'I trust the science': EPA official says he would let his kids drink water from East Palestine

"Yes, as a father, I trust the science. I trust the methodology that this state is using. And as a parent, I would."

Joshua Young North Carolina

On Thursday, the lawmakers and EPA officials held a press conference in East Palestine, Ohio to address concerns following the February 3 Norfolk Southern 50-car train derailment that released toxic chemicals into the area and EPA administrator Michael S. Regan was asked if he would let his children drink the water, which residents have worried is contaminated.

According to the Daily Mail, Regan said, "Yes, as a father, I trust the science. I trust the methodology that this state is using. And as a parent, I would."

GOP Senator JD Vance had said earlier on Thursday, "'If the EPA Administrator wants to stand here and tell people that the tap water is safe…they should be willing to drink it." 

According The Post Millennial, Vance recorded a video showing a creek reflecting the rainbow tint that is the sign of chemical contamination. Governor Mike DeWine confirmed that particular stream was contaminated.

East Palestine residents had been ordered out of their residences after the train derailed. As The Post Millennial reported, on February 6 authorities began burning off the chemicals to minimize the risk of a vinyl chloride explosion. On February 9 residents returned home and they found the odor of chemicals remaining in the air along with dead fish in rivers and creeks, causing concerns the local water supply had become contaminated.

Residents have also complained about a film of soot on their property and that they have suffered from eye irritation and headaches after returning home.

Regan said the EPA has been conducting 24/7 air monitoring and that the air is safe to breathe. They have also screened roughly 500 East Palestine homes for contaminants.

Fox News reports Regan said, "If those homes haven’t been tested or if they’re on private well water, I would advise that they get those homes tested and as [Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine] and the State Health Department has recommended, continue to use bottled water until those homes get tested.

GOP Congressman Bill Johnson said, "If your home has been air and water tested [and] if you’re still having other symptoms, then you have other decisions that you need to make and let authorities know."

The Biden administration has refused requests from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to provide help via the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to aid in the cleanup.

Norfolk Southern Railroad has offered financial compensation to displaced residents but the citizens have noted that the documents presented for signing in order to receive monies include indemnification clauses.

According to the Daily Mail, a Norfolk Southern spokesperson said this was a mistake and, "Those incorrect forms were immediately pulled when the problem was discovered. No one in the community has waived their legal rights against Norfolk Southern through this program or any interaction with us thus far."

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