EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – It has been two weeks since the train derailment in East Palestine. Local, state and federal officials have visited the village as the community continues to recover. On Friday, three state representatives held a press conference to discuss their resolution.
Under federal law, railroad companies are not required to alert the state of Ohio if they are hauling hazardous materials. So, representatives Al Cutrona, Lauren McNally and Monica Robb Blasdel say they are presenting a resolution to the state House, hoping it makes its way to Congress.
“Taking legislative action to require the railroad companies to notify the state of Ohio when they are hauling hazardous materials through our state,” Robb Blasdel said.
Robb Blasdel says this is a safety concern for both the residents and first responders.
According to McNally, this is the third piece of legislative action since the derailment.
“I feel like this is just another example of us putting our money where our mouth is,” McNally said.
The train was carrying multiple hazardous chemicals, mainly vinyl chloride. Since the laws are controlled at the federal level, Ohio was initially unaware of what was on them.
McNally says this resolution will help everyone prepare.
“These trains are cutting right through our neighborhoods, and our neighborhoods are not large in Ohio, not large around here,” McNally said.
McNally thinks this will move quickly through the House.
As of now, they don’t know how an alert system would be set up.
McNally says they heard from the federal level that 1 out of every 5 pieces being transported is hazardous.
“I would anticipate that there is more that needs to go into the execution side of this resolution if it becomes law,” McNally said.
“The purpose too is to have this resolution show the will of Ohio when they are discussing this in Congress,” Cutrona said.
The resolution was filed at 4 p.m. on Friday. On Tuesday, it will be sent to rules and references to decide on a committee.
Domenic Weser contributed to this report.