(InvestigateTV) — It’s been one year since a train derailment in Ohio thrust the issue of rail safety back into the national spotlight. Congressional lawmakers immediately introduced legislation designed to protect Americans and hold rail companies accountable. But the longest-serving woman in Congressional history says little has changed since the disaster.
U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, talked with InvestigateTV on Capitol Hill in advance of the February 3rd anniversary of the crisis in East Palestine, saying of the rail industry, “It’s like they’re a power unto themselves. And they’re very, very - in my opinion - destructive to the country in the way they’re behaving.”
Kaptur, who’s held Congressional office since 1983, pulled no punches as she talked about the ripple effects of the massive incident that forced the evacuation of more than 1,000 people last February. The evacuation came after a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed in eastern Ohio near the Pennsylvania border, with toxic chemicals contaminating the air, water, and soil all around the area.
Within weeks congressional lawmakers proposed bipartisan bills in the Senate and House designed to improve rail safety. Those bills included language mandating two-person crews for certain freight trains, updating inspection regulations and bumping up fines for companies that break safety laws.