Ohio Senator J.D. Vance recently visited the site of the East Palestine train derailment and fire, which occurred on February 3rd. The freight train was operated by Norfolk Southern and caused a large fire, prompting authorities to conduct a “controlled vent and burn” to avoid a “catastrophic” explosion. During his visit, Senator Vance argued that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan should be willing to drink the tap water near the site if he wanted to claim it is safe.
Would you drink the water? No. @JDVance1 pic.twitter.com/WiedShTBhT
— Tricia Macke (@FOX19Tricia) February 16, 2023
The EPA had previously sent a letter to Norfolk Southern stating that the train contained evidence of ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, the carcinogen ethlyhexyl acrylate and isobutylene, in addition to reported vinyl chloride and hydrogen chloride. Despite this, Regan claimed that EPA air monitoring had “not detected any levels of health concern in the community” and that drinking water is safe. He also noted that the Ohio Department of Health had recommended residents use bottled water until water test results are received.
Regan went on to say that if the EPA and state said that the air quality and water quality were safe, he would trust those readings and re-enter his home. He acknowledged that some people may make different decisions based on their means, and said they have a right to do so.
Senator Vance’s comments have sparked a debate about the safety of the local environment following the train derailment and fire. While Regan has expressed confidence in the EPA’s air monitoring results, some people are still hesitant to trust the tap water in the area. The EPA has yet to respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment on the matter.
The incident in East Palestine has raised awareness of the potential environmental risks associated with train derailments and fires. It has also highlighted the importance of conducting thorough testing of air and water quality following such events, in order to ensure that local communities are safe from potential contamination.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Caller