EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WJW) – The CEO of Norfolk Southern on Thursday testified before congress about the company’s safety record and explained what the company plans to do to help East Palestine.

CEO Alan Shaw started with prepared remarks including an apology:

“I am deeply sorry for the impact this derailment has had on the people of East Palestine, and surrounding communities, and I am determined to make it right,” he said.

Shaw said he and Norfolk Southern will make things right after the train derailment in East Palestine affected so many people. In addition to the apology, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee heard from the company’s CEO on what plans Norfolk Southern has to address concerns – not only in East Palestine but company-wide after a string of derailments and other issues.

Shaw also reiterated the company’s early pledge to be “committed to remediation and monitoring” and the commitment “to reimbursements and investments of more than $20 million” in East Palestine.

Shaw went on to say that the company wants to do the right thing.

The company on Monday released a six-point plan geared toward enhancing its safety features.

The Senate committee is investigating the other derailments and safety issues that have plagued the company.

Senator Sherrod Brown testified during Thursday’s hearing saying he’ll hold Shaw “accountable for the damage his company has done to Ohio.”

“They’ve put profits over people, shareholders over safety and Ohioans have been left to pay the price,” he said.

Although J.D. Vance and Brown don’t agree on several topics, they are united in their stance to hold the company accountable and to remain steadfast in the effort to help residents in East Palestine.

“I think the most important message to the people in East Palestine is that we will not forget about them in the months and years to come,” Vance said. “I think this committee hearing reinforces that message to show it’s very personally meaningful for me to be here.”

Brown introduced the bipartisan Railway Safety Act of 2023 with Vance days ago to prevent future train disasters by taking a number of steps to improve rail safety protocols.

Several busloads of people concerned and upset over the chain of events will also be on capitol hill on Thursday and will hold a protest outside of the building.