Trains derail more than 1,000 times a year….
First response to each situation is up to local and state officials …AND the company that OWNS the train…
Federal EPA and NTSB went to the East Palestine , Ohio accident site wi9thin hours after the local/state response….
The dark cloud of smoke the media is featuring from the site was NOT from the initial derailment…
It was a bleed off of pressured chemicals BY THE official’s…
The air and water quality concerns are local, state and Federal EPA to handle….
Local and State official’s told local residents the air and water were fine ….
But the ‘bleed’ off of a tank car vs a possible explosion approved by Ohio Gov. DeWine resulted on media images that GOPer’s and locals complained about…And then there was other complaints…
The Ohio state and Norfolk Southern ARE responsible to actually handle things on the ground…
The Fed’s only assist them…
Once the train left the tracks?…It was NOT the Federal Transportation ‘s to handle…
Certainly NOT the Federal Transportation Sec. Buttigieg’s to be responsible for…
The Ohio Gov. was told by the President…”You can have ANYTHING you need’….
The Head of the Federal EPA head Michael Regan HAS visited the scene and has been COMPLIMENTED for his response and aid by Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine….
Federal National Transportation and Safety Board people have done a preliminary investigation of the situation….
The situation that occurred in a Republican leaning small town has turned into a political battering by Republicans against the Democratic President, who was handling Foreign Affairs and a Transportation Sec. that GOPer’s keep slamming any chance they can since they found out he was gay and could run for Prersident one day….
Donald Trump found it convenient to drop in to the area to draw a crowd among the Republican friendlies to throw down against the Biden admin….This ignoring HI(D admin’s effort to cut back safety rules and regulations for rail transportation ….
All this has familiar ring…
Red/Republican state’s work hard to erase safety regulations/laws to let things go unencumbered UNTIL something goes sideways…
Where are the Feds?
This situation has gone from situation that needs a clean up and air/water checks to political dance with an eye towards next years election’s….
None of this is helping the 4.000 or so people in East Palestine, Ohio who probably voted FOR Trump and will do so again even if would put them more in danger with LESS laws to protect them…
White House aides countered that the administration was focused on solving problems on the ground — testing the air quality, interviewing witnesses and providing technical guidance — while others played politics. Still, the predicament in East Palestine has only grown more fraught and frenzied, especially after the emergence of images of a menacing-looking black plume looming over East Palestine; it was the result of a controlled release of chemicals to avoid an explosion, but to some it symbolized the idea of dark threats hovering over small-town America.
In recent days, former president Donald Trump has arrived at the sceneoffering branded water bottles and political swipes; Buttigieg, his star power diminished by the crisis, has expressed regret for not speaking up sooner; and conservative outlets have broadcast a loop of images of dead fish and distraught residents to bolster a narrative of government neglect. Meanwhile, Democrats have cast the incident as a tale of corporate malfeasance, blaming Republicans for gutting safety regulations.
This account of how a train derailment, one of about 1,000 each year in America, morphed into the latest front in the nation’s culture wars is based on interviews with administration officials, lawmakers, rail safety experts, local residents, historians and environmental advocates, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations….
White House aides say the president has been privately engaged all along and that dozens of administration officials were adeptly handling fast-changing circumstances on the ground. “They quickly got to work holding the rail company accountable, containing the damage, and monitoring for environmental impacts,” a White House official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. The official added that Biden’s “team has kept members of Congress and state and local leaders updated on response efforts throughout.”
Lynn R. Goldman, a former EPA official and dean of George Washington University’s public health school, said it generally is not helpful for top leaders to show up right after an accident. “High-level politicians showing up in the middle of an emergency response only detracts from your ability to do the response,” Goldman said.
Ohio authorities have been in charge of much of the response, and DeWine has made it clear he did not ask the Biden administration for more help, at least initially….
Interesting on Rail Road safety…..
In leaked audio heard by the Guardian, a manager for one of the US’s largest rail companies can be heard explaining to a former carman that they should stop tagging railcars for broken bearings. The manager says doing so delays other cargo.
Here’s the real reason the EPA doesn’t want to test for toxins in East Palestine
The disclosure comes as federal agencies investigate the derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. A wheel-bearing failure was cited as the cause of the crash in a preliminary report released by the National Transportation Safety Board.
In late 2016, Stephanie Griffin, a former Union Pacific carman, went to her manager with concerns that she was getting pushback for tagging – or reporting for repair – railcars. Her manager told her it was OK to skip inspections.
Griffin asked if the manager could put that in writing. “That’s weird,” said the manager. “We have 56 other people who are not bad-ordering stuff out there. You’re definitely not going to get in trouble for it.”….