Business and Economy

Biden Visits East Palestine: “We Will Make This Right” After Toxic Train Trauma

East Palestine, OH – One year to the day after a fiery Norfolk Southern train derailment upended life in this small Ohio town, President Joe Biden arrived via Air Force One with a message to residents: we haven’t forgotten you.

President Vows Accountability, Assistance to “Rebuild and Restore” Community

Stepping off the plane at the Pittsburgh International Airport and onto a helicopter towards East Palestine, the President wasted no time addressing the disaster that spilled toxic chemicals and forced hundreds to evacuate on February 3, 2023.

I intend to keep my commitments to rebuild and restore, to account for what happened, and most importantly – as my administration has from the beginning – to have East Palestine’s back,” Biden said.

The President is expected to reiterate that message of commitment to East Palestine citizens in a 4:45 pm speech in the heart of the Village. Biden’s first-ever visit comes after intense scrutiny for not traveling here earlier.

Residents Hopeful But Wary as Biden Touches Down

While East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway welcomed the long-awaited trip, some residents remained skeptical that the Presidential visit was merely a “photo op.

We’re still suffocating here… I need to see action before I believe anything’s changed,” said former East Palestine resident Ashley McCollum, still displaced with health issues after the spill.

Others hoped Biden would honor promises of assistance, with local non-profit director Mindy Marotta saying, “We expect plans for environmental testing and health screenings – this community deserves that.”

Biden Faces Questions on Ongoing Federal Response, One Year Later

Exactly 365 days after the Norfolk Southern train destabilized and erupted into an inferno seen for miles, the people of East Palestine still feel the effects.

The wreck spewed hazardous chemicals like vinyl chloride into soil, waterways and the air. And while federal agencies like the EPA maintain area testing shows residents aren’t currently at risk, some complain the government abandoned them early on.

President Biden will likely field tough questions about health concerns and his administration’s response time. The White House maintains that the EPA, FEMA and other federal responders arrived within hours. Some never left.

Norfolk Southern has also invested $100 million into East Palestine recovery efforts to date. But Environmental Protection Agency head Michael Regan recently said the rail operator must still “clean up their mess” thoroughly.

The full impact of the East Palestine train tragedy remains unseen – but one year later, this community at last has the President’s full attention.

Samuel Foster
Samuel Foster brings a keen insight into current affairs and politics. As a skilled writer, he not only stays abreast of the latest developments but also articulates them with depth and clarity, making him a valuable contributor to our website.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button