Community drawing environmental groups, politicians on East Palestine derailment anniversary
Community groups and politicians are planning events this weekend as members of the East Palestine community mark the first anniversary of the Norfolk Southern train derailment, fire, and chemical spill.
Village officials are scheduled to hold a news conference Friday morning to take questions from the media, providing updates on efforts to recover from the February 3, 2023, derailment, as well as plans.
Officials are expected to unveil a website, a social media campaign, and a newsletter showcasing clean-up and revitalization efforts.
In addition, more information will be disclosed about the creation of a non-profit Community Improvement Corporation which will focus on downtown revitalization, small business support, and strategies for retaining, expanding, and attracting businesses.
Also on Friday morning, Ohio Attorney Dave Yost will provide a virtual update on the state’s lawsuit filed against Norfolk Southern.
On Saturday, the actual anniversary of the derailment, a full day of events will begin in Columbiana and end in East Palestine.
The Main Street Theatre in Columbiana will host several speakers and forums from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m., including Dr. Beatrice Golomb, who is part of a study out of UC San Diego Health to document new health problems and long-term health effects.
The theatre will also host the East Palestine Ohio Environmental Film Festival from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m.
Environmental activist Erin Brockovich will share a pre-taped message during the commemorative event at the theatre from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Also speaking during the 2:30 pm to 4 pm event will be Leslie Pacey of the Government Accountability Project.
From 4:30 until 6 p.m., the Unity Council will present several experts to talk about the long-term effects of the derailment and controlled burn.
Events move back to East Palestine Saturday night as the Unity Council for EP Train Derailment is planning a "Together in Unity" get-together from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at McKims Honeyvine and Winery, 735 East Taggart Street, East Palestine.
The meeting is billed as "an evening of art, music, light refreshments, testimony, and a ritual of remembrance."
The Unity Council calls itself a community oversight board to ensure the right of the people to maintain clean air, water, and soil.