Rail Pollution Protection Pittsburgh (RP3) is a group of Pittsburgh residents committed to addressing the risk and negative impacts of rail proliferation where it conflicts with urban health, sustainability, and personal well-being.
RP3 recognized that Pittsburgh is at risk because it sits on the most intensively used rail line in North America for the transportation of hazardous chemicals and explosive oil. RP3 predicted an East Palestine-type derailment before it happened — and pivoted to rail safety and policy reform. That work led to RP3 forming a coalition of 68 other regional and national environmental organizations to educate residents and elected officials on the city, county, state, and federal levels about rail risks, safety failure points, and state and federal policy options implemented in other high rail volume states.
Between 2018 and 2022 RP3 utilized a two-prong litigation and grassroots campaign strategy to obtain mitigation for neighborhoods impacted by Norfolk Southern’s Pittsburgh Vertical Clearance Project (PVCP). Litigation delays and a three-year mediation negotiation provided the leverage which led to a significant settlement (so large that the amount cannot be publicized given the terms of the Settlement Agreement). It was only by virtue of Colcom’s steadfast support that these issues and realistic solutions were brought to light.