It's been a tough 10 days for the people of East Palestine.

As the school district and businesses continue to open back up in full swing, politicians including Congressman Bill Johnson made their way to ground zero.

21 News spent the evening with Johnson and village officials as there are still many unanswered questions about the future of the town.

"What a massive operation they've got going on there," Johnson said during a press conference Monday. "I'm just so grateful for the first responders and the people here locally that responded. I heard today no buildings were seriously damaged and we were able to get the residents out." 

From fire departments seeking funding to replace destroyed equipment to rail unions seeking stricter safety guidelines, Johnson told 21 News he wouldn't be opposed to creating legislation to solve these problems.

"We wait until we see what the investigation reveals and identify what the problems are before we launch off and start to try and solve them," Johnson told 21 News. "But I'm certainly not afraid to take congressional action."

Another topic on everyone's mind is the current air quality in East Palestine 10 days after the derailment. Mayor Trent Conaway told 21 News Monday that the EPA is paying close attention to those air monitoring tests throughout the village.

"There's going to be a lot of monitoring going on and they are still doing the rover monitoring to make sure the air in the general area is good too," Conaway explained. 

The most recent data from Friday, February 10 showed airborne particle matter is continuing to reduce to near-zero levels. This comes as hundreds of homeowners are requesting air quality tests within their homes to ensure their families are safe.

Johnson said he waited to visit the village to reduce distraction during the cleanup process. 

"I wanted to stay out of the way," Johnson said. "The last thing you need in a situation like that is elected officials and politicians coming in and poling their nose around. You don't want people distracted when they're trying to save lives and stop the spread of toxic chemicals. But, I was on the phone with the Mayor, Governor DeWine, the head of the EPA, the head of Norfolk Southern and my staff reached out to the emergency management folks here."

During the press conference, East Palestine's firefighters were getting fitted for new gear with a new manufacturing company after hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of their gear was contaminated with chemicals during the initial fire and controlled burn. 

Stay connected with 21 News for the latest developments out of East Palestine.