Local media outlet WKBN reported that the EPA is not going to test for dioxins even though the "controlled explosion" more than likely released the world's largest dioxin plume. (Related: Park animals all across Ohio are dying "at alarming rates.")
EPA Region 5 administrator Debra Shore confirmed that no dioxin testing will take place at the current time because her agency is unable to determine how many dioxins were present before the disaster to establish a baseline.
"Dioxins are ubiquitous in the environment," Shore is quoted as saying.
"They were here before the accident; they will be here after, and we don't have baseline information in this area to do a proper test. But we are talking to our toxicologist and looking into it."
The EPA has since conducted air and water quality tests, maintaining that the chemical levels detected are "safe." Locals, meanwhile, are getting sick with headaches, rashes, and other concerning symptoms.
Stephen Lester, the science director at the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice (CHEJ), stated at a February 23 town hall meeting in East Palestine that the EPA's ignoring of dioxin testing is "one major mistake."
"The level of dioxin that gets into a body, a person, an animal, a cow, that could lead to health problems is extraordinarily low," he added. "It does not take very much."
"I'd be very concerned if I had a farm, especially if I was aware, as some people described in that meeting, that the black cloud from the burning had settle onto their property."
The reason the EPA is refusing to test for toxins, in Lester's view, is because the agency would then "be put in a place where they have to address it." The EPA also does not "have any baseline information about the levels of dioxins which are produced also by wildfires, by backyard grilling, by a host of other things," he added.
"I've never heard anybody, any researcher, talk about cookouts," Lester added. "Because that's an infinitesimal concentration, if at all. Because dioxins form not just cause there's burning, you need a chlorine source."
On February 18, Ohio Republican Sen. J.D. Vance and Ohio Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown sent a letter to the EPA requesting that the agency test for dioxins in an around East Palestine.
"We are concerned that ... the burning of large volumes of vinyl chloride may have resulted in the formation of dioxins that may have been dispersed throughout the East Palestine community and potentially a much large[r] area."
Shore confirmed that the EPA did, in fact, receive the letter. The agency is refusing to honor the request, though, and seems to have no plans to ever test for dioxins.
"Of course little will be done to aid the people around the Ohio train derailment and chemical spill because there is nothing out there but rural conservative rubes," one commenter wrote about how little the government thinks of those who live in East Palestine.
"They deserve whatever happens to them because they didn't follow the narrative and drink the woke Kool-Aid," this person added tongue-in-cheek. "EPA is going to get the remains and ash cleaned up but not do any more than they absolutely have to, to get by. The rail company will pay lip service and dole out as little compensation as possible and the folks living there will end up screwed by both the feds and the rail company."
More up-to-the-minute news about the East Palestine train disaster can be found at Disaster.news.
Sources for this article include: