COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN)- Ohio Governor Mike DeWine submitted a letter to FEMA requesting a 120-day extension to submit a request for a major disaster declaration in the East Palestine train derailment.  

According to a press release, Governor DeWine announced his intent to file for the extension on February 17, 2023, after determining that the East Palestine disaster did not qualify for traditional FEMA aid.

DeWine said that responders expressed grave concerns that temperature increase in a tanker carrying vinyl chloride could lead to a catastrophic explosion, with the potential of deadly shrapnel traveling up to one mile, so the decision was made to vent the tanker.

If the extension would not have been made, the window for DeWine to declare a disaster and qualify for aid from FEMA would have expired 30 days after the derailment.