Norfolk Southern

Norfolk Southern has hired Klein/Johnson Group to handle matters concerning rail transportation, safety and environmental issues.

Izzy Klein, who was communications director for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, co-founded the Washington-based firm with Matthew Johnson, chief counsel to then Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas.

Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw appeared before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on March 22 and was grilled about the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio on February 3.

He declined to endorse all the provisions in a bipartisan rail safety bill sponsored by Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown (D) and J.D. Vance (R).

Their measure would increase fines for safety violations, mandate two-person crews, bolster emergency plans for trains carrying hazardous materials, and enhance worker training.

Brown noted that NS had 579 violations in a single fiscal year and paid average fines of less than $3,300.

Norfolk Southern says it has committed $25M to the East Palestine community to help it recover and thrive in the aftermath of its train wreck.