Ohio Senator James David Vance visited East Palestine, Ohio, and posted a video from one of the creeks close to the place where a freight train carrying toxic chemicals derailed two weeks ago.
In the video posted on Thursday, February 16, the senator can be seen scraping a stick on the bed of Leslie Run Creek, from where chemicals are seen bubbling up even two weeks after the chemical spill from the derailed train.
Visited a local creek in East Palestine today. These waterways are still very polluted. It’s time for Norfolk Southern to finish the cleanup. Check this video out: pic.twitter.com/4lsHBmrMJj
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) February 16, 2023
“This is disgusting,” the Republican senator said in the video. “The fact that we have not cleaned up the train crash, the fact that these chemicals are still seeping in the ground is an insult to the people who live in East Palestine. Do not forget these people, we’ve got to keep applying pressure.”
A Norfolk Southern freight train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed on the evening of February 3, close to East Palestine, a town on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border that is home to about 5,000 people, and caused a chemical spill. Three days later, authorities carried out a controlled release of chemicals, reportedly to avoid an explosion after one of the train cars started overheating. The release caused a fire, and sent thick plumes of black smoke over the town, spreading harmful gases including hydrogen chloride and phosgene in the environment.
Senator Vance expressed his frustration with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as the public health body has not yet responded to questions about the quality of the water for residents affected by the incident, according to local media.
On Wednesday, February 15, the governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, commented about the water quality of East Palestine, “If I were there now, I would drink it.” He added that no “contaminants” were detected in the “municipal water system.”
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tested five wells in East Palestine’s municipal water system and announced that there was “no detection of contaminants in raw water.” The EPA also said that “robust air-quality testing” has not “detected any levels of health concern that can be attributed to the incident.”
However, the video posted by Vance disproves such claims.
Senator criticizes railway company
Speaking with the media on Thursday, Vance called on Norfolk Southern to do more for clean-up efforts as well as to help the affected people.
Vance criticized Norfolk Southern for putting temporary rail lines over contaminated soil.
“You can’t excavate and clean up an area if there are rail lines and rail cars running over it,” he said. “That they replaced the rails, I think, suggests that they’re much more focused on reopening the railroad than they are on cleaning up the community. That’s a big, big problem.”
“Putting rail cars and rail lines over contaminated soil is not what we should be doing,” Vance said.
This was Vance’s first visit since the derailment and fire two weeks ago. He said he agrees with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in not requesting a federal disaster declaration yet, insisting that it is up to the railway company to pay the bills related to the cleanup, not the taxpayers.
“Right now, and this is very important, when someone causes a problem, they have an obligation to fix it, and Norfolk Southern is the one that caused this problem,” Vance said.
Even MORE proof that the EPA is LYING to the people of East Palestine.
THIS WATER IS INSANELY CONTAMINATED. pic.twitter.com/rNlNxxBTDd
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) February 16, 2023
In another video circulating on social media, a chemical film can be seen forming on the surface of a creek after a stone was thrown into the water. Local residents have also reported that fish, birds and other animals have been dying, and thousands of dead fish have washed up in the local waterbodies since the accident.
(RedRadioVE) by Dubraska Esteves, with Orinoco Tribune content
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
- scorinocohttps://orinocotribune.com/author/sahelicot92/February 17, 2024