“At least five class action negligence lawsuits have now been filed,” according to The Independent.
- Reports of East Palestine, Ohio, residents experiencing health issues following a train derailment are increasing.
- Long-term health impacts of several of the chemicals released, including vinyl chloride, may lead to liver, brain, and lung cancers.
- Although Norfolk Southern Railway failed to appear at a meeting to provide answers for the derailment, the railroad CEO Alan Shaw released a letter to East Palestine residents saying the company “will not walk away.”
- “I know there are still a lot of questions without answers. I know you’re tired. I know you’re worried. We will not let you down,” read the letter.
- Questions remain as the railroad company has not been forthcoming as to what specific chemicals were on the train.
- “Why are they being hush-hush?” asked East Palestine resident Kathy Dyke.
- Legal action has been taken against the rail company and city, alleging that the authorities’ move to burn off the chemicals made matters worse.
- “Residents exposed to vinyl chloride may already be undergoing DNA mutations that could linger for years or even decades before manifesting as terrible and deadly cancers,” said attorney John Morgan. “The lawsuit alleges that Norfolk Southern made it worse by essentially blasting the town with chemicals as they focused on restoring train service and protecting their shareholders.”
- Ohio Senator J.D. Vance (R) visited an East Palestine creek where he tested the water for pollution. While raking the creek with a stick, a rainbow appeared on top of the water, apparently signifying pollutants are present.
- “This is disgusting. The fact that we have not cleaned up the train crash, the fact that these chemicals are still seeping in the ground is an insult to the people who live in East Palestine,” the senator said.
- The Biden administration rejected a request for disaster assistance from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R).
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said the situation did not qualify for federal assistance.
- The DeWine Administration has been in daily contact with FEMA to discuss the need for federal support, however FEMA continues to tell Governor DeWine that Ohio is not eligible for assistance at this time,” the governor’s office said.
- FEMA spokesperson Jeremy Edwards stated, “FEMA is in constant contact with the emergency operations center in East Palestine and with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency,” but would not explain why it rejected the governor’s request for disaster aid.
- “We are closely coordinating with EPA, HHS, and the CDC, who are helping to test water and air quality, and to conduct public health assessments,” said Edwards.
- Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) called for U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg to resign following his “gross level of incompetence and apathy” in avoiding any “accountability for the safety of our nation’s rail system.”
- “Look, rail safety is something that has evolved a lot over the years, but there’s clearly more that needs to be done because while this horrible situation has gotten a particularly high amount of attention, there are roughly 1,000 cases a year of a train derailing,” Buttigieg said of the East Palestine train derailment.
- Although Buttigieg said the event received a “high amount of attention,” American Faith reported that mainstream media gave the situation a combined 30 minutes of discussion.
- Buttigieg also blamed Trump for the disaster, citing “the braking rule withdrawn by the Trump administration in 2018.”
- The withdrawn law would have required trains carrying certain chemicals to have electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes. The law would not have affected the Norfolk Southern Railway train as it “was not considered a high-hazard flammable train,” according to National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chair Jennifer Homendy.