Residents of East Palestine, Ohio are using social media to contradict the EPA’s assessment of the damage caused to the water system after a train derailed earlier this month.
According to CBS NEWS, EPA Administrator Michael Regan has continued to tell residents that the air and water are safe, alleging “robust” air quality testing and 24/7 monitoring have shown no problems. Regan also assured residents that the drinking water was safe to consume, although the Ohio Department of Health has asked any residents using private wells to use bottled water until wells can be tested.
“As a father, I trust the science, I trust the methodology that the state is using,” said Regan.
“I would encourage every family in this community to reach out to the state or EPA to get their home air quality tested and their water tested. We have the resources to do it, we want to do it and we want people to feel secure and safe in their homes.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine also backed Regan’s claims that the water was safe after tests of six water systems allegedly showed no contaminants. In a tweet, DeWine told residents “the EPA is confident the water is safe to drink,” but residents are buying it. Some have reported animal and pet deaths they say are a result of drinking water.
A video, which was posted on Twitter by user @JoshuaPHilll, shows a woman tossing a large rock into a creek in East Palestine. When the rock hit the water, the ripples begin to turn fluorescent colors as the water seems visibly contaminated.
Another video posted on Twitter shows a water fountain locked in a school.
The caption reads, “The water fountains in East Palestine high school from the town hall last night. Norfolk Southern executives cancelled last minute because they felt ‘unsafe.’ Tell that to the people living here.”
One user who RT’ed the video wrote, “Mind-boggling that people are being told the water is safe. Let this moment radicalize you. There is a conspiracy here, and it’s capitalist corruption from the company and the government.”
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, About 3,500 small fish representing 12 species were dead.
As residents continue to worry about the long-term effects of being overexposed to toxic chemicals, city officials try to reassure the public that the problem isn’t as bad as their eyes tell them it is.
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