Federal response teams to begin door-to-door checks in East Palestine

Published: Feb. 25, 2023 at 7:35 AM EST
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COLUMBIANA COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - Federal response teams consisting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will begin a door-to-door outreach in East Palestine starting Saturday under orders from U.S. President Joe Biden.

A White House spokesperson said the goal of the federal initiative is to meet with residents who are still impacted in the wake of the train derailment to connect them with resources and learn about ongoing concerns and any unmet needs. Officials confirmed the target is to knock on 400 doors by Monday.

The order comes following the 50-car derailment on Feb 3, caused by a mechanical failure according to preliminary reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Twenty of those derailed cars contained vinyl chloride, a toxic, cancer-producing chemical that is mixed with other components to make PVC pipe.

Officials conducted a controlled chemical release on the cars carrying the vinyl chloride on Feb. 6, burning off the toxic chemical before catastrophic failure.

The order also comes within the same week that former President Donald Trump and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigeig made their respective visits to East Palestine.

Officials also confirmed a hotline has also been launched to assist residents and businesses in the area.

The hotline will provide services such as air monitoring and water sampling. Those who are looking for assistance have been asked to call 866-361-0526.

This is a developing story. Return to 19 News for updates.