Last Updated on February 16, 2023
In the aftermath of the catastrophic train derailment that sent large quantities of highly toxic vinyl chloride into East Palestine, Ohio, residents, independent reporters and Senator J.D. Vance have highlighted the aftermath of the disaster on local waterways. Multiple carloads of the toxic chemical were intentionally burned off upon request from Norfolk Southern, who argued that not doing so would lead to a “massive explosion.”
Senator Vance visited East Palestine on Thursday and posted a video from an area creek. In the video, Vance could be seen scraping a stick on the bed of Leslie Run creek, prompting a bubbling reaction. The water also contained several patches of rainbow tint, which generally indicates that the water contains a pollutant.
“This is disgusting. The fact that we have not cleaned up the train crash, the fact that these chemicals are still seeping in the ground is an insult to the people who live in East Palestine. Do not forget these people, we’ve got to keep applying pressure,” Vance said.
Visited a local creek in East Palestine today. These waterways are still very polluted. It’s time for Norfolk Southern to finish the cleanup. Check this video out: pic.twitter.com/4lsHBmrMJj
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) February 16, 2023
The state’s newest Senator went on to condemn Norfolk Southern’s cleanup efforts and demanded they do more. “What I’ve heard from people inside is financially Norfolk Southern is providing resources, but in terms of clean-up, I think they’re very far behind,” Vance said.
In another video posted by independent reporter Nick Sorter, a resident can be seen tossing a rock into one of the East Palestine creeks affected by the derailment. Upon doing so, numerous patches of rainbow-tinted patches of water can clearly be seen.
Additional videos from the area have displayed similar results.
This is what happens when you throw a rock into the water in East Palestine.
Every leader who says the water is safe to drink should lead by example.pic.twitter.com/4grLIuI6bi
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) February 16, 2023
About 2 miles from the fallout site, a local named Jennifer flipped rocks and visible chemicals oozed to the surface of the water in Leslie Run today.
This is not normal.
Don't worry, I told her to wear a mask next time!#EastPalestine #EastPalestineOH #EastPalestineOhio… https://t.co/0gPevt6f37 pic.twitter.com/iTlnqqMw51
— Addy Adds (@OneAddyAdds) February 17, 2023
Residents have reported dead fish and other marine life in the days following the derailment. As of this time, however, officials have stated that area drinking water has been tested and is safe.
Residents continue to voice skepticism while demanding accountability from Norfolk Southern, however.