House holds hearing on environmental response to East Palestine train derailment

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 9:54 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WOIO) - Members of the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing Tuesday morning on the environmental response to the Feb. 3 toxic train derailment in East Palestine.

Several days after the derailment, there was a controlled explosion of the five railroad cars carrying the chemical vinyl chloride.

The explosion caused a huge chemical plume and the chemicals were then directed into a ditch.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been on site monitoring the air quality and the Ohio EPA has been in charge of making sure the water is safe.

Tuesday’s hearing was announced earlier this month by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee Chair Bill Johnson (R-OH).

Together, the lawmakers released a statement that read: “The February train derailment has upended the lives of those living in East Palestine and the surrounding region. We will be hearing from federal, state, and local officials regarding their efforts to date and the actions they are taking to address the various environmental hazards. The communities that have been hurt deserve full transparency. The residents of these communities must be able to trust that their air, water, and soil is not a threat to their health.”

According to a news release, witnesses of the hearing will included:

  • Debra Shore, Regional Administrator, Region 5, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Anne M. Vogel, Director, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
  • Wesley Vins, Health Commissioner, Columbiana County General Health District

The full hearing is available to watch in the video player below.

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