EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) — As East Palestine recovers, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is back in the village.
In the two and a half months since the train derailment, residents are still feeling confused about what’s happening to restore their community.
“My concern is not for myself so much. So far, I’ve been one of the lucky ones. It’s for other people, the farmers especially,” said Marina Davis, of East Palestine.
Brown met with a number of neighbors on Monday to hear their ongoing concerns.
“You know, my biggest question to Norfolk Southern is, what’s the plan for cleaning this up? How we gonna make this better?” wondered Logan Rance, of Leetonia.
Throughout this ordeal, we’ve heard over and over from state and federal EPA officials, as well as the railroad, that they will stay until the cleanup work is all done. But residents said on Monday that for some reason, the message isn’t always getting through.
“They want specific answers, not vague, water quality results from outside sources, you know, they don’t know how to read those, I don’t know how to read ’em,” Davis said.
“I wish, you know, to kinda restore that trust and strengthen it. It would be nice to have better communication just about what’s going on,” Rance said.
The senator says both the railroad and the government should have more accountability to the people in the community so they can have a better understanding.
“Part of this is rebuilding agency, make sure they have the equipment they need. As Norfolk Southern needs a presence here, EPA needs a presence here until this is really fixed,” Brown said.
Last week, workers with Norfolk Southern indicated they are nearly finished replacing the south side track in the area where the accident happened and will eventually begin working to remove the north side rails and the contaminated soil beneath them.