Ohio U.S. senators call on EPA to study conditions in East Palestine

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 6, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sens. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, called last week on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to study conditions in the aftermath of the East Palestine derailment.

The senators want the EPA to look into the feasibility of making a determination under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 that the hazardous derailment in East Palestine constitutes a public health emergency. 

If appropriate, this determination would allow the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide Medicare coverage to Ohioans impacted by the derailment and resulting chemical exposure to ensure they have access to the long-term medical care they deserve, the senators said.

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“The long-term environmental and public health impact of this exposure on residents remains unknown and may not become apparent for years to come,” wrote Vance and Brown. “No affected resident of East Palestine or its surrounding communities should have to worry about affording necessary health care, now or in the future.”