EPA Chief at Ohio Train Derailment Site: ‘trust government’


A first-hand view of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s impact on Thursday was given to the agency’s head. freight train derailment in Ohio, Where toxic chemicals were either spilled on the floor or burned away, leaving behind a stench like fresh paint almost two weeks later.

Michael Regan from the EPA, the Administrator of the Agency for Environmental Protection, walked alongside a creek still smelling chemically and tried to reassure residents in East Palestine that water was safe to drink, as well as the safety to breathe. He did this because fewer than 5,000 Palestinians live close to the Pennsylvania border.

“I am asking them to trust the government. That’s hard. Regan explained that they know there is lack of trust. We’re looking for every item that was aboard that train.

Residents have reported headaches, irritated eyes, and sooty cars on their lawns since the train derailed. Residents have spoken out about their concern for wildlife and dying pets, as well as the hazardous chemicals spilled by the train.

The residents are disappointed by the insufficient and unclear information they provide about the long-term effects of the disaster. These events prompted evacuations.

Kathy Dyke stated, “I’ve got three grandbabies.” She was accompanied by hundreds of neighbors to Wednesday’s public meeting. Representatives of Norfolk Southern were conspicuously absent. “Are they going grow up here and have cancer in five years?”

Regan announced Thursday that anybody who feels afraid of their own home must seek out testing by the government.

People have been disturbed. “People have been unnerved.” He said that they had asked him to move out of their home. However, he added that, as long as safety testing is done, he was willing to relocate his family to the same area.

Participants in the last night’s informational sessions had Health hazards questions He demanded transparency from Norfolk Southern. People who waited for hours outside of the high school gym were upset to learn that there was nothing new. Many laughed or booed when the state’s health director or village mayor assured them that any lingering smells weren’t dangerous.

Danielle Deal lives just a few minutes from the site of the train derailment. She said that “they just danced around with the questions a lot.” “Norfolk was required to be at this site.”

The railroad has been sued in at least five cases. This week, the company announced that it would create a $1million fund to support the community.

In a letter addressed to the community, Alan Shaw, President of Norfolk Southern and CEO said that “We are there and will remain here as long as necessary to ensure your safety” and help East Palestine thrive.

Evacuee families said that they need help in figuring out the best way to receive financial assistance. They also want to find out if the railroad is held accountable.

Officials from the federal and state governments have pledged to work together for Norfolk Southern’s cleanup. They also promised reimbursements for residents.

According to the White House, teams representing the Federal Health and Emergency Response and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will travel to East Palestine.

“We understand the residents are concerned — as they should be —- and they have questions. “That’s all understandable,” Karine Jean-Pierre (White House press secretary) said. “And, we’re going get to the root of this.”

On February 3, 50 vehicles were thrown off the tracks in an uncontrolled fireball, leaving no one hurt. To avoid an uncontrolled explosion, officials evacuated the region and decided to burn the toxic vinyl chloride (from five railway cars), sending black smoke and flames into the air again.

Ohio EPA stated that the five water wells that provide drinking water to the village are safe from contamination.

According to estimates by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, at least 3,500 fish (mostly small ones like minnows or darters) have been reported dead on more than seven miles (11.2 km) of streams.

Officials said that there are precautions being taken to make sure contaminants reaching the Ohio River don’t get into water supplies.

Anecdotal evidence has suggested that livestock and pets have become sickened. Ohio officials confirmed that no deaths from related animals have been reported and there is little risk to livestock. But, they said the Ohio Agriculture Department was testing samples of beef calfs who died within a week.

A mechanical problem with the rail car axle is suspected to be responsible for the derailment. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, it had video that appeared to have shown a wheel bearing overheating shortly before. NTSB anticipates that it will issue its preliminary report within two weeks.

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  • Author : Patrick Orsagos (The Associated Press)
  • Repost Source: fortune.com





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