Feds Send Help After Ohio Derailment, but Residents’ Frustrations Persist

"A visit to East Palestine from the head of the E.P.A. and a White House pledge to lend more support were met with skepticism in the community."

"EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — ​​The head of the Environmental Protection Agency traveled to this small community on Thursday with promises of aid but faced skepticism from residents outraged over what they saw as a delayed response to the toxic spill unleashed by the recent train derailment.

The visit came within hours of an emotional and heated town meeting, where residents pleaded with town officials to address their safety concerns after Norfolk Southern, the railroad company, declined to send representatives.

Some residents said they did not think the visit by the E.P.A. chief, Michael Regan, would do enough. It has been nearly two weeks since the derailment. Since then, fears of an explosion prompted a controlled release of chemicals onboard and a multiday evacuation, with increasingly vocal complaints about headaches, noticeable odors and dead fish appearing in local creeks.

“It’s about time they showed up,” John Cozza, the owner of a pizza restaurant in East Palestine, said. “But I don’t know what they’re going to do about it.”"

Sophie Wodzak, Emily Cochrane, and Lisa Friedman report for the New York Times February 16, 2023.


"EPA Says Ohio Derailment Site Is Safe, As Locals Report Rashes, Worries" (Washington Post)

"EPA Chief At Train Derailment Site: ‘Trust The Government’" (AP)

"Sherrod Brown Calls On Ohio Governor To Declare Disaster Over East Palestine Derailment" (The Hill)

"EPA Chief Vows To ‘Get To The Bottom’ Of Derailment In First East Palestine Visit" (The Hill)

"Agencies, Lawmakers Announce Federal Aid For Eastern Ohio" (E&E News)


Source: NYTimes, 02/17/2023