East Palestine residents lack closure one year later

“I feel like we’re still in active danger [and] the danger’s going to get worse as some of this contaminated soil sediment moves around,” said Hilary Flint, a cancer survivor who lives in Eden Valley, Pa., about 4 miles from East Palestine, Ohio. “
I very much feel like this story isn’t done.


Flint, a member of advocacy group Moms Clean Air Force and vice president of the Unity Council for the East Palestine Train Derailment, said state and local officials got off on the wrong foot with their communication strategy.


“They’ll say things like, ‘There is no soil contamination still in East Palestine, it’s all left East Palestine,’ but really, they just moved it over,” she said. 


EPA Administrator Michael Regan told reporters on Wednesday “we will not leave until this community is restored and made whole again and … we will not rest in our mission to hold Norfolk Southern accountable.”


Regan asserted on the call that the EPA has determined residents
are not currently at risk
from their soil, surface water or air. 


Misti Allison, an East Palestine resident who works with Moms Clean Air Force, said the news cycle moving on has created
an impression that the situation is more resolved than it is. 


While the cleanup process is largely completed at ground zero for the crash site, she said, other potential
byproducts are a continual concern
in the town, and their impacts may not be apparent for months or years.


For example, she told The Hill that creek sediment sampling is still ongoing. Earlier in January, she added, a preliminary report indicated Sulphur Run, a creek that is a tributary for Leslie Run in East Palestine, remains contaminated.


“Those creeks, they run through businesses and right by houses all through town,” said Allison, who has contributed op-eds to The Hill.  

“So it’s not like it’s just an isolated event.”


Read more in a full report at TheHill.com.

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