Pa. State Sen. Doug Mastriano to Newsmax: Ohio Town ‘Unhealthy’ After Crash

Pa. State Sen. Doug Mastriano to Newsmax: Ohio Town ‘Unhealthy’ After Crash

Pennsylvania State GOP Sen. Doug Mastriano told Newsmax on Monday that East Palestine, Ohio, is “unhealthy” after a train derailment there Feb. 3 that involved more than 20 cars carrying hazardous chemicals.

“When I was there, my throat was burning, my eyes were burning, and this is after just five hours on the site,” Mastriano, who visited the town which is just several miles from his state’s western border, told Monday’s “Rob Schmitt Tonight.” “We got rashes on our skin. I mean, it is unhealthy to be there, and I just my heart is broken for the people that are not getting the aid, or protection, or the truth that they need.”

A Norfolk Southern freight train with 150 cars derailed in the small town of about 5,000 residents Feb. 3, leading to a massive fire and a later “controlled release” and burn off of several dangerous chemicals that formed a black mushroom cloud hundreds of feet into the sky.

“Norfolk Southern gave me a tour of the site and the cleanup operation,” he said. “This is going to take a long time because it was about four or five different chemicals, and when they burned the vinyl chloride, it turned into a pathogen that was used in World War I to kill people. So, I don’t know what you do [in that situation].”

Mastriano said he has oversight on a standing committee in the Pennsylvania State Senate that will hold hearings on the derailment Thursday to see what responses worked and which ones did not so they can be fixed.

The committee will also look for ways to get aid to the town and the people who have not received any help yet, he said.

He said, however, the railroad company did not attend a town hall meeting in the community last week, and he might have to issue a subpoena to get them to testify for his committee.

“Sadly, Norfolk Southern has declined to attend, and they skipped the Ohio Town hall last week,” he said. “So, [that] means I’m going to have to issue a subpoena, and that’s going to take more time. They will miss this meeting coming up.”


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