Graves & Nehls Lead Inquiry on EPA Response to the Ohio Train Derailment
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) and Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials Subcommittee Chairman Troy Nehls (R-TX) today led all Republican Members of the Committee in writing to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan requesting information on EPA’s decision-making process and actions following the February 3, 2023, train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
The Members requested documents and communications that describe EPA’s role in responding to the derailment, the decision-making process supporting the controlled vent and burn, the steps implemented to ensure surrounding communities’ safety, the types of monitoring employed to assess environmental quality, the legal authorities utilized by EPA, and any communications with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) related to the granting of a disaster declaration.
“While EPA continues monitoring environmental quality, it announced that the air and water inside the evacuation zone are safe. Despite such claims by the EPA, East Palestine residents continue to report noxious odors, pollutants in the water and soil, and remain concerned about the safety of returning to normal living and the long-term impacts of the chemicals in the environment. Further, questions have arisen regarding the decision to conduct the controlled burn of hazardous chemicals versus employing other, potentially safer alternatives,” the lawmakers wrote. “Accordingly, we seek clarification about the decision-making process employed by the EPA to address the accident and resulting damages.”
The Members requested a response from the EPA by Monday, March 13, 2023.
The full text of the letter can be found here.