WASHINGTON D.C. (WKBN)- On Thursday, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sent a letter to Governor Mike DeWine calling on him to officially declare a disaster in East Palestine and seek the full support of the federal government to bolster the state of Ohio’s ongoing clean-up efforts.
Brown wrote the following statement in regard to the incident:
“A man-made disaster of this scale, scope, and significance necessitates a response and deployment of resources that are commensurate in scale and scope. I’m grateful for all that the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Emergency Management Agency, local firefighters, and local law enforcement have done to respond to this unprecedented disaster, but it’s critical we act quickly to supplement those efforts. Additional federal resources can and should play a critical role in helping our fellow Ohioans get back on their feet and ensure that their community is a safe place to live, work, and raise a family.”
The full letter to Governor DeWine could be seen here.
DeWine has requested assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health and Emergency Response Team, and the CDC to provide on-the-ground assistance in East Palestine.
DeWine’s release states that his administration has been in daily contact with FEMA to discuss the need for federal support, however, FEMA continues to tell Governor DeWine that Ohio is not eligible for assistance at this time. The governor said he will continue working with FEMA to determine what assistance can be provided.
Brown previously sent letters to the NTSB and EPA raising concerns and calling on the agencies to investigate and provide assistance to the East Palestine community.
On Wednesday, employees from Norfolk Southern told CBS News that they were concerned about the size of the train that derailed in East Palestine on February 3.