(PartiallyPolitics.com) Following the derailment of a train that was transporting hazardous chemicals in Ohio both locals and environmentalists have expressed concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) response being both confusing and insufficient.
On Feb. 3, a freight train owned by the Norfolk Southern Railway was derailed in the town of East Palestine near the Pennsylvania border. The train carried seven carts of hazardous chemicals. Two days after the derailment, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) ordered the town to be evacuated. One day later the emergency crew used controlled burns to eliminate the possibility of an explosion.
However, locals and activists have insisted that officials have not given them clear information regarding the safety of the area. Residents were instructed that they could return to their homes on Feb. 9 by the federal EPA. However, in a letter to Norfolk Southern, the agency pointed out that it was still possible that hazardous chemicals remained in the area and that there might be further releases of chemicals.
Activist and environmental whistleblower Erin Brockovich said regarding the EPA that in the first paragraph of the letter they make it clear that there are toxic substances still in the air, water, and soil, and yet they informed the residents that it was safe to return.
In the letter, EPA also wrote that they are considering using “public funds to investigate and control releases of hazardous substances or potential releases of hazardous substances at the Site.”
So far the following substances were identified in the release: vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, and ethylhexyl.
The EPA’s state counterparts have also claimed that the drinking water in the city is safe, but many officials have urged the residents to opt for bottled water.
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