East Palestine residents react to Norfolk Southern long-term plans
In a response to a lawsuit filed against them by Ohio Attorney General David Yost--Norfolk Southern laid out plans to address long term health risks, property values and clean water--all in a statement.
That list includes:
- Providing protection for home sellers if their property loses value to the derailment
- creation of a long-term medical compensation fund
- programs that will protect the drinking water over the long-term
Residents that spoke to 21 News say while those long-term plans are necessary, actions need to be taken to address the issues facing the community right now.
Jami Cozza, an East Palestine resident, and organizer with River Valley Organizing has been advocating for people living there--all the while she's been staying with her family in hotels since the first evacuation orders came down, hours after the derailment.
"To me that's just a bunch of words", said Cozza, in response to Norfolk Southern's statement. "Take action show us what you want to do...don't tell us what you're going to do in the future. Start with now.", she added.
Summer Magness lives just over a mile from the derailment site, and says these plans are vague.
"It has no time line, it has no scope of the residents.", Magness explained, while expressing concerns for those living in neighboring communities while air, and water testing continues.
"There scope is going to expand and how are they going to include those people.", she concluded.
Norfolk Southern says details are still being ironed out, and that this isn't just a plan...it's a commitment to action.
When asked if the language pertaining to home protection--if that meant the rail company will be buying up homes, the company spokesperson said no, but he reiterated that the details are still being worked out.