US Senator JD Vance visits East Palestine following toxic train derailment

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 4:06 PM EDT
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COLUMBIANA COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - United States Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) made an appearance in East Palestine on Monday to meet with residents and local leaders following last month’s toxic train derailment.

The meeting comes following the 50-car derailment on Feb 3. Five of the cars were full of vinyl chloride, a toxic chemical that can cause cancer in humans.

In a press conference held Monday afternoon, Senator Vance told residents he believes the cleanup is moving too slowly and the EPA is to blame.

“The problem is not that it’s taking too much time. The problem is we are close to I believe day 10, where there hasn’t been a single truckload taken out of this community. How does that make any sense? That is the issue here. We have the dirt, we have the clean-up site. We have clean-up facilities meant to take the toxic dirt and yet very few of those facilities are taking it and that’s a problem,” said Vance.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said, as of March 10, 24 tons of contaminated soil still needs to be removed from the derailment site.

The U.S. Senate, including both Vance and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), last week also held a hearing on Norfolk Southern, who owned the train that derailed.

“The response to this crisis has been far too partisan. Today is an opportunity to change that. Senator Vance and I are both listening to the same Ohioans in this community – people who feel like they have no way to stand up to a company like Norfolk Southern, and are worried about what will happen when the cameras pack up and leave,” said Brown at the hearing. “If Norfolk Southern had paid a little more attention to safety and a little less attention to its profits – had cared a little more about the Ohioans along its tracks, and a little less about its executives and shareholders – these accidents would not have been as bad, or might not have happened at all.”

JD Vance was also in East Palestine during former President Donald Trump’s visit to the area.