Ohio’s Chernobyl: Pollution from East Palestine still wreaking havoc in nearby Pennsylvania
04/05/2024 // Ava Grace // Views

Residents of embattled East Palestine, Ohio, feel abandoned, forgotten and discarded by state and federal governments over a year after the Norfolk Southern train derailment dumped massive tons of pollutants into their community.

East Palestine's residents are not alone. In neighboring Pennsylvania, less than a mile to the east from the town, people are also describing a lackluster and frustrating response from the government at all levels, a lack of accountability from Norfolk Southern and extreme difficulties with reviving a sense of normalcy in a community where many are now developing health problems due to the train derailment. (Related: ANOTHER freight train derails in Pennsylvania, evacuations ordered.)

"Our Pennsylvania constitutional rights were violated and continue to be violated," said Sheila Stiegler, an organic farmer in Lawrence County near East Palestine. "We are here with our expectations for our rights to be restored and upheld."

Stiegler and other nearby residents testified during a Senate committee hearing on the aftereffects of the derailment and burn-off of vinyl chloride, which she called "the Ohio Chernobyl."

"Is our government going to allow a corporation to get away with it?" Stiegler asked. "This has been a ping pong from one agency to another – with little resolution."

The complaints echo what residents have repeated for a year, indicating a lack of trust in Norfolk Southern, and then a loss of trust in state and federal agencies due to poor communication and officials reportedly not being responsive to their needs.

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"I've spoken to [Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw] – it yields nothing. He's a puppet, he's controlled by his board of directors," said Lori O'Connell, a resident of Darlington, Pennsylvania. "Nobody believes in the alphabet soup people because they don't follow through with what they say they're going to do anyhow – or you get the runaround."

Residents unable to get their property tested for chemical exposure

O’Connell, who lives three miles from the derailment site, couldn’t get any agency to test her soil. Until she forced her way into a meeting with Gov. Josh Shapiro, who only then was forced to call upon the Environmental Protection Agency to order a test on her property.

"I'm angry at my local government, my county government, my state and my federal because the help that we have received in this township is short of nothing – nothing," O'Connell said. "It's inexcusable that, as taxpaying citizens in the state of Pennsylvania, that we should have to go through this," O'Connell said.

She read off lab results for her family that showed elevated levels of benzene, vinyl chloride and other chemicals, similar to what other testifiers noted. Her husband has developed a rare form of breast cancer since the derailment.

Locals and researchers have asked for more testing – not just air, water and soil, but testing of indoor air quality to see if any chemicals were absorbed into fabrics and materials in homes.

But even with those tests, holding Norfolk Southern reliable would be tricky.

"Can you prove causation? No – and that’s what these companies rely on," said Rick Tsai, a chiropractor in Darlington, who has raised concerns regarding the burn-off of the vinyl chloride that spilled from the East Palestine train. That the burn-off was a choice, and one made for the sake of convenience over safety, has been an argument made since the choice was made to "drain all the cars and light them on fire in a ditch."

"All we really wanted was justice and life [as] it was before we were pretty much hit with a chemical bomb," Tsai said.

Watch this video discussing how the Ohio train derailment was an act of economic warfare against the people of the United States.

This video is from the Infowars channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture says ALL food is “illegal” unless produced in government-approved facility.

FOREIGN HACKERS target water infrastructure in Pennsylvania, prompting calls for increased cybersecurity.

END OF THE ROAD: Digital freight startup founded by ex-Amazon execs suspends operations.

Following East Palestine train derailment, environmentalists push EPA to ban vinyl chloride.

Another train carrying hazardous materials derails in Maine – THIRD crash this week.

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