STEUBENVILLE – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited a makeshift health clinic in East Palestine to hear from residents about their ongoing needs following the Norfolk Southern train derailment in February.
Elected officials should not be swayed by a crisis like this, putting aside partisanship and working together for the people we serve, not for corporations like Norfolk Southern. Brown said. “This type of community is often forgotten or exploited by corporate America. I’m here for the long haul. “If this is what we’re going to be for months, for the next year, for the next 10 years,” he said.
A health assessment clinic opened in February. Residents can check their vital signs, talk to a doctor or mental health professional, or get a referral. The clinic received $250,000 in federal funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration. It is operated by the Ohio Department of Health, the Columbiana County Health Department and the Columbiana County Community Action Agency.
It’s always good when we work with some of the county agencies like the County Health District and the Mental Health and Rehabilitation Board to help our communities throughout the year, but this health assessment clinic in East Palestine is unprecedented, and CAACC is great. I am happy to be able to help these affected residents get the care and attention they need to help them through this crisis and begin the proper treatment path. said Thomas Andrews, CEO of Columbiana County, Inc.’s (CAACC’s) Community Action Agency. It is very reassuring that Senator Brown took time out of his busy schedule to visit and experience the health assessment clinic in person so that our efforts have been recognized.
Brown is working with members of both parties to secure resources for Ohioans and hold Norfolk South accountable for cleaning up the community. Brown traveled to East Palestine several times to meet with the Ohioans and respond to their needs.
Brown and U.S. Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) asked Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Reagan and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Michael Reagan to ensure Ohioans affected by the Norfolk Southern rail derailment. You have the option of an initial medical examination, and Norfolk Southern will pay for it.
Brown also led a bipartisan group of colleagues, including Vance, to introduce the Rail Safety Act of 2023, which would improve rail safety protocols, and ultimately stood up to railroad company lobbyists and spoke to residents of Springfield, Sandusky and Steubenville, among others, in East Palestine and Ohio.
Last week, Brown, along with U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and John Fetterman (D-PA) of Pennsylvania, introduced the Aid to Homeland Heroes During Train Crisis Act to support first responders to dangerous train derailments. In East Palestine, Ohio and Darlington, Pennsylvania, local emergency responders, firefighters and law enforcement officials risked their own safety to protect their communities after the Norfolk Southern disaster. This new law creates a new fund — paid for by the companies that ship and transport these items — to provide emergency responders, firefighters and law enforcement with financial resources needed to replace equipment, pay workers overtime and other urgent expenses. Railroads are required to notify local authorities and emergency response teams when hazardous materials move through their communities.