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We Have Already Helped 1,000+ Desperate Ohio Derailment Victims

By March 2, 2023February 14th, 2024Current Events, Ohio Train Derailment

Saturday Night Live’s opening monologue Feb. 25th lampooned the Feb. 3 Norfolk Southern train derailment, poking absurd at politicians’ half-baked responses to the environmental disaster in East Palestine, Ohio.

But the real news is how the community is reacting. Locals have wised up to what they consider attempts by authorities to pull the wool over their eyes. They’re just not having it.

What Happened.

An explosive crash spewed hazardous chemicals into an estimated 30-mile radius when 11 rail cars containing flammable toxic chemicals left the tracks, igniting a 100-foot fireball and what has been dubbed a “cultural rebellion” against federal and state officials, especially the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who try to downplay the unknowable health disasters anticipated for months and decades.

In those toppled cars were pellets of vinyl chloride, a carcinogenic VOC (volatile organic chemical) used to make plastic. To avoid a more epic explosion, emergency rail crews burned off the chemicals to stop ongoing flames from reaching more flammable chemicals in overturned cars nearby.

The pollution caused by the burn has lingered with confusion over how much and how dangerous the air, soil and water really are, in spite of EPA head Michael Regan’s assurances of safety.

Immediately after the crash, residents began reporting rashes, burning throats, noses and lungs, headaches, nausea, dizziness – various predictable symptoms of exposure to the chemicals released. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources on Feb. 26 updated its estimate of fish and other aquatic life found dead downstream from 3,500 to 43,000 (35 hundred to 43 thousand), on top of sick, dead and vanishing wildlife reports – cattle, horses, foxes, pet dogs, cats, and the birds they catch for food.

They Said, They Said.

An independent research team from Texas A&M University has openly disputed the EPA’s confidence, indicating an all-too-likely inevitability of negative health consequences for years, possibly decades. The people of East Palestine will be living in fear the rest of their lives.

A&M scientists detected elevated levels of acrolein found in smoke that can cause burning throats and lungs as well as headaches in humans. Phosgene, another elevated chemical, was used in WWI for choking enemy troops on the battlefield. And vinyl chlorine, considered the most dangerous, can cause cancer to develop months or many years after exposure. The good news is the team’s analysis found no elevated benzene, another carcinogen.

“It would take months, if not years, of exposure to the pollutants for serious health effects [to emerge],” said A&M researcher Weihsueh Chiu.

EPA’s response on Feb. 25 stated that it is monitoring “79 chemicals found to be below levels of concern in and around East Palestine” (Washington Post, Feb. 24, 2023). That leaves 21 other chemicals. The agency has tested the air quality in about 500 homes for signs of contamination and given the all clear. Distrustful citizens, however, are paying for their own tests.

Legal Action.

Partner lawyers working with A Case for Women and its affiliate A Case for Justice were among the very first to set boots on the ground in response to a frantic community looking to hold responsible parties to account. We have already helped more than 1,000 residents and businesses seek justice against Norfolk Southern for negligence and oversight, especially in the department of safety maintenance. The company has been accused of operating with “Civil War era” brake systems.

The moment the accident occurred, property values plunged, but FEMA does not cover property loss unless there is structural damage. Ranchers have lost livestock and (repeat) the entire population of 4,700 will be living in fear for the rest of their lives. Contact Us  here to start your claim.

The Sick (and Tired).

The White House is sending health aid since Gov. DeWine strongly requested assistance two days after strongly denying it. The Department of Human Health Service (DHS) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have jointly deployed a team of medical personnel and toxicologists to examine sick people as well as test the soil, air, and water. A health clinic set up in the First Church of Christ is staffed with registered nurses and mental health specialists. Call 234- 564-7755 or 234-564-7888 to make an appointment.

Gov. Mike DeWine reiterated at a Feb. 23 press briefing that the health clinic isn’t for safety concerns but precaution, adding, “Science indicates that this water is safe to drink. The air is safe.”

Or not.


Stay tuned for PART 2: more on the cleanup and how PFAS (PEE-fuhs) may be the biggest concern of all.