J.D. Vance releases statement on East Palestine train derailment aftermath
Ohio-based U.S. Senator, J.D. Vance has issued a statement regarding the aftermath of the train derailment disaster in East Palestine.
In his statement, Vance says he was "horrified" by the incident and the images he's seen of it.
"One week ago, local and state officials determined that to avoid a catastrophic explosion a controlled release of vinyl chloride would take place. This release is the source of the frightening plumes of black smoke that have made their way around social media," Vance said.
Despite the smoke clearing, the fires being out and officials telling residents it's safe to return home, some residents still have some concerns about the quality of the village's air quality, water quality, etc.
Vance acknowledged these concerns in his statement.
"So far, we've been told that air and drinking water tests performed by the state and federal Environmental Protection Agencies, the Ohio National Guard and Norfolk Southern have been encouraging," Vance said.
Vance says he and his team are continuing to monitor environmental reports from multiple different agencies about the air and water quality in the village.
Vance went on to say that if you have any credible reports of environmental harm in the area to contact his office at 202-224-3353.
Vance then thanked local fire officials for their part in ensuring the village was safe before allowing citizens to return.
"These firefighters deserve our gratitude for their heroism [but] they also deserve equipment they need for their jobs. My office will continue to work with FEMA to ensure these firefighters get what they need," Vance said.
Finally, Vance says once cleanup is completed and everyone's safety is ensured, he and his team will look into what can be done to prevent future accidents like this one.
"Many questions remain unanswered about the quality of the braking system used, the durability of the repair parts in the trains and the Transportation Department’s regulatory approach to our nation’s rail system. Aside from this incident, there is a troubling trend of catastrophic infrastructure problems in our country, and more than a few reports of sabotage. My office will be investigating these concerns in the weeks to come," Vance said.