Norfolk Southern will donate $1 million to the state of Pennsylvania to help those affected after a train derailment in the border town of East Palestine, Ohio, last February. Specifically, local officials said, the funds will go to assist the citizens of Darlington Township and Lawrence County who suffered the most damage following the train accident.
The money comes in addition to the $7.4 million aid package that the affected area received in March. However, it was not the railroad corporation's decision to donate these funds altruistically, but rather the money comes after a request from Pennsylvania Governor Josh Saphiro, as he stated in a press release:
Every step of the way, my Administration has made clear that we are focused on delivering the help our communities need and holding Norfolk Southern accountable. We will continue to follow through on our promises and support the people and communities that have been impacted. This critical funding will help Darlington Township and Lawrence County build back better than before, and my Administration will continue to hold Norfolk Southern accountable for any and all impacts on our Commonwealth.
Saphiro unveiled in his release that Darlington Township will receive $660,000 while Lawrence County will get $340,000. The money will be earmarked for community aid, although it will be up to local leaders to decide exactly what the funds will be used for.
Community assistance is the main focus of Pennsylvania's funds
In the case of Darlington, the aid will help the town to recover from and prevent the effects of this disaster. This was stated by Darlington Township Board of Supervisors Chairman Mike Carreon:
At the direction of Governor Shapiro’s office, Norfolk Southern has issued a payment of $660,000 to Darlington Township. We will be depositing these funds into an account to help us walk down the roads of recovery and prevention. To the residents of Darlington Township, know this is not a settlement, but a small step forward. We continue in discussions with Norfolk Southern in an effort to address both our short- and long-term concerns. We would like to thank all federal, state, and local officials who continue to support us as we move forward.
Lawrence County will use the money to help the people living closest to the area where the train derailed. It was Lawrence County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Dan Vogler who announced where the funds would go:
The Lawrence County Commissioners appreciate receiving these funds and thank the Governor and the company for their efforts. We will be earmarking these dollars for the municipalities in our county who were in the closest proximity to the derailment along with an agency that can assist other businesses and residents throughout the county who may have been impacted.