The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) admitted that the water around the site of the Feb. 3 train derailment in Ohio was unsafe for children to drink.
EPA official Michael Regan visited the site after several weeks’ delay which came under fierce criticism by conservatives. While on the site, Regan stated what many observers surmised weeks ago: that the water near the site is unsafe for human consumption.
Regan was asked by a journalist about whether or not people should allow children to play in streams near the site. The EPA official was blunt, stating, “I would not.”
He said that as a father himself, he would not allow his child to go into the streams as “our creeks and streams have pollution in them.”
The latest news overrides many of the government agency statements over the last month.
There is considerable concern about the role of serious pollution in the area surrounding the crash and controlled burn.
The EPA did mandate that the railway carrier, Norfolk Southern, carry out testing for poisonous dioxins likely spilled by the crash. However, this was only done almost a month after the crash itself.
The same Michael Regan noted above said that the railway company must conduct an “immediate clean up if contaminants from the derailment are found at levels that jeopardize people’s health.”
Tens of thousands of animals are estimated dead around the scene of the accident. A number of recently deceased animals were sent in for autopsies.
In addition, numerous residents report adverse health effects following the early February derailment. This includes serious headaches and recent reports by workers on site of illness.
CNN finally notes the "THREE WEEKS of angry pleas from residents of East Palestine that the company, the [EPA], and the president of the United States are simply not doing enough." pic.twitter.com/aQREEgfcsf
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 23, 2023
In addition to a number of wild animals dying, residents report deaths of domesticated animals, as well.
Various public officials also requested a full review of what happened near the site of the crash, including Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH). This was followed by a major visit by former President Trump, who distributed needed food and water to local residents.
Despite these major calls for action, President Joe Biden has not yet announced a visit to the site, even after his recent trip to Ukraine.