One year ago today, a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio.

My job is to always fight for Ohio. When disaster struck, we got to work. On all our visits to East Palestine, we ask what we can do. We listen, and we turn what we hear into action. Together, we secured a health clinic with free screenings. We fought for air, water, and soil testing. We pushed the federal government to do its part with clean up.

I heard directly from residents worried that they could be hit with a surprise tax bill for assistance they received from Norfolk Southern. It’s why I’m fighting to include a provision in the bipartisan tax deal to avoid those surprise bills.

And I heard from small businesses that want to continue to grow — so we worked with the Department of Agriculture to create a loan program to help local businessowners, farmers, and manufacturers access capital and investment.

Residents want the contamination cleaned up completely, continuous monitoring of air and water, and long-term health screenings. They want the support and the compensation they’re owed. Those are all things we continue to fight for.

But they do not want this derailment to define them. I don’t want that either. And I don’t want any other community to have to deal with a disaster like this ever again.



Make no mistake: this derailment was preventable. Norfolk Southern put profits over safety and cut costs, all so they could boost their stock price, cash out millions in executive bonuses, and dole out stock buybacks. It’s the Wall Street Business Model.

East Palestine was part of a pattern for the company. Steubenville, Sandusky, Springfield, Ravenna, Massillon, and more — all of these communities had Norfolk Southern derailments within a year of East Palestine.

That’s why Senator Vance and I teamed up to introduce the bipartisan Railway Safety Act to force the big rail companies to take safety seriously. Of course the rail industry lobbyists continue to fight it – but I’ll never back down. No community should ever have to go through what the people of East Palestine have endured.

As I’ve told the people of East Palestine: I’m here for the long haul. I will always fight for them and work to make this community whole again.