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Buttigieg Breaks Silence 10 Days After Ohio Train Derailment Causes Ecological Disaster

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg broke his silence Monday night about a train derailment in eastern Ohio which occurred earlier this month.

A Norfolk Southern freight train derailed and caused a large fire on Feb. 3 in East Palestine, Ohio, and officials performed a “controlled vent and burn” to avoid a “catastrophic” explosion which released hazardous fumes into both the air and water. Buttigieg shared details of the derailment ten days after the original incident after being criticized online for failing to mention the derailment during a Monday National Association of Counties Conference panel.

“I continue to be concerned about the impacts of the Feb 3 train derailment near East Palestine, OH, and the effects on families in the ten days since their lives were upended through no fault of their own,” Buttigieg tweeted. “It’s important that families have access to useful & accurate information.”

He laid out details of the derailment in the Twitter thread, sharing that the transportation department “has been supporting the investigation led by The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)” and that “Federal Rail Administration and Pipelines and Hazardous Materials teams were onsite within hours of the initial incident and continue to be actively engaged.” He said that federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) partners are actively monitoring the air quality both indoors and outdoors to test for “chemicals of concern.”

The EPA has screened 291 homes and found no detection of harmful fumes, Buttigieg tweeted. There are 181 houses left to screen.

Nearly 2,000 residents were evacuated at the time of the derailment, but have since been allowed to return to their homes, CBS News reported.

Post written by Alexa Schwerha. Republished with permission from DCNF. Images and headlines via Becker News.

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