East Palestine, Ohio, is not the same place it was a year ago. Last February, a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed there, near the Pennsylvania border, close to people’s homes and businesses. Then, a few days later, 900,000 lbs of vinyl chloride was intentionally vented from 5 railcars and burned, leading to an explosion and a dark plume seen for miles around.
Over the next two weeks, we’ll explore what happened and what the fallout has been for residents. First, we hear from a mother who evacuated the town with her son who was experiencing horrific symptoms, and why they didn’t go back. We examine the decision by health officials not to test residents for chemical exposure. We’ll also hear from a researcher who thinks environmental regulators were too hasty in their assessment that the town was safe. And finally, we visit businesses trying to keep their shops open, some more successfully than others.
- Ohio derailment reveals gaps in public health response to chemical emergencies, experts say - Public health researchers say officials should have done blood and urine testing in the early days after the train derailment in East Palestine and follow residents for long-term health problems.
- A year after derailment, East Palestine businesses try to move past ‘toxic’ perception - Many businesses in East Palestine hope a new marketing campaign and investments will bring back customers.
- Scientist questions EPA’s handling of East Palestine cleanup: ‘They should have tested correctly’ - A professor from Purdue who has been sampling in East Palestine says the EPA didn't test the air or water properly, putting people at risk.
- Leaving East Palestine: A mother’s story - A mother and her young son escaped from the fiery derailment in East Palestine, but mysterious health issues and uncertainty still plague them a year later.