EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – Months after the derailment of a Norfolk Southern freight train triggered a threat of a toxic chemical explosion in the Village of East Palestine earlier this year, U.S. Congressman Sherrod Brown announced a $300,000 investment to the village to purchase specialized equipment.

The equipment will increase the response capacity of local police and fire departments for hazard identification.

The investment was awarded by the Appalachian Regional Commission as an emergency grant as the East Palestine community continues to deal with the aftermath of the derailment.

In a press release, Senator Brown said, East Palestine knows all too well how important well-equipped first responders are to protecting Ohioans. We’re continuing to work to make this community whole, securing new equipment for East Palestine police officers and firefighters to keep them safe on the job and to protect the community they serve.” 

In September, Brown laid out a comprehensive plan of six actions Norfolk Southern must take to repair the damage he said the company’s negligence has caused to the people of East Palestine and to uphold promises the company made to the community.

Just weeks after the derailment on February 3, the second in Ohio within a month, Norfolk Southern announced a “six-point plan” to improve safety.