Norfolk Southern to Establish Vent & Burn Workgroup

PR Newswire
Friday, June 21, 2024 at 3:32pm UTC

Norfolk Southern to Establish Vent & Burn Workgroup

PR Newswire

ATLANTA, June 21, 2024  /PRNewswire/ -- Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) will convene a Vent and Burn Workgroup to integrate key learnings for the betterment of any future scenario where a vent and burn may be necessary. The Workgroup, which is an element of Norfolk Southern's recent settlement with the Department of Justice and Environmental Protection Agency, will be composed of leaders from across stakeholder groups who have a role to play in responding to rail accidents.

Over the next six months, subject to final court approval of the settlement, Norfolk Southern will hold conversations with key safety stakeholders to determine criteria for Workgroup participation. Once established, the Workgroup will assess current practices and existing protocols that are currently being utilized.

"When a vent and burn procedure is being considered, the health and safety of surrounding communities and emergency responders is top priority," said Alan Shaw, President and CEO of Norfolk Southern. "We look forward to surfacing learnings that can strengthen rail safety for everyone."

Conceived as part of the agreement reached between the Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Interior and Norfolk Southern following the Feb. 3, 2023 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, the Vent and Burn Workgroup establishes a formal process by which Norfolk Southern may obtain input from key stakeholders on ways to improve coordination in any future Unified Command response to a derailment.

The Workgroup continues the company's focus over the past 18 months on advances in protocols and culture that are making Norfolk Southern an industry leader in rail safety. In the last year, Norfolk Southern:

  • Achieved a 38% reduction in its mainline accident rate, placing the company among the best of the Class I railroads.
  • Installed digital train inspection portals featuring machine-learning vision inspection technology to augment their robust inspection process.
  • Became the first Class I railroad to join the Federal Railroad Administration's Confidential Close Call Reporting System (C3RS).
  • Enhanced training for all field-based employee operations.
  • Deployed the "Safety Up" mobile app to its entire workforce.

Norfolk Southern's safety updates can be found in the company's Midyear Safety Report.

"There is no finish line when it comes to improving safety," said John Fleps, Chief Safety Officer at Norfolk Southern. "While rail remains the safest way to transport goods over land, as a learning organization we will continue looking for improvements in all that we do."

About Norfolk Southern

Since 1827, Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) and its predecessor companies have safely moved the goods and materials that drive the U.S. economy. Today, it operates a customer-centric and operations-driven freight transportation network. Committed to furthering sustainability, Norfolk Southern helps its customers avoid approximately 15 million tons of yearly carbon emissions by shipping via rail. Its dedicated team members deliver more than 7 million carloads annually, from agriculture to consumer goods, and Norfolk Southern originates more automotive traffic than any other Class I Railroad. Norfolk Southern also has the most extensive intermodal network in the eastern U.S. It serves a majority of the country's population and manufacturing base, with connections to every major container port on the Atlantic coast as well as major ports in the Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes. Learn more by visiting


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SOURCE Norfolk Southern Corporation