Gov. Josh Shapiro meets with emergency leaders in Beaver County regarding train derailment

BEAVER COUNTY, Pa. — The investigation into the recent train derailment in East Palestine is widening.

Channel 11′s Jillian Hartman was the only reporter there as Gov. Josh Shapiro had a private meeting with emergency leaders in Beaver County.

The meeting was centered around the impact on Beaver County.

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State Representatives Jim Marshall, Josh Kail and Robe Matzie, Senator Camera Bartalotta and all three Beaver County Commissioners were in attendance.

Leaders said they want to be transparent since there has been mistrust and misinformation circulating, and they shared community concerns with the governor.

“We talked to the local community residents and businesses in the area of Darlington township,” said Rep. Marshall. “We heard from them and the first responders who have concerns about their gear. Is it contaminated? What can be done?”

Marshall said the governor is committed to working with the 17 fire departments in the area that responded to the derailment, including Chippewa Township and Big Beaver.

He said there has been air and water testing in areas outside of Darlington Township and 11 News discussed that with Sen. Bartolotta.

“There will be more testing with air and water quality, and right now the message coming from the governor’s office and the DEP is the air quality is fine, there is nothing to be fearful of in miles east of the situation area,” said Bartalotta. “They have been doing water testing all along and they are going to continue to do it right now, anyone who has a well or city water in particular as far east as we are now nothing has been affected by what happened and we are going to be keeping a eye on all that.”

She said if there was anything pressing or dangerous, everybody would know about it.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a report today saying they have the wheel bearing from the train seen on fire in this exclusive video Channel 11 first showed you last week.

Engineers will also be examining the tank cars from the derailment once they are decontaminated.

Sen. Bob Casey spoke with Beaver County commissioners last week about any assistance he can help with on the federal level.

Commissioner Jack Manning told Channel 11 what they discussed.

“It’s a lot about what we talked about with Governor Shapiro, which is holding Norfolk Southern accountable, make sure the clean up is there, testing is there, make sure we are transparent with all the data,” Manning said.

The NTSB is investigating to determine what exactly caused the derailment and will issue any safety recommendations if necessary to prevent future derailments.

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