The greatest enduring threat to the residents of East Palestine is contaminated groundwater. Fast remediation — and not empty political assurances — can solve the problem.
The director of Ohio’s Department of Health sought to assure East Palestine residents of their safety by remarking that the cancer-causing solvents from the derailment now in the town are no cause for concern, because these chemicals are already “a part of our everyday life.”
What a terribly callous, ignorant, thing for a health official to say. Just because there were some carcinogens in East Palestine before the train derailment does not excuse Norfolk Southern dumping tens of thousands of pounds more of them onto the small town. Plus—and the director should know this—where it comes to carcinogens, there is no such thing as a safe level. That means that every bit dumped by Norfolk adds to the town’s danger.