The administration of President Joe Biden has elected to wholly reject a request for federal disaster assistance issued by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in the wake of the trail derailment which took place in East Palestine a few weeks back.
This trail derailment, which took place back on the 3rd of February, sparked a fire that ended up burning over the course of several days. Federal and state officials came together to agree on starting a controlled release, via burning, of the chemicals to mitigate the risk of an explosion. This choice forced officials to order all residents within one mile of the crash site to evacuate the area before they were allowed back into their homes just five days later.
Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) expressed to Ohio that the Biden administration was putting a stop to and rejecting all of their requests for federal assistance because the agency stated that the event failed to qualify.
One spokesperson for DeWine, Dan Tierney, stated to Fox News that Ohio was finally able to get a bit of help through the Department of Health and Human Services that can assist residents who need medical care due to the recent fallout from the derailment and its toxic burnoff.
Tierney claimed that DeWine was going to hold the company involved in the accident, Norfolk Southern, entirely responsible for what took place. “The people of East Palestine need to be made whole,” he stated.
Earlier that same day, the governor’s administration released its own statement stating that the Biden administration was refusing to cooperate with requests for aid for the community via federal disaster aid.
“The DeWine Administration has been in daily contact with FEMA to discuss the need for federal support, however FEMA continues to tell Governor DeWine that Ohio is not eligible for assistance at this time,”
DeWine’s office stated that same day. “Governor DeWine will continue working with FEMA to determine what assistance can be provided.”
Norfolk Southern handed over to the EPA a list of the cars which were affected by the crash and what chemicals they were carrying. The company claimed that all five cars which have been containing the corrosive vinyl chloride had been “stabilized” after the material was burned off by crews, forming massive acrid plumes of dark smoke that were visible across eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
Vinyl chloride is listed with the National Cancer Institute as a highly carcinogenic substance linked to a very rare form of liver cancer called hepatic angiosarcoma, as well as lymphoma, leukemia, and various forms of brain and lung cancers.