The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told Norfolk Southern to cease with toxic waste shipments from the train derailment site in East Palestine, Ohio.
The Biden administration has been slammed by critics for its failure to decisively act in the aftermath of the tragic accident. Scores have been sickened and area residents are furious at the lack of federal response.
The EPA told the railroad company that they are to halt movement of the toxic materials from the area “until federal officials could review the routes and disposal facilities.”
This announcement was made by EPA regional administrator Debra Shore, who held a press conference just days after the federal agency declared it was taking control of the massive cleanup process.
Dangerous amounts of hazardous chemicals were released into the region and countless animals have died from contamination. Residents of East Palestine report various illnesses along with health and safety concerns after the release of toxic chemicals.
Buttigieg admits there is over 1,000 derailments every year. Biden Admin and Norfolk Southern just don’t care. Despite windfall profits for Norfolk Southern and $1.2 trillion so-called “infrastructure” bill, they have done nothing to protect our communities. The lack of support… https://t.co/lbh63S22Us pic.twitter.com/T52lzNv1aC
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) February 26, 2023
Officials report roughly 102,000 gallons of liquid waste and 4,500 cubic yards of solid waste are being stored in the Ohio town. Five truckloads of contaminated soil that were sent to Michigan were promptly returned by officials there.
They complained that there had been no warning that the waste was being shipped to them.
Norfolk Southern told NPR that “we are working with the U.S. EPA to resume moving waste from East Palestine as soon as possible.”
The National Transportation Safety Board slammed the railroad company’s safety protocols in the latest report on the derailment. According to safety board chair Jennifer Homendy, the incident was “100% preventable…there was no accident.”
She reported at a news conference that the NTSB discovered that one of the rail cars was heated by a hot axle. This sparked the initial fire, but the train passed two defect detectors that did not detect the problem.
When a third detector picked up the fire, which had reached the temperature necessary to trigger the audible alarm message, it was too late.
The Biden administration is certainly playing catch-up in the tragic train derailment. Even as federal agencies now attempt to get the situation under control, it just spotlights how little was done in the immediate aftermath of the incident that could have prevented further damage.