EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — All eyes are on East Palestine as the city prepares for a clinic to open up in town. Several residents said they’ve become ill since the train derailment.
Doctors who specialize in chemical exposure will be in East Palestine Tuesday to assess neighbors who have major concerns about their health.
Families surrounding the Ohio town, including Pennsylvanians, said they’re experiencing headaches, rashes, dizziness and nausea. They want to know why.
Neighbors said their confidence in what officials are telling them is safe is quickly waning.
Eric Costa lives near the site of the train derailment.
“It’s being covered up and I’m not going to let them whitewash this,” Costa said.
Costa has three foster children and a fiancee with an autoimmune disease. They live 0.3 miles from the train derailment and chemical burn, and all of them are experiencing troubling symptoms since given the all-clear to return home.
He’s not alone. Kelly Izotic also lives near the site of the train derailment.
“If you’re outside for more than 15-20 minutes you start feeling the congestion and heaviness in your chest,” Izotic said. “I take showers, we have well water, and my skin burns.”
The EPA and other official agencies continue to test and monitor the quality of both the air and water. Right now, they say the levels aren’t a concern.
Monday, residents started booking appointments for a clinic that the Ohio Department of Health and the county health department will provide Tuesday beginning at noon on West Martin Street, where doctors with chemical exposure expertise will assess those who are feeling sick.
“It’s too little too late,” Izotic said. “I mean the damage is already done we’re gonna see the repercussions of this for the next 10, 20, 30 years.”
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has called out Norfolk Southern in a strongly worded letter. Buttigieg accused the Atlanta-based company of repeatedly prioritizing profit over safety. Meanwhile, Norfolk Southern says it paid out more than $2.6 million to residents and business owners for their losses.
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