EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (AP) — The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency got a first-hand look Thursday at the toll left by a freight train derailment in Ohio, where toxic chemicals spilled or were burned off, leaving the stench of fresh paint nearly two weeks later.
Those attending Wednesday’s informational session, originally billed as a town hall meeting, had many questions over health hazards
, and they demanded more transparency from railroad operator Norfolk Southern, which did not attend, citing safety concerns for its staff.
“They just danced around the questions a lot,” said Danielle Deal, who lives a few miles from the derailment site. “Norfolk needed to be here.”
In a statement, Norfolk Southern said it didn’t attend alongside local, state and federal officials because of a “growing physical threat to our employees and members of the community around this event.”