CDC heading to East Palestine for public health testing, White House says

Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 12:45 PM EST
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EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WOIO) - White House officials said Friday the Biden-Harris administration is sending additional federal sources to East Palestine as the community works to recover from impacts of the train derailment.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be sending crews to carryout public health testing, according to a news release.

Since the Norfolk Southern train derailed on Feb. 3, the following groups have responded to Columbiana County:

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

The White House said EPA officials will be continuing their work of monitoring air quality, screening homes for contaminants and helping ensure the drinking water is safe.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to supporting the people of East Palestine every step of the way, and holding Norfolk Southern accountable,” the news release stated.

The EPA said its staff has tested the air quality in more than 500 homes and has not detected vinyl chloride or hydrogen chloride “above levels of concern.”

Columbia County General Health District will have sampled nearly 50 residential private wells by Friday’s end, according to the EPA.

Residents in the evacuation zone can call 330-849-3919 to request home air or water quality tests.

East Palestine residents with questions are asked to call 215-814-2400.