EPA-linked Agency Allegedly Pushes Contracts Negating Liability For Testing Groups

A resident of East Palestine, Ohio, the town where derailed Norfolk Southern train cars were intentionally lit into a toxic fire, told radio host and Blaze Media co-founder Glenn Beck that people working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were pressuring locals to sign agreements that allegedly sought to lessen liability surrounding air monitoring tests.

Katlyn Schwarzwaelder is a resident of East Palestine, Ohio, the small town where Norfolk Southern Railways’ ecological catastrophe took place, which reportedly caused the deaths of many animals in the area and has left numerous locals complaining of eye difficulties and breathing issues.

A report by Chemical and Engineering News revealed that Schwarzwaelder, who was able to evacuate her dogs and horse from the town, has had exchanges with residents who have seen fish, chickens, foxes, dogs, and other animals suddenly pass away following the crash and controlled burn.

“I got a call yesterday from a person who lives 1.5 miles away from the derailment area,” said Schwarzwaelder. “They let their 2-year-old healthy dog out to go to the bathroom, and the dog never returned inside. He was dead in the yard.”

As Blaze Media reported, a huge wad of smoke took over East Palestine’s skies, emitting fumes such as vinyl chloride, hydrogen chloride, and phosgene.

Phosgene was notably used as a chemical weapon during 20th-century warfare.

Schwarzwaelder appeared on the Glenn Beck Program Wednesday, telling Beck that citizens of East Palestine had been informed by Norfolk Southern Railway affiliates that “the agencies that were coming to our homes to test were from independent laboratories.”

The people who came to test the air around Schwarzwaelder’s air home allegedly provided her with a release form allowing “Norfolk Southern, its affiliates, subsidiaries, parents, contractors, associated environmental professionals, and assisting local, state, and federal agencies, including but not limited to CTEH LLC and any of their personnel (collectively, ‘Monitoring Team’) to access the Property for air monitoring or environmental sampling.”

“Landowner agrees to indemnify, release, and hold harmless Unified Command from and against any and all legal claims, including for personal injury or property damage, arising from Monitoring Team’s performance of air monitoring or environmental sampling at the Property on the date of signature below,” continued the contract.

The legal language in the form seemingly attempts to allow those who played a role in the catastrophic derailment and subsequent burning to get off scot-free should problems stemming from the crash such as health issues pop up in the near or distant future.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson touched upon the topic as well, bringing up the shady contracts during a recent segment on his primetime TV show that featured a couple of East Palestine residents.

Schwarzwaelder declined to sign her name on the release form but stated that 340 other residents ultimately did so.

“My heart just breaks for these people. We don’t know the long-term repercussions of what these chemicals can do in our air, to our environment, to our homes, to our businesses. And they signed their rights away in the hopes that they’re getting help and the right answers from these organizations,” Schwarzwaelder said during her appearance on Beck’s show.

“What I can tell you first hand is that CTEH, the affiliate of Norfolk that came to test the air, was followed by the EPA. … We said, ‘Can the EPA by themselves come into our kennel? We do not sign this paper,’ and ‘Can they test themselves because they are a government organization that has the ability, they have the testing equipment with them?’ And the answer was, ‘Absolutely not.’”