The Biden administration on Saturday suspended the emptying of toxic materials from East Palestine, Ohio, citing a need for waste to be shipped to Environmental Protection Agency-approved facilities.
On Friday, the EPA assumed leadership of the cleanup process from Norfolk Southern, whose train derailed in the catastrophic crash, stopping the company’s waste shipments over the weekend, CBS News reported. The company monitored the shipping of 15 truckloads of waste to a hazardous waste treatment facility, with five trucks coming back to East Palestine following the Biden administration’s mandate.
The office of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced that over 100,000 gallons of liquid waste and 4,000 cubic yards of solid waste are sitting in East Palestine. The figure does not include the returning trucks.
There was very little media coverage of the tragic incident in its early stages, as was noted in a post by American Virtue featuring footage of the chaos.
There is currently an ecological disaster in Ohio, and no one in the media is speaking about it. pic.twitter.com/8yzBf7cXCB
— American Virtue (@AmVirtueOrg) February 12, 2023
Seen in the series of above clips is the detainment of NewsNation reporter Evan Lambert, who was arrested as he covered an Ohio train derailment press conference.
More footage of that alarming occurrence can be seen below:
BREAKING: @EvanLambertTV, a DC-based correspondent for @NewsNation, has been in Ohio covering the train crash. He was doing a live shot in the back of the room during a press conference-was told to stop by police, was pushed to the ground, cuffed & arrested & put in a patrol car. pic.twitter.com/RZv6nT7j8o
— NewsNationComms (@NewsNationComms) February 8, 2023
EPA Region 5 administrator Debra Shore claimed the removal will continue “very soon.”
“Everyone wants this contamination gone from the community,” stated Shore. “EPA will ensure that all waste is disposed of in a safe and lawful manner at EPA-certified facilities to prevent further release of hazardous substances and impacts to communities.”
Shore reportedly said the EPA must still find “the appropriate permitted and certified sites to take the waste.”
The Washington Free Beacon reported that the small Ohio town of East Palestine and much of the land surrounding it has been contaminated with toxic chemicals following the derailment of 38 train cars on Feb. 3. Officials responding to the scene intentionally lit up and burned toxic chemicals into the surrounding environment, claiming it was necessary in order to avoid an even worse explosion. As was seen in the first Twitter video of the article, a massive dark cloud loomed over the town following the ‘controlled burn.’
“We basically nuked a town with chemicals so we could get a railroad open,” Sil Caggiano, a hazardous materials specialist, reportedly told a local news outlet.
Many have accused the Biden administration of responding to the crisis too slowly, especially given that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg took almost two weeks to address the public about the disaster. He notably did not take a trip to the small town until the day after it was attended by former President Trump, prompting speculation about his visit’s motives.