East Palestine advocates present community demands
More than 3 months after the toxic train derailment and controlled burn in East Palestine, the community got together to announce a list of demands they're giving to Norfolk Southern and the government.
These demands are also pleas for help as they continue working to bring their lives back to normalcy. From thorough and honest testing to the extent of selling their homes, organizers say they're not backing down without a fight.
Unity Council for the EP Train Derailment creating a list of 6 demands for Norfolk Southern and the government. This includes demanding Governor DeWine declare the derailment a disaster and relocating anyone who feels unsafe in their homes at the expense of Norfolk Southern.
"We don't want to be forced out of our homes but for the people who do feel unsafe, they should have the ability to leave and Norfolk Southern should be paying for that," said Hilary Flint of Unity Council for the EP Train Derailment and an Enon Valley resident.
Other demands include the ability to hire independent scientists and medical experts for testing. The group called for Norfolk Southern to bare the expense.
"We're all kind of living in the unknown and there needs to be testing now so we have that baseline," Flint added.
The group is mainly concerned with the EPA assistance, they say they don't trust what's being told to them.
"I was told by the EPA that our home, our soil will not be tested until the tracks in the soil are brought up and removed," said Shelby Walker of Unity Council for the EP Train Derailment and an East Palestine resident.
"The equipment that the EPA is using, can't test for sensitive enough levels," Flint added. "So, what people are hearing is, 'Oh you're house isn't affected,' but it's just at levels they can't detect. People have lost a lot of hope in the EPA."
The group also calls for environmental justice and for toxic waste to be disposed of far from the region. The group maintains hope for the future while hoping their answers are solved as time progresses.