(CNSNews.com) – A train derailment in Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 3 has led to toxic chemicals spilling into the Ohio River and being released into the air.
Among the hazardous chemicals that were being transported is vinyl chloride, which is linked to liver cancer, brain and lung cancers, lymphoma and leukemia.
The White House said Tuesday that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is “closely monitoring the situation” and leading “air quality testing and supporting Ohio EPA with surface and groundwater testing.”
“EPA is working hand in glove with the state of Ohio. We think that’s really important. The administration has been in close touch with local officials to ensure that they have what they need and their needs are being met, so that second question that you had, I have a couple of things that I do want to share about what EPA has been doing on the ground,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday.
“They’ve been on the ground, on site since February 4th. They are clearly closely monitoring the situation East Palestine, and our top priority is of course health, the health and safety of the community, and since February 4th, EPA has been leading air quality testing and supporting Ohio EPA with surface and groundwater testing,” the press secretary said.
“The National Transportation Security Board has also been on site for over a week to lead the investigation into the cause of the derailment, and the EPA will continue to conduct 24/7 air quality monitoring throughout East Palestine community in the days to come. EPA is making information available via their agency website, and on the water, I know there’s been questions about the water,” she said.
“EPA will continue to support Ohio EPA surface and groundwater sampling efforts to ensure drinking water is indeed safe. Again, the EPA is closely monitoring this and trying to do their best to meet the community where– meet the needs, I should say, of the community,” Jean-Pierre said.
When asked whether there are concerns about the way it’s being handled, the press secretary said, “Again, we are working hand in glove right at this moment with the state of Ohio. The administration has been in close touch with local electeds on the ground to make sure that their concerns are being met.”
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