Thursday, March 02, 2023 by Ethan Huff
An Ohio nonprofit group called River Valley Organizing has created a list of demands for Norfolk Southern to accommodate locals who were harmed by the disaster.
Concerned residents need help relocating, one of the demands reads. Another calls for increased environmental and medical testing and monitoring to ensure that East Palestine and the surrounding region is safe for people and animals.
(Related: Some say that East Palestine needs to be continually monitored and tested well into the future for both for dioxins and furans.)
River Valley Organizing also wants Norfolk Southern to safely dispose of all toxic waste in the area while covering all the costs associated with cleanup efforts.
“We heard the people of East Palestine loud and clear: what they want are safe homes and independent testing,” said Jami Cozy, an RVO organizer and resident of East Palestine.
“It is only through coming together and demanding action that we will hold Norfolk Southern accountable and get families and businesses in our community the help they are owed.”
For residents that feel they need to temporarily relocate to a hotel or safe house until the chemical scourge has passed, RVO wants Norfolk Southern to foot their bills until life can return back to normal.
RVO also wants the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct air, soil, and water testing for dioxins, which are among the most dangerous and persistent chemicals in the world.
EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore says the agency does not currently test for dioxins because it does not “have baseline information in this area to do a proper test.”
The federal Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) must also get involved to “provide ongoing health monitoring” and “guarantee health coverage” for residents, many of whom are reporting headaches and rashes.
One such resident told the media that her child became sick after playing in a local park following the derailment.
The Ohio Department of Health recently opened a health clinic to help residents get screened for any medical concerns they might have. It is free, and it allows visitors to have their vitals taken and receive a medical evaluation.
RVO is also concerned about the disposal of toxic waste from the wreck “in the heritage thermal toxic incinerator” in nearby East Liverpool, which the group says “has already been polluting our communities for years” and “will only further spread the contaminants.”
Finally, it is completely unacceptable for any resident of East Palestine or nearby towns to have to pay for all this out of their own pocket. That should be the responsibility of Norfolk Southern, RVO says.
“Taxpayers shouldn’t foot this bill,” RVO wrote in a post on Facebook. “Norfolk Southern made this mess. They should clean it up.”
In order to compile this list of demands, RVO volunteers went door to door in East Palestine asking residents to share their points of view on the matter. RVO also conducted phone canvassing and listened to residents speak at the recent town hall meeting.
The EPA reportedly screened 578 homes for reentry as of February 27. The federal agency is continuing to monitor several locations throughout the village.
“Compared to EPA National Air Toxics data (NATA 2014), some concentrations in East Palestine (OH) for 9 out of ~50 chemicals EPA reported are higher than ‘normal.’ If these levels continue, they may be of health concern (especially acrolein),” tweeted researchers from Texas A&M University on February 24.
In the comments, someone joked that too little is being done in East Palestine because the American government is too busy wasting taxpayer dollars “funding Ukraine’s quest for power and covering up its corruption.”
The latest news about the train derailment disaster in East Palestine can be found at Disaster.news.
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Tagged Under: Tags: badhealth, chemicals, debt bomb, derailment, dioxin, disaster, East Palestine, ecology, environment, ohio, poisons, toxin, Train
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