And the response to the situation is causing problems for Local, State and Federal officals who have NOT be able to give an ‘all clear’ from the incident which happened almost two weeks ago on Feb. 3rd….
“We don’t know what to think,” said Michele Parker, who lives about half a mile from the derailment site, “so therefore we don’t know what to do.”
Nearly two weeks after the fiery crash, residents like Parker are grappling with whiplash: State officials advised them to drink bottled water on Tuesday but said on Wednesday testing showed the tap water was safe. They can smell pungent odors, but authorities say there are not harmful levels of chemicals in the air.
Even as residents report nausea, dizziness, headaches and other ailments, a spokesman for Gov. Mike DeWine (R) told The Post on Thursday that no doctors who have seen patients have identified the chemical release as a cause for people’s symptoms. Instead, “there’s usually another explanation for those symptoms,” such as colds and flu, spokesman Dan Tierney said.
The fire and derailment, which federal investigators have said appeared to have been caused by a mechanical issue, spilled hazardous chemicals including vinyl chloride and butyl acrylate. The threat of an explosion forced the evacuation of about 1,500 residents, and the “controlled release” of vinyl chloride from unstable rail cars spewed a toxic plume into the air.
A massive cleanup is underway around the tracks in East Palestine, a town of about 4,700 that sits on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, and the state is faced with developing long-term plans to track potential contamination. Since Environmental Protection Agency and Ohio state health officials cleared residents to return a week ago, locals have reported wooziness, nausea and other symptoms from the odors that remain in town….
More federal help was set to come to East Palestine, according to the office of DeWine, who requested assistance in a conversation with White House officials Thursday. That came two days after DeWine said he had not seen a need to request more federal aid; some environmental advocates pushed him to do so.
The state is not eligible for assistance from FEMA under federal law because of the nature of the disaster, including a lack of property damage, said Tierney, DeWine’s spokesman. That means DeWine can’t make an emergency declaration, as governors do after natural disasters….
Several class-action lawsuits filed by residents against Norfolk Southern demand money and medical monitoring for residents. One lawsuit, filed Wednesday, alleged that the company’s efforts to clean up the disaster “instead worsened the situation.”
“I’m not sure Norfolk Southern could have come up with a worse plan to address this disaster,” said attorney John Morgan.
Norfolk Southern has reimbursed residents for evacuation costs and set up a $1 million fund, though the company had no details about how that money would be distributed. Residents have worried that accepting payments could affect their ability to sue the rail company later; a spokesman told The Washington Post that the payments are “not a settlement of any future claim.”….
Republicans have begun to throw blame on the issue with this to the Biden admin and Transportaion Sec.Buttigieg….
Another Norfolk Southern train has derailed, this time in Michigan, authorities say….
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