(The Center Square) – A group of Ohio House members want to be consulted by federal and state officials in the aftermath of a train derailment that continues to draw concern from residents in East Palestine, Ohio.
A bipartisan group of 26 representatives released the letter Wednesday, almost three weeks after a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed in the small town along the Ohio-Pennsylvania boarder.
The letter, addressed to the U.S. and Ohio environmental protection agencies, cite reports of “alarming red flags” for the community, state and nation, “especially for those individuals down river, residents in our state, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois that draw drinking water from the Ohio River have questions surrounding the chemicals.”
The most recent tests from the U.S. EPA showed no indication of risk to East Palestine Public Water customers and no detection of contaminants associated with the derailment. Also, the latest samples from the Ohio River by the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission showed no detection of butyl acrylate.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday visited a home in East Palestine with U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan, Rep. Bill Johnston, R-Ohio, and First Lady Fran DeWine and drank water from the kitchen tap in a home.
That was DeWine’s third visit to the site since the Feb. 3 crash. He also was in East Palestine Feb. 6 and Feb. 8 and had two additional press conference in Columbus regarding the derailment. He plans to be part of a CNN town hall meeting tonight with East Palestine residents.
Also on Wednesday, former President Donald Trump – a 2024 presidential candidate – visited the derailment site, donating water and supplies.
The state representatives asked in their letter the two agencies “consult and advise” on additional resources that might be needed.
“We also ask for a transparent process with Ohioans regarding the dangers and communicate to all parties involved what steps families should take to protect themselves and their communities,” the letter reads. “We ask for as much efficiency as possible to address this urgent matter.”