"Modest" $15m fine for Norfolk Southern after fiery Ohio derailment—and no criminal charges

Norfolk Southern, the rail operator that turned land near Palestine, Ohio into a toxic bonfire after one of its trains derailed there, is to be fined $15 million. The company, which makes about $12 billion in annual revenues, has promised to pay $600 million in compensation and cleanup costs.

Residents who had to evacuate their homes after the derailment were generally underwhelmed by the deal the Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department announced Thursday that doesn't include any criminal charges. This federal settlement comes two days after a federal judge signed off on the railroad's $600 million class action settlement with residents whose lives were disrupted.

An outcome very much in the tradition of "a fine is a price."

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