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AG Yost Secures Commitment from Norfolk Southern to Hire ‘Ohio’ as East Palestine Cleanup Continues


(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Under an agreement proposed by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, Norfolk Southern has committed to hiring Ohio companies and Ohio workers to do all future repair and replacement work stemming from the Feb. 3 train derailment in East Palestine.

“We didn’t ask for this accident to happen here in Ohio or in East Palestine, and we would be quite happy not to have to deal with it,” Yost said during an afternoon press conference in Trumbull County.

“But since this accident did happen, I’m pleased that Norfolk Southern has signed off on the agreement and that Ohio businesses are going to benefit.”

Joining Yost at the press conference was Guy Coviello, president and CEO of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce, which will serve as a resource for Norfolk Southern to find the goods and services they need for ongoing cleanup efforts.

Coviello praised Yost for the priority he’s placing on businesses in the area and statewide.

“Attorney General Dave Yost has been on top of the East Palestine situation from the moment it happened,” he said. “Ours is the third-largest chamber of commerce in Ohio with 3,000 members, so the ‘business first’ focus that he is placing on this – as well as the safety of the people of East Palestine – is very gratifying to us.”

The attorney general’s agreement with Norfolk Southern has no bearing on the lawsuit the state filed earlier this month against the transportation company.

“Norfolk Southern will be in East Palestine as long as it takes to help the community recover and thrive,” said Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan Shaw. “As we make progress every day, we are continuing our efforts to hire Ohio companies and Ohio workers to perform future work in the East Palestine area. We look forward to supporting local businesses.”

The “millions and millions of dollars” being spent on cleanup by Norfolk Southern, Yost explained, are mandated by a federal administrative order – and that’s the money he wants Ohio businesses and workers to benefit from.

“Ohioans are highly capable,” he said, “so there’s no reason to look elsewhere.”

Kelly May: 614-813-7419


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