East Palestine residents remain fearful; feds pledge more help

More than two weeks after a train derailed near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border releasing toxic chemicals into the ground and water, residents are still reeling with uncertainty as officials are pledging to address growing health concerns and federal agencies are expected to announce additional assistance.

While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Transportation Safety Board continue to investigate the incident, residents of East Palestine, Ohio, have complained about headaches and skin rashes in addition to environmental fears.

The federal agencies maintain that the air and water are safe after officials prompted a controlled released of vinyl chloride to prevent an explosion following the derailment on Feb. 3. But the potential and unknown long-term effects from the toxic chemicals remain a growing fear among East Palestine residents.
Officials are also monitoring chemical levels in areas along the Ohio River to determine the river’s water intake.

Amid several lawsuits claiming negligence against Norfolk Southern Corp., federal officials are setting up a clinic in East Palestine to address the medical needs of residents. National figures and federal agencies were also set to visit the village of nearly 5,000 to provide additional assistance.
East Palestine residents remain frustrated amid safety concerns
East Palestine residents remained scared and frustrated over the train derailment that spewed thousands of gallons of toxic chemicals in the area.

In search of answers, residents had gathered for a meeting with East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway and Norfolk Southern on Feb. 15. But the rail operator had pulled out of the meeting at the last minute, expressing concern for the safety of its employees.

With the lack of answers, fears only grew. The deeper fear, residents say, is about what happens when the broken train cars are hauled away and the TV cameras are gone.

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