The waters in East Palestine, Ohio are thoroughly polluted with toxic chemicals after the train wreck and controlled fire of toxic chemicals earlier this month. A simple demonstration by Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) stirring up the water brings a sheen of chemicals to the surface. An East Palestine resident got the same result with a similar demonstration.
The colorful water display is not a photo filter, it is toxic chemicals stirred up from the creek bed, screen image via Nick Sortor/Twitter.
Vance was in East Palestine to meet with residents. He stopped by a creek and showed how poisoned the water is, observing there are dead worms and fish.
Visited a local creek in East Palestine today. These waterways are still very polluted. It’s time for Norfolk Southern to finish the cleanup. Check this video out: pic.twitter.com/4lsHBmrMJj
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) February 16, 2023
Nick Sorter filmed a resident stirring up a larger area:
Even MORE proof that the EPA is LYING to the people of East Palestine.
THIS WATER IS INSANELY CONTAMINATED. pic.twitter.com/rNlNxxBTDd
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) February 16, 2023
Speaking to reporters, Vance challenged EPA Administrator Michael Regan to drink the water if he says it is safe.
WATCH: Senator @JDVance1 challenges EPA Administrator Regan to drink the tap water in East Palestine, OH
“If the EPA Administrator wants to stand here and tell people that the tap water is safe…they should be willing to drink it.”pic.twitter.com/Zesm3LoDDr
— William Martin (@wsmartin218) February 16, 2023
Sortor said he did just that and Regan declined.
After 13 days, Brandon’s EPA admin FINALLY showed up in East Palestine.
I thought he’d need something to drink after walking so much, so I generously offered him a glass of tap water.
He declined. pic.twitter.com/qBRUXE5rX3
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) February 16, 2023
WXIX-TV reporter Tricia Macke posted on Wednesday she had to leave after two hours because she was feeling nauseous.
Residents of East Palestine Ohio are living here and we had to leave this area after two hours because I was nauseous. I have calls into the @EPA – the agency says they are testing and monitoring and say it’s safe. I’ll be talking with @GovMikeDeWine shortly as well. @FOX19 pic.twitter.com/E894UnZmsz
— Tricia Macke (@FOX19Tricia) February 15, 2023
The BBC reports the area still contaminated even as the trains roll through town again.
In #EastPalestine #Ohio today, the EPA toured near the site of the derailment. We were close by – even from a distance with full PPE on, the stench is overpowering and one’s eyes still water. Lots of train traffic has returned. pic.twitter.com/Kf3JUrPdK8
— Bernd Debusmann Jr (@BernieDebusmann) February 16, 2023
The AP reported Regan asked residents to “trust the government” (excerpt):
…EPA Administrator Michael Regan sought to reassure residents who are skeptical of testing results that say the air is safe to breathe and the water is fit for drinking around East Palestine, where just under 5,000 people live near the Pennsylvania state line.
“I’m asking they trust the government. I know that’s hard. We know there’s a lack of trust,” Regan said. “We’re testing for everything that was on that train.”
…In the nearly two weeks since the derailment forced evacuations, residents have complained about suffering from headaches and irritated eyes and finding their cars and lawns covered in soot. The hazardous chemicals that spilled from the train killed thousands of fish, and residents have talked about finding dying or sick pets and wildlife.
Regan, who stood along a waterway still reeking of chemicals, said anyone who is fearful of being in their home should seek testing from the government.
“People have been unnerved. They’ve been asked to leave their homes,” he said, adding that if he lived there, he would be willing to move his family back into the area as long as the testing shows it’s safe.
CBS headline on Regan’s visit (excerpt): EPA Administrator Michael Regan tells East Palestine residents air and water are safe
When asked if he would feel comfortable living in East Palestine, he said he would if air and water tests in the homes showed it was safe.
“As a father, I trust the science, I trust the methodology that the state is using,” he said.
“I would encourage every family in this community to reach out to the state or EPA to get their home air quality tested and their water tested. We have the resources to do it, we want to do it and we want people to feel secure and safe in their homes,” he added.
At Wednesday night’s town hall (sans Norfolk Southern), the water fountains were locked off.
I was going to ask Norfolk Southern executives to drink the water in East Palestine high school, but the executives didn’t show up (because they didn’t feel safe) and the water fountains in #EastPalestine high school look like this. pic.twitter.com/nUwdto0mi8
— The Holler Ohio Valley (@heyjohnrussell) February 16, 2023