Public outcry as Ohio train derailment continues to create environmental havoc

Residents of East Palestine, Ohio, gathered at a town hall on Wednesday to demand answers from authorities about their safety concerns following the massive train derailment and resulting HAZMAT situation that began almost two weeks ago.

The mayor of East Palestine, Trent Conaway, assured local residents he is seeking answers from the government as well as the train company that operated the train that derailed on 

February 3. The train’s operating company, Norfolk Southern Corporation, was noticeably absent at Wednesday’s town hall. The company released a statement excusing their absence at the meeting, citing concerns for its employees’ safety.

The derailment led to a controlled release of toxic chemicals from the derailed train that was carrying them, which has since caused residents symptoms like headaches, rashes, trouble breathing, and experiencing chemical odors in and around their homes. Seeking answers about whether the government’s assessment that the area is safe is accurate, residents asked whether their water was safe to drink and whether their children were safe to reside in the area until the chemical leak is fully cleared.

The Biden administration has pledged to clean up the mess and hold Atlanta-based Norfolk Southern Corporation accountable for the derailment and ensuing chemical disaster. “This incident has understandably shaken this community to its core,” said Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan during a press conference. “The community has questions. We hear you. We see you, and we will get to the bottom of this. We are absolutely going to hold Norfolk Southern accountable. I promise you that.”




Leave a Reply