East Palestine community members send out list of demands

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – Community members in and near East Palestine have sent out a list of demands for Norfolk Southern and the federal government following the train derailment on Feb. 3.

According to the release sent out by River Valley Organizing, the demands come after a community town hall where a room of 200 people heard from a panel of environmental experts.

The demands are based on feedback from those who attended the meeting.

“We heard the people of East Palestine loud and clear: what they want are safe homes and independent testing,” said RVO Organizer and East Palestine resident Jami Cozza. “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.” 

Below is the list of demands outlined in the release:

  1. Relocation for anyone who wants it. Folks don’t feel safe and aren’t getting their questions answered. Anyone who wants to be relocated to hotels or safe housing should have the opportunity to do so, paid for by Norfolk Southern.
  2. Independent environmental testing. The EPA must immediately begin and continue to test soil, water, and air, including for dioxins throughout the region, and commit to regular public meetings to explain findings. Norfolk Southern must pay for an independent scientist, hired by residents, to represent the community and participate in all technical meetings regarding testing, cleanup, and safety plans.  
  3. Ongoing medical testing and monitoring: We still don’t know what the short and long-term health impacts of this disaster will be. Federal Health & Human Services must provide ongoing health monitoring to evaluate those in the impacted region, guarantee health coverage, and Norfolk Southern must cover the cost.
  4. Dispose of the toxic waste safely: The EPA cannot take the solid waste from the derailment and dispose of it in the Heritage Thermal toxic incinerator, in nearby East Liverpool, that has already been polluting our communities for years. This will only further spread the contaminants. Norfolk Southern must stop destroying evidence – we need a safety plan before resuming cleanup from the derailment site.
  5. Norfolk Southern pays 100% of the costs. Taxpayers shouldn’t foot this bill. Norfolk Southern made this mess, they should clean it up. The company must commit to paying 100% of the costs for testing, relocation, cleanup, medical monitoring and costs, and an independent science advisor.