While the DOT did withdraw a planned regulation mandating trains carrying certain toxic substances to utilize electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes in 2018, this rule would not have applied to the train that derailed in East Palestine on February 3.
Buttigieg said in response to the train crash on Tuesday, “We’re constrained by law on some areas of rail regulation,” and cited “the braking rule withdrawn by the Trump administration in 2018 because of a law passed by Congress in 2015.”
Buttigieg’s statement, on the other hand, is inaccurate.
Jennifer Homendy, Head of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), revealed on Thursday that if this specific regulation had been implemented, the obligation would have applied exclusively to trains categorized as high-hazard flammable trains.
“This means even if the rule had gone into effect, this train wouldn’t have had ECP brakes,” Homendy said, and she suggested that anyone who says otherwise is “spreading misinformation.”
Norfolk Southern confirmed Homendy’s remarks on Thursday, telling Breitbart News that the train in issue “was not considered a high-hazard flammable train.”
As a result, the braking guideline stated by Buttigieg would not have applied to the Norfolk Southern train that derailed in East Palestine earlier this month.
Moreover, Buttigieg has been the Transportation Secretary for the past two years. Hence, if he is concerned about supposed restrictions in rail regulation, he has had time to resolve these issues.
Buttigieg seemed to be focusing on other matters.
On Monday, he stated that there are too many white individuals working in construction and challenged delegates at the National Association of Counties Conference to “really work with organized labor, to work with your contractors, to work with your community colleges on holding a workforce that reflects the community.”
Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) told Fox News on Thursday during a visit to East Palestine that the Biden administration should “stop blaming Donald Trump” for the Ohio train catastrophe.
“I haven’t spoken to President Biden. My message to him is pretty simple. One, the Department of Transportation, your Department of Transportation, has things they can do,” Vance said. “Stop blaming Donald Trump, a guy who hasn’t been president for three years, and use the powers of the federal government to do the things necessary to help the people in this community.”