you missed it, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jonathan Salant reports that U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-Texas) secured an agreement from Norfolk Southern to compensate homeowners near the derailment site for declines in their property values.

“If residents in and around East Palestine sell their homes for less than they were worth before February’s train derailment in the Ohio village, Norfolk Southern will make up the difference, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz said Tuesday.

“The railway company agreed to make the payments to homeowners within a five-mile radius of the derailment, which includes some Pennsylvania residents in Beaver County.

“‘Norfolk Southern has a long way to go to make things right for the people of East Palestine,” Mr. Cruz, R-Texas, said in a statement. “This new fund is an important step in repairing the damage done to the community and making whole those homeowners whose property values have declined due to no fault of their own.’

“Mr. Cruz is the top Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, and the agreement reached with Norfolk came a day before the panel is scheduled to act on legislation imposing new safety rules on trains carrying toxic chemicals.

“Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw said in a letter to Mr. Cruz and other committee leaders that the company is taking action to help affected residents even before lawsuits stemming from the derailment have been resolved.

“‘This commitment demonstrates that, as Senator Cruz and others have indicated, Norfolk Southern understands that this derailment was not the fault of the people of East Palestine,’ Mr. Shaw wrote[…]

“‘While we all share the common goal of ensuring incidents like this do not happen again, it is my hope that this agreement will serve as a template for any future incidents where homeowners are unfairly harmed,’ Mr. Cruz said in a statement. ‘My colleagues and I will be watching closely to ensure that Norfolk Southern makes good on this commitment to the people of East Palestine.’” 

Read the full article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette HERE.