The Federal Emergency Management Agency is deploying federal assistance to
Ohio now more than two weeks after the toxic Norfolk Southern train
derailment that threatened the village of East Palestine.
Gov. Mike DeWine said the move came following further discussions with the agency.
In a joint statement on Friday, the governor and FEMA Regional
Administrator Thomas Sivak said FEMA and Ohio had been in "constant
contact" regarding emergency operations in the community.
"U.S. EPA and Ohio EPA have been working together since day one," they
said. "Tomorrow, FEMA will supplement federal efforts by deploying a
Senior Response Official along with a Regional Incident Management
Assistance Team (IMAT) to support ongoing operations, including incident coordination and ongoing assessments of potential long term recovery
HOW TO TELL IF YOU'VE BEEN AFFECTED BY TOXIC CHEMICAL POISONING — AND WHAT
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Previously, DeWine had tweeted that East Palestine did not qualify for
President Biden's administration has taken heavy criticism from residents
for not approving a FEMA disaster declaration. The derailment does not
meet the legal requirements for such a declaration, officials say.
"What East Palestine needs is much more expansive than what FEMA can
provide," a Biden administration official told Fox News Digital. "FEMA is
on the frontlines when there is a hurricane or tornado. This situation is different."
In a press conference earlier in the day, the governor said Ohio would set
up a medical clinic there and that federal officials from the Department
of Health and Human Services would also be on site.
"We know that the science says that East Palestine is safe, but we also
know that residents are very worried," DeWine said. "They are asking
themselves 'Is my headache just a headache? Or is it a result of the
chemical spill? Are other medical symptoms caused by the spill?' Those are
very legitimate questions and residents deserve answers."
WHITE HOUSE EXPLAINS WHY IT TURNED DOWN DISASTER RELIEF FOR OHIO
Twenty air monitors continue to be moved throughout East Palestine to
monitor different locations, and are not detecting contamination from the derailment. Samples taken in 500 homes had found no detections of volatile organic compounds associated with the train derailment.
Municipal water in East Palestine was found to be safe to drink, but those
who get water from private wells are encouraged to use bottled water until their water is tested.
A total of 1.1 million gallons of contaminants and contaminated liquid
have been removed from the immediate site and stockpiled for proper
disposal. Furthermore, 8,350 cubic yards of contaminated soil have been
taken from the immediate area of the derailment.
Sulphur Run should be avoided, as it remains contaminated. The remediation
of the impacted area of the creek is expected to take time. Sulphur Run
was dammed "very soon after the crash" so that contamination in that part
of the creek does not flow into other waterways.
While the chemical plume of butyl acrylate in the Ohio River has
dissipated, Cincinnati acted Friday to stop its intake.
5 hours ago
FEMA is funded by the government and the government is funded by us the American taxpayer. there should be no confusion in this. FEMA and other
crews should have been on the ground immediately setting up a perimeter
and helping those that are worse off. it's a shame that our taxpayer
dollars are going to other countries and we watch ours burn.