Event Banner

Community Meeting: Norfolk Southern Railway Train Derailment with Subsequent Hazardous Material Release and Fires

​This community meeting will feature information about the June 25 Board meeting and the opportunity to ask questions about the NTSB and our investigative process, regarding the Feb. 3, 2023, Norfolk Southern Railway train derailment with subsequent hazardous material release and fires. ​​Chair Homendy will host and answer questions. The Board meeting is open for the public to observe (see details below).

Although we coordinate with all partners, the NTSB has no formal role in other federal, state, or local response. While this is an open meeting, certain issues fall outside of our authority and will not be discussed. The NTSB does not, for example, have authority over air monitoring, water-quality testing, environmental remediation, or evacuation orders. Questions on environmental issues should be addressed to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ohio EPA, or Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

WHAT: Community meeting.

WHO: NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy and area residents.

WHEN:  Monday, June 24, 6-8 p.m. Eastern time. 

WHERE: East Palestine High School, 360 West Grant Street, East Palestine, Ohio.

HOW: Attend in person only. 

Attending the Community Event 

The NTSB is an independent ​​federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant events in the other modes of transportation—railroad, transit, highway, marine, pipeline, and commercial space. We determine the probable causes of the accidents and events we investigate and issue safety recommendations aimed at preventing future occurrences. In addition, we conduct transportation safety research studies and offer information and other assistance to family members and survivors.

NTSB Board Meeting

​​A Board meeting is one of two ways the Board approves investigation reports (the other being electronic voting without a meeting). Board meetings are open to the public and follow a set agenda. First, NTSB safety investigators discuss the most relevant details of the accident, including sequence of events, investigative findings, and proposed recommendations. Presentations will highlight different aspects of the investigation, such as human performance, survival factors, weather, and operational factors. 

After the presentations, Board members take turns questioning staff about any aspect of the investigation, then deliberate on the reported findings, the probable cause of the accident, and the proposed safety recommendations. The Board may suggest changes that it will vote on before adopting the report. By the conclusion of the meeting, the Board is expected to vote on and adopt the investigative report.

The NTSB will publish the final report on ntsb.gov ​​in about 2 to 4 weeks after the Board meeting. This final report includes factual information, analysis, andconclusions, as well as any changes the Board voted on and adopted.

​In preparing questions for Chair Homendy, attendees are encouraged to reference this chart: ​

​We are able to answer questions about:​

​We are unable to answer the following questions as they are outside of our authority:​
  • ​The NTSB’s role in transportation safety
  • The NTSB investigative process

  • ​​​Water or air quality
  • Potential health impacts
  • Topics beyond those noted in the hearing agenda that are the purview of other local, county, state, or federal agencies
  • Damage to property
  • Damage to or loss of pets, livestock, or crops
  • Loss of wages, business, or income
  • Social welfare assistance
  • Lawsuits
  • Regulatory or enforcement matters (NTSB is an investigative agency, not an enforcement or regulatory agency)

​Would you like to ask a question?

  • Please write your first and last name on one of the cards provided and drop it into the lottery barrel.
  • If you are not comfortable asking your question in person, please write your name, contact information, and question on one of the cards provided and leave it at the designated table. NTSB staff will contact you following the investigative hearing.

Asking a question

  • ​During the time available, the session moderator will draw names, and you will be invited to come to the microphone to ask your question.
  • Please keep your questions relevant and concise so that we can get through as many questions as possible.
  • Once you’ve asked your question, allow the person answering to do so without interruption. You will have the opportunity to ask one clarifying or follow-up question.
  • If your question is asked by another community member before your name has been called, please say “asked and answered” or “pass” to allow for the maximum number of unique questions to be answered.

​Security Protocols and Screening
To ensure the safety and security of everyone, Federal Protective Service will oversee security for the community meeting. Anyone planning to attend should arrive early to allow time for processing through security screening, which will include magnetometers.

General categories of prohibited items include, but are not limited to:

  • ​Firearms and ammunition of any type
  • Bladed, edged or sharp objects
  • Club-like items and striking devices
  • Explosives


Individuals with disabilities who need a reasonable accommodation to attend this community event, including sign language interpretation, should email EastPalestine​[email protected].


Media planning to attend should RSVP at [email protected].

NTSB Board Meeting June 25, 2024

See our Board Meeting Event webpage for details.​