CDC, HHS To Send Toxicologists to East Palestine After Train Derailment Catastrophe

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will send toxicologists to a struggling Ohio town in the wake of a major train derailment and the release of hazardous materials from its railcars.

A Norfolk Southern train earlier this month derailed near the town of East Palestine, forcing authorities to evacuate the town and orchestrate a controlled release of the toxic materials from the train to prevent an explosion.

The Biden administration, especially Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, has come under fire for its seemingly sluggish response to the disaster.

Federal toxicologists, including personnel from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, will arrive on the scene Saturday to begin testing the ground, The Hill reported.

While some lawmakers and authorities have contended that it is safe for residents to return to the town, others such as Ohio Republican Sen. J.D. Vance have attempted to highlight the environmental damage and lingering contaminations in the water that complicate returning to normal life there.

In a viral video, the Republican senator appeared in the town and filmed himself disrupting the water in a local creek, pointing to the visible discoloration of the water after he ran a stick through it.