E&C Leaders Send Letters to Ohio, Pennsylvania State Environmental Protection Agencies for Details on East Palestine Train Derailment Response
Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA), Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee Chair Bill Johnson (R-OH), and Subcommittee Vice Chair Rep. John Joyce (R-PA) sent letters today to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) requesting information about their response to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. “The recent train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio has upended the lives of the residents in that community and threatened the surrounding communities in places like Western Pennsylvania. The people in these communities deserve full transparency from federal and state environmental protection officials to better understand what happened with this derailment and the extent to which their air, water, and soil has been contaminated,” said Rodgers, Johnson, and Joyce. “Today, we are asking Ohio EPA Director Anne Vogel and Pennsylvania DEP Acting Secretary Richard Negrin to provide information to Energy and Commerce regarding their overall response and the actions they are taking to address the various hazards resulting from this month’s derailment. ” To help the Committee better understand what happened with this train derailment and its aftermath, members asked Ohio EPA Director Anne M. Vogel and Pennsylvania DEP Acting Secretary Richard Negrin to provide: A timeline of all the events related to the train’s derailment in East Palestine, including releases of any chemical substances caused by the accident, response actions taken to address various hazards presented by the derailment, and testing of air, water, or soil for contamination related to derailment. Details for all the chemical substances that were being transported on the train and their quantities. Who is overseeing this response and the details of Ohio EPA’s and Pennsylvania DEP’s work with Federal, state, and local officials, as well as any non-government entities. All the parties – and their jurisdiction – that Ohio EPA’s and Pennsylvania DEP’s have been coordinating with in responding to the derailment, in containing any pollutants, or in testing or monitoring pollutants in the environment. Any information that Ohio EPA’s and Pennsylvania DEP’s have regarding the “controlled burn,” including the reasons for that action, who made the decision to take that action, and any resulting environmental impacts from that “controlled burn,” such as airborne emissions. The results of environmental testing in the area and any detections above threshold levels. Information regarding water and air testing, members requested confirmation that these tests are being performed, who is leading it—and whether private contractors are being used—and the results of those tests. Information on efforts being undertaken by Ohio EPA, Pennsylvania DEP, and other state agencies help residents of the affected community understand the risks currently present to them so they are comfortable making decisions about returning to their homes. Information regarding the specific legal authority Ohio EPA and Pennsylvania DEP are using to respond to the issues involved with the derailment. CLICK HERE to read the full letter and complete list of information Chair Rodgers and Subcommittee Chair Johnson are requesting from Ohio EPA. CLICK HERE to read the full letter and complete list of information Chair Rodgers, Subcommittee Chair Johnson, and Subcommittee Vice Chair Joyce are requesting from Pennsylvania DEP. Note: Chair Rodgers and Subcommittee Chair Johnson sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan on February 17, 2023 requesting information about the agency’s response efforts in East Palestine, Ohio. CLICK HERE to read the full letter to EPA Administrator Regan. The EPA’s deadline to respond to this letter is March 3, 2023.