The GOP Senator from Ohio, James David Vance, visited East Palestine, Ohio this week to see what Palestine is going through after the train derailment for the 3rd time. The Train, full of harmful chemicals, poisoned the water and air of the small town.
Vance talked to the local residents and officials and made time for a press briefing on the incident.
Vance stated in a press briefing:
“Obviously, I’m most concerned about the public safety component of this. Is the air breathable? Is this water drinkable? That’s the most important question.”
“I have a few concerns on that front. First of all, we still don’t have the disaster cleaned up, so we still have toxic chemicals seeping into the water supply.”
“That’s a real problem and I think, frankly, Norfolk Southern should be doing a lot more to clean up the contaminated soil.”
Ohio Senator elaborated:
“I am very frustrated with the CDC. We’ve been going back and forth with them for a couple of days, asking them, ‘What are the acceptable levels of contamination here before this becomes endangering to human health?’ We have not yet gotten a good answer, and it’s something we’re going to keep hammering on.”
“Let me, first of all, say a word of thanks and gratitude to the first responders, to the police officers, and especially the firefighters. I spoke to the fire chief briefly. His guys are exhausted. They’ve been doing something heroic for the last week and a half and they deserve our support. They deserve our gratitude. They also deserve the equipment they need to do their job.”
“Finally, we need to give this community long-term confidence that their health is protected. Let’s say for the sake of argument, we have no concerns about the safety of the air or the water – and as I said, I do have concerns – we have a community that has been affected by this tragedy. That is justifiably very worried about what is going on. So we need to give people confidence that this is a safe place to live, to work to raise a family.”
Vance then shifted to President Joe Biden’s reaction to the incident, grilling the Department of Transportation, directed by Pete Buttigieg, for its incompetence during the incident and its aftereffects.
“I haven’t spoken to President Biden. My message to him is pretty simple: the Department of Transportation – your Department of Transportation – has things it can do. Stop blaming Donald Trump, a guy who hasn’t been president for three years, and use the powers of the Federal Government to do the things necessary to help people in this community.”