The top-ranking Democrat and Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have announced that they will hold a hearing to investigate the response of local, state, and federal officials to the East Palestine, OH train derailment.
Sens. Tom Carper (D-DE) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) announced in a joint statement provided to PoliticusUSA, “The recent Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio has led to serious health and safety concerns from the surrounding communities. Given these concerns, we will hold a committee hearing soon on the environmental and public health impacts of this incident. Our focus will be to examine the local, state and federal response in the immediate aftermath of the train derailment and the ongoing efforts to clean up toxic chemicals in the surrounding environment. We believe this is an important step to ensure that response prioritizes the health and safety of those impacted by this terrible accident.”
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Gov. Mike DeWine’s role in the response has come under increasing scrutiny after it was reported that the testing that he used to declare the water safe to drink did not come from state or federal authorities, but came from the railroad that was responsible for the derailment. DeWine acted unilaterally to approve the release of dangerous chemicals into the air.
Republicans are trying to blame Biden and the EPA for this disaster, but Gov. DeWine didn’t request federal assistance until two days ago.
The Obama-era rules for rail transportation of hazardous chemicals that Trump got rid of need to be put back in place. The hearing will be a high-profile investigative look at how local and state officials may have made things worse by allowing Norfolk Southern to lead the response.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
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Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association