Just two weeks ago, the lives of the residents of East Palestine, Ohio changed forever after a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous chemical derailed in their small town.
Authorities soon feared that some tanker cars could explode, spewing hazardous chemicals and shrapnel all throughout the town. So, in order to prevent an explosion, they blew it up themselves.
Big brain stuff here, folks.
Now, with the byproducts of burning vinyl chloride floating around in the air, and a number of sudden pet and livestock deaths, residents are growing enraged at the lack of assistance they’ve been getting from local authorities, the railroad company, and the White House.
President Joe Biden’s administration rejected a request for federal disaster assistance from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in response to the train derailment in East Palestine earlier this month.
The derailment, which occurred on February 3, caused a fire that lasted several days. Officials decided to initiate a controlled release of the chemicals to mitigate the risk of an explosion; all residents within one mile of the crash site were told to evacuate, although they were permitted to return to their homes on February 8.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) told Ohio that the Biden administration was rejecting its request for federal assistance because the agency said the incident did not qualify.
Dan Tierney, a spokesperson for DeWine, told Fox News that Ohio was able to get some assistance through the Department of Health and Human Services that can assist residents who need medical care as a result of the fallout from the derailment and toxic burn.
The feds put out a rather bland statement on the subject.
“FEMA is in constant contact with the emergency operations center in East Palestine and with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency,” said FEMA spokesperson Jeremy Edwards. “We are closely coordinating with EPA, HHS, and the CDC, who are helping to test water and air quality, and to conduct public health assessments.”
The Biden administration defended their decision on Friday, suggesting that they are coordinating a multi-agency response to the situation.
Become an insider!
Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.