Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) is challenging the EPA to put their mouth where their mouth is. He wants them to actually drink the water that they claim is safe.
EPA Administrator Michael Regan and his agency have claimed that the water supply in East Palestine, Ohio is safe after the town’s recent Norfolk Southern train derailment and toxic chemical disaster.
Vance wants Regan to take a sip.
Local and state authorities had to evacuate all residents within one mile of the derailment, and they started a controlled burn of industrial chemicals on the train cars to decrease the risk of an explosion.
Vinyl chloride is a carcinogen used to manufacture PVC and it was released from five train cars last week in the form of massive plumes of dark smoke. These were visible throughout eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
Regan came to the town on Thursday after many people criticized the Biden Administration for not paying enough attention to the disaster. He claims that his agency used sophisticated testing for the air and water supply.
“We are not receiving any high levels of detection,” Regan commented. “I feel very confident that our technology is protecting public health.”
The EPA released a statement that said test results from the municipal well showed no water quality concerns. It said that staff members conducted about 500 home screens.
Sen. Vance believes that Regan should prove his agency’s conviction.
“I think that if the EPA administrator wants to stand here and tell people that the tap water is safe. By all means, they should be willing to drink it,” Vance said.
He also said that he would personally avoid the water if he was living there and he would drink bottled water.
Residents still talk about a lingering smell in the air, deceased wildlife and farm animals, and various health problems.
Vance maintains that residents of East Palestine are victims of the misplaced priorities of Biden administration officials such as Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.