"Ohio Train Derailment: Environmental Disaster" - Truth In Plain Sight
"A 50-car pileup... 14 giant tankers that were “exposed to fire” while full of hundreds of thousands of gallons of vinyl chloride. A chemical used in PVC, vinyl chloride is flammable, toxic, and a declared brain, lung, blood, and liver carcinogen. “You can die from breathing extremely high levels of vinyl chloride.” - Truth In Plain Sight
What is the route of the Norfolk Southern train? Where were sparks first noticed?
Where did the derailment occur? How many people live nearby?
Where has water contamination been noticed? Where are fish dying?
What chemicals were on the train? How hazardous are they?
How did the Train lobby get safety regulations weakened?
Which Republican senator pushed to get the regulations weakened?
How profitable is Norfolk Southern? How much does the CEO earn?
Follow the intersection of corporate greed, politicians relaxing safety regulations, exploited train workers to create an environmental disaster with this map.
"A 150-car Norfolk Southern freight train carrying hazardous chemicals and other material derailed in the town of East Palestine, Ohio, on Feb. 3, forcing hundreds of people to evacuate the town for several days as the company vented and burned carcinogenic chemicals from cars involved in the fiery crash. The Environmental Protection Agency said on Feb. 12 it had not detected any "levels of concern" of hazardous substances released during or after the crash, though it said it was continuing to monitor the air throughout East Palestine, including inside at least 210 homes." - Axios
At least four other tanker cars involved in the derailment were carrying at least four other different chemicals — ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate, isobutylene and butyl acrylate, according to a list sent by Norfolk Southern to the EPA, which released it on Feb. 12.
EPA steps in
- In a letter sent to the company on Feb. 10, the EPA said substances released during the incident "were observed and detected in samples from Sulphur Run, Leslie Run, Bull Creek, North Fork Little Beaver Creek, Little Beaver Creek, and the Ohio River" and were also observed entering storm drains.
- Ohio Department of Natural Resources officials told WEWS-TV, a Cleveland-based ABC affiliate, that it estimates the crash as of Feb. 8 has resulted in the deaths of 3,500 fish across approximately 7.5 miles of streams south of the town, though it is working with the Ohio EPA and a company hired by Norfolk Southern to determine how many fish have been killed. - Axios
Corporate profits over public safety
- Instead of investing in the safety feature, the seven largest freight railroad companies in the U.S., including Norfolk Southern, spent $191 billion on stock buybacks and shareholder dividends between 2011 and 2021, far more than the $138 billion those firms spent on capital investments in the same time period.
- The same companies also slashed their workforces by nearly 30 percent in that timeframe as part of what they called “precision scheduled railroading.” Such staffing cuts are likely contributing to safety issues in freight railways. In a recent investor presentation, Norfolk Southern disclosed an increase in train accidents over the past three consecutive years.
“The massive reduction in the workforce, attendance policies that encourage people to come to work when they’re sick or exhausted, lack of access to [paid] leave, the stress that is constantly put on workers because of how lean the workforce has become, it creates a negative culture in terms of safety,” Greg Regan, president of the Transportation Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, told The Lever. - Lever News
TakeAway: Vote for public safety, workers rights and corporate accountability. Vote for Democrats.
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