Jon Husted, Lt. gov. of Ohio, drinks city tap water with officials from East Palestine
Ohio Deputy Governor Jon Husted joined local officials in eastern Palestine over the weekend in drinking city water from the tap to convince residents the city’s water supply is safe following a train derailment and chemical spill.
Husted, a Republican, joined US Rep. Bill Johnson, Ohio EPA Director Anne Vogel, and East Palestine Mayor, Fire and Police Chiefs to drink the water on camera.
“You all just saw us drinking a glass of water. Our municipal water is safe here in eastern Palestine,” said Mayor Trent R. Conaway. “If you have well water please have it tested and please stay away from the streams and streams – yes they are polluted and we have had fish kills, but as far as city water goes it’s safe.”
Following the February 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train laden with vinyl chloride and other toxic materials, residents of eastern Palestine have expressed concerns about air and water security amid anecdotal reports of symptoms of the disease.
The Ohio EPA released final test results on Friday confirming “there is no evidence of any risk to East Palestine Public Water’s customers.”
Officials including (left to right) Ohio EPA Director Anne Vogel, Mayor Trent R. Conaway, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, US Rep. Bill Johnson and local officials drank the tap water
At least 3,500 fish, mostly small ones like minnows and darters, were found dead along more than 7 miles (11 km) of streams in the area, and officials say the surface water is contaminated and should be avoided
“Treated drinking water shows no evidence of contamination associated with the derailment,” the agency said in a statement.
The five wells used for the city’s drinking water are about a mile from the derailment site and are at least 56 feet below the surface, covered by a solid steel casing that protects the water from contamination, officials said.
However, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources estimates at least 3,500 fish, mostly small ones like minnows and darters, have been found dead along more than 7 miles of streams.
Also, many of the area’s residents use private well water, which officials say should be avoided until it’s cleared as safe by Ohio EPA testing.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, also said Friday that the chemicals spilled into the Ohio River no longer pose a risk, although people in the community say they experience constant headaches and irritated eyes .
The state plans to open a medical clinic in the village of 4,700 to analyze their symptoms, despite repeated claims that air and water tests have shown no signs of contamination.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan visited the site Thursday, walking along a creek that still reeked of chemicals while trying to reassure skeptical residents that the water is safe to drink and the air safe to breathe.
“I’m asking you to trust the government,” Regan said. “I know it’s hard. We know there’s a lack of trust.” Officials “are testing for everything that was on that train,” he said.
“You all just saw us drinking a glass of water. Our municipal water is safe here in eastern Palestine,” Mayor Trent R. Conaway (right) said Friday
Nevertheless, there is uncertainty about the consequences of a derailment about two weeks ago.
Peter DeCarlo, a professor of environmental health and engineering at Johns Hopkins University, told ABC News on Sunday that more testing is needed to determine what chemicals are present.
“We just don’t have the information we need to understand what chemicals might be there,” DeCarlo said.
“We know it started as vinyl chloride, but once you burn all bets are off. They have many chemical by-products that can result from such a combustion process.’
Aside from Regan, no other cabinet member has visited the rural village, which is home to about 5,000 people.
Many residents were evacuated as crews carried out a controlled burn of toxic chemicals from five derailed tankers that were in danger of exploding.
Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg has drawn backlash from some quarters for not visiting the derailment site, and critics have accused him of trying to minimize the disaster.
On Sunday, Buttigieg sent a letter to the CEO of Norfolk Southern warning that the rail freight company needed to show “unmistakable support for the people” of eastern Palestine.
“Norfolk Southern must live up to its obligation to keep its residents healthy — and must also live up to its obligation to do whatever it takes to endanger communities like eastern Palestine,” Buttigieg wrote.
‘This is the right time for Norfolk Southern to take a leadership position within the rail industry and shift to an attitude focused on supporting, not frustrating, efforts to raise the standard of US rail safety regulations.’
On Monday, President Joe Biden’s surprise visit to Ukraine drew criticism from some Republicans, who argued he should have visited the derailment site in eastern Palestine first.
Administration officials insisted their response was immediate and effective.
“We have been on the ground since February 4 … and we are committed to supporting the people of East Palestine every step of the way,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
“When these incidents happen, you need to have the emergency response done,” she said. “We took action and people were on the ground.”
Finally, on Sunday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency dispatched a team to eastern Palestine to assist in clean-up and recovery efforts.
A black cloud rises over eastern Palestine, Ohio, as a result of a controlled detonation of part of the derailed Norfolk-Southern trains on February 6
No one was injured when about 50 cars derailed in a fiery, mangled mess on the outskirts of eastern Palestine on February 3
Residents of East Palestine have previously been told they are not eligible for FEMA assistance because their homes were not physically destroyed — although they may be chemically contaminated.
“Tomorrow, FEMA will complement federal efforts by deploying a Senior Response Official along with a Regional Management Incident Assistance Team (IMAT) to support ongoing operations, including coordinating incidents and ongoing assessment of potential long-term recovery needs.” , Gov. DeWine said in a statement Saturday.
Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump announced plans to visit eastern Palestine on Wednesday.
Separately, Ohio was hit by another industrial disaster Monday when an explosion pierced a metal factory outside of Cleveland.
The blast scattered molten metal and debris that rained down on neighboring buildings, injuring at least 14 people, most with burns.
The cause of the explosion at I. Schumann & Co.’s metal works in Bedford is still under investigation.
Firefighters from across Northeast Ohio responded to the blast, which sent smoke billowing into the sky that could be seen for miles around the damaged factory about 15 miles southeast of Cleveland.
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/uncategorized/ohio-lt-gov-jon-husted-joins-east-palestine-officials-in-drinking-city-tap-water/ Jon Husted, Lt. gov. of Ohio, drinks city tap water with officials from East Palestine