U.S. insists area affected by chemical spill from train is safe
The U.S. government insisted Thursday that the area affected by the chemical spill is safe. spills following a train derailment in Ohio. thirteen days ago is safe and the water is not contaminated, despite neighbors’ fears.
The train, of about fifty cars, was carrying toxic material in eleven of them and derailed last February 3 as it passed through East Palestine, a town of less than 5,000 inhabitants sixty kilometers from the industrial city of Pittsburgh. and near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.
Although East Palestine is small and in a fairly unpopulated area, the issue is being used by Republicans to criticize the federal government for the consequences of what happened, even though the Administration of President Joe Biden insists that there is no danger in the area.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Michael Regan, visited the area on Thursday to calm the situation. after several days of accusations about the federal response to the event, although on Wednesday he reiterated that both the water and the air have been tested and are safe.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said at her Thursday press conference that the federal government has sent teams from the Department of Health (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She stressed that the EPA has been in the area “since the 4th” of February. and is working in coordination with state and local authorities to ensure safety.
Jean-Pierre also defended Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s handling of the incident and denied that he has disappointed Biden. “We have had absolute confidence in him since he took office.”he said.
He added that the mobilization of the various teams of federal agencies will serve “to help the people of East Palestine in whatever they need”: “Our priority is their health and safety,” he concluded.
Jean-Pierre thus responded to the request made in the morning by the governor of OhioMike DeWine, a Republican. “I have spoken with the White House this morning to request federal assistance in East Palestine. As a result of that conversation I have requested direct assistance from the Department of Health and Emergency and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC),” the governor said in a message on Twitter.
In any case, DeWine’s office agrees with the federal government that. East Palestine’s water is fit for drinking, as his office noted in a statement this week.. The Environmental Protection Agency has continued to scour the area and as of yesterday afternoon had checked 486 homes.
In these inspections air quality is being tested, but also water quality.and there is no data that causes “concern” about such quality, the agency insists on its website. Several neighbors registered last week a complaint to the railway company alleging that they had been affected by the gases released by the discharges and also denouncing the negative effect that the event was going to have on the businesses in the area.
Republican Senator J.D Vance also visited the site on Thursday and in statements to the media said that if the EPA administrator wants to convince that East Palestine’s water is safe to drink, “he should drink it.”. Vance also called on the Department of Transportation to increase regulations to limit and secure the movement of these types of materials.