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President Biden is scheduled to visit East Palestine to witness firsthand how the town is recovering from the devastation of last year’s derailment. This visit should help keep a spotlight on rail safety. (NTSB image)

President Joe Biden visited East Palestine, Ohio on February 16 to witness firsthand how the town is recovering from the Norfolk Southern derailment that caused a massive fire and chemical spill on February 3, 2023. The President’s visit will help keep the national spotlight on the issue of rail safety.

Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board announced that it will release its final findings, probable cause, and recommendations regarding the 2023 Southern derailment in a public meeting to be held at East Palestine High School on June 25.

Release of the NTSB’s findings should eliminate an excuse used by some Republican members of Congress for the delay on moving pending rail safety bills. A spokesman for Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), leader of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, recently told the Washington Post that the Congressman believes “the NTSB should be allowed to finish their investigation and report their findings to Congress before it takes up any legislation…” Graves has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of rail industry contributions in 2024.