Ohio Sen. Vance takes video of creek in East Palestine after chemical spill: ‘This is disgusting’
Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, traveled to East Palestine, Ohio, on Thursday and took a video of what appeared to be a polluted creek bed with dead wildlife two weeks after a train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed.
“There are dead worms and dead fish all throughout this water,” Vance said in the video as he stood next to Leslie Run Creek. “This is disgusting. And the fact that we have not cleaned up the train crash, the fact that these chemicals are still seeping into the ground is an insult to the people who live in East Palestine.”
Vance scraped the bottom of the creek bed with a stick, which appeared to show “chemicals coming out of the ground.”
While a sheen can appear on water resulting from an oil spill or naturally occurring iron bacteria, thousands of dead fish and other wildlife have cropped up in East Palestine since the train derailment on Feb. 3.
More than seven miles of streams and about 3,500 fish have died so far as a result of contaminants that leaked from the train, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
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A Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed on the evening of Feb. 3, sending vinyl chloride, a human carcinogen, and other chemicals into the ground and air.
Three days later, officials decided to conduct a controlled release of chemicals to avoid an explosion after one of the train cars started overheating.
The release sent a fireball and thick plumes of black smoke over East Palestine, a town on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border that is home to about 4,700 people.
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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has tested five wells in Palestine’s municipal water system and found “no detection of contaminants in raw water.”
The EPA also said that “robust air-quality testing” has not “detected any levels of health concern that can be attributed to the incident.”
Despite that, residents of East Palestine have been hesitant to return home.