Angry Ohio residents face off against railroads over health scare

Residents who say they are still suffering from pain almost a month after the train carrying toxic chemicals Broke in Ohio He confronted the railway operator at the town hall on Thursday, demanding to know if he would be moved from the house he was afraid to live in.

“It’s not safe here,” said one man, looking directly at the Norfolk Southern representatives. “By the grace of God, please take our people out of here.

While the railroad has announced plans to begin moving more contaminated soil under its tracks, buying homes and moving people out of East Palestine has not been discussed, said Darrell Wilson, vice president of government relations.

“why?” Someone shouted.

Few seem satisfied with responses from state and federal officials about air and water testing — even as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency orders Norfolk South to begin testing for dioxin. Toxic chemical compounds Can stay in the environment for a long time.

Many people fear the environment may not be safe for their children years from now, fearing long-term harm from undetected dioxin. So far, the EPA’s “indicator chemicals” show that dioxin is unlikely to be released from the derailment, the agency said.

Some residents shouted, laughed and shouted, “Don’t lie to us,” as Debra Shore, EPHA’s regional manager, reiterated that tests continue to show the village’s air is safe.

Federal officials on Thursday warned train owners to check for the same defect after investigators probed a fire that broke out after the derailment, saying a key part of the tank cars filled with toxic chemicals had melted.

The National Transportation Safety Board said investigators found aluminum linings on the pressure relief valves on three of the five tanker trucks containing vinyl chloride, and some of the metal was found around the valves.

The NTSB said the melted aluminum may have reduced the performance of the valves and prevented them from releasing some flammable gas, depressurizing them inside the tank cars. Norfolk Southern chief executive Alan Shaw said the failure of the valves was part of why officials made the decision. Break the cars and burn the vinyl chloride. What happened caused a toxic fire Displacement Half of East Palestine, Ohio and vicinity near Pennsylvania border.

Shaw said the railroad, along with all officials who responded to the February 3 rail derailment, said removing the hazardous materials from the trucks was the best way to prevent a catastrophic explosion.

“The reasons on the ground at that time were that the safety valves on the train cars failed and the temperature inside the train cars was heating up,” Shaw said. “Therefore, our independent expert was very concerned about the explosion and uncontrolled release of hazardous gas in this densely populated community.”

Wilson told residents that Norfolk felt terrible about what had become of the South. So far, more than 2 million gallons (7.6 million liters) of water and liquid waste have been removed, along with 1,400 tons (1,270 metric tons) of solid waste.

Many people have complained that Norfolk Southern reopened the tracks less than a week after the derailment and did not remove the soil from underneath. The Railways now plans to excavate the areas and if it can start immediately, it should be able to remove all the contaminated soil by the end of April, he said.

And that only brought more jeers and angry shouts.

“You should have done it right the first time,” someone shouted.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration sent out an urgent safety alert Thursday to fuel truck owners to check the amount of aluminum coating on valves in their cars after the Ohio railroad derailment. The agency said car owners should consider switching to metal cladding, which is now the industry standard on new tank cars.

It is not clear how many used tank cars may have aluminum valve covers. The cars with them were manufactured in the 1990s.

The derailment has inspired many. Persistent concerns For about 5,000 residents of East Palestine, state and federal officials say tests have found no harmful toxic chemicals in the air and surrounding areas.

The NTB said the rising temperature caused the train to derail, sending 11 hazardous materials, including 38 cars, off the tracks. The trackside sensor detected the temperature before the rail cut The crew did not have enough time to stop the train.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Norfolk Southern was focused on cleaning up the mess while helping the city recover, and Shaw agreed to do just that. Congressional testimony Hearing about the train wreck next week.

First, Members of Congress and the The Biden administration Many have proposed rail safety reforms, but Norfolk Southern and other major freight railroads want to wait a year or more after the NTSB completes its investigation to make any significant changes.

The major railroads said last Thursday that they would take one of the steps suggested by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and join a government program that runs a confidential hotline for workers to report safety concerns.


Funk reports from Omaha, Nebraska and Siwer from Toledo, Ohio.

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