EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – Senator JD Vance, R-Ohio, said Monday that he wants to hear from residents of East Palestine who see environmental impacts from the train derailment and controlled release of vinyl chloride.
Vance said he has already heard reports of contaminated wildlife as monitoring continues.
“We continue to monitor environmental reports from multiple agencies about the quality of the air and water in the region. I have heard alarming anecdotes about contaminated waterways and effects on wildlife. I encourage anyone with credible reports of environmental harms to contact my office. In the meantime, we will continue to engage with the relevant agencies and monitor the situation in the region,” Vance said.
Vance said his office has been in “constant contact” with local officials, residents and the governor’s office since the derailment and is working with FEMA to help local emergency responders with equipment and decontamination efforts.
“I am dedicated to ensuring that the relevant authorities do not use tests conducted as a permission slip to pack up and go home. This is a complex environmental disaster with impacts that may be difficult to assess in the short term,” he said.
Vance also said his office is looking into the “troubling trend” of infrastructure problems in the U.S.
About a week and a half ago, Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said he’s been talking with federal safety and transportation officials in the days since the derailment and evacuation saying he’s been “disturbed” by what he’s calling a lack of attention at the federal level to train safety.
Brown says he wants to see action to ensure all railroad companies are doing what they can to protect their employees and maintain their trains and equipment.