Senator JD Vance (R-OH) visited East Palestine, Ohio, where he discovered what appeared to be chemicals in the water of a creek, following the toxic train derailment in the town earlier this month.
“So I’m here at Leslie Run, and there’s dead worms and dead fish all throughout this water,” Vance said in a video posted to his Twitter account on Thursday. “Something I just discovered is that if you scrape the creek bed, it’s like chemical is coming out of the ground.”
Visited a local creek in East Palestine today. These waterways are still very polluted. It’s time for Norfolk Southern to finish the cleanup. Check this video out: pic.twitter.com/4lsHBmrMJj
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) February 16, 2023
The senator then demonstrated what it looks like when one takes a stick and scrapes the ground at the bottom of the creek.
“Let me just show this to people — watch this,” he said before scraping the creep bed.
“You just see that chemical pop out of the creek. This is disgusting,” Vance stated. “And the fact that we have not cleaned up the train crash — the fact that these chemicals are still seeping in the ground is an insult to the people who live in East Palestine.”
“Do not forget these people, we’ve got to keep applying pressure, that’s how we’re going to fix this problem,” the senator added.
On February 3, a train operated by Norfolk Southern was carrying chemicals — including vinyl chloride, a highly volatile colorless gas produced for commercial uses — when it derailed, spilling the chemicals, and sparking a fire, which sent thick billowing smoke into the sky.
Cleanup crews also ended up igniting five train cars to get rid of toxic, flammable chemicals in a controlled environment, which created a dark plume of smoke, resulting in images that circulated across social media, sparking concerns around the nation.
Additionally, roughly half of the town’s population was ordered to evacuate. While the evacuation has since been lifted, many concerned residents are worried about returning to their homes.
You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.