Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported on allegations brought to light by a whistleblower from the U.S. EPA that the agency mishandled their response to the East Palestine train derailment back in February of 2023. The EPA has now fired back calling those allegations "false."

As previously reported by AP, this whistleblower is accusing the EPA of not flying a specialized plane with advanced sensors over the village until four days after the derailment, one day after Norfolk Southern's controversial vent and burn.

AP reports this whistleblower said this plane could have provided crucial data about the hazardous chemicals spewing into the air in the village that forced people to evacuate their homes.

However, the EPA says this whistleblower's allegations are false. In a statement, the EPA says it requested the plane to fly to East Palestine on February 5, two days after the derailment occurred and one day before the vent and burn.

"As soon as the request was made, the aircraft was deployed the same day from its home base in Addison, Texas to Pittsburgh," the statement reads.

The EPA went on to say the reason they didn't fly over the village on February 6, the day of the vent and burn, was that the flight crew determined it was unsafe due to the weather conditions that day.

"Due to low ceilings and icing conditions, the flight crew made the determination that the aircraft was unable to fly safely on February 6, 2023, the day of the controlled burn. Weather conditions were favorable for data collection on February 7, 2023, and the aircraft conducted two flight missions, providing the information it was requested to collect consistent with previous ASPECT responses," the statement reads.

The EPA continued the statement by saying they were on scene hours after the derailment establishing a "robust air monitoring network" at the derailment site and within the village.

"EPA's ASPECT plane was just one component of a comprehensive air monitoring and sampling network that included several instruments to collect air samples and measure contaminants at and around the site," the statement reads.

"EPA's air monitoring readings were below detection levels for most contaminants, except for particulate matter. EPA air monitoring did not detect chemical contaminants at levels of concern in the hours following the controlled burn. Over the course of the response, EPA has collected over 115 million air monitoring data points and over 28,000 air samples," the statement continues.

The EPA went on to say since the evacuation order was lifted, no sustained chemicals of concern have been found in the air.

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