Ohio, alarm for “toxic” train derailed. Erin Brockovich challenges Joe Biden

The train derailed in Ohio in recent days with a load of toxic and highly flammable chemicals, including vinyl chloride, is of concern. So much so that the president of the United States, Joe Biden, is challenged via Twitter by the lawyer-activist Erin Brockovich: “Step up now”. After the accident, illnesses among the local population were recorded, as well as the death of farm animals and at least 3,500 fish. “Doing better than your predecessor does not mean doing enough. We are counting on you to break the chain of administrations that have always turned a blind eye”, warned the American environmental activist, played and made famous by Julia Roberts in the film of the same name on compensation record achieved in 2000 by Pacific Gas and Electric Company for the California community of Hinkley due to drinking water contaminated with hexavalent chromium.

The challenge

“Since it happened – he attacked – I have heard of children with respiratory problems, asthma attacks, vomiting. There is a lot of confusion and lack of communication and now the governor (of Ohio, the Republican Mike DeWine, ed) says that he wouldn’t drink the water.” In the meantime, however, the authorities minimize and ensure that there are no dangers. “That’s why – Erin added – people don’t trust the government. You can’t tell people that there have been and continue to be dangerous pollutants that contaminate the environment and at the same time say ‘everything is fine’. People she’s not stupid. And if you live in East Palestine, Ohio, you understand that Superman isn’t coming, but you are there. Trust your instincts. Document everything you see. Come together as a community and demand answers.” An embarrassing j’accuse for the White House, which has made the environment and health protection one of its flags: so far only silence from Biden and his infrastructure minister Pete Buttigieg. A NewsNation reporter, however, was arrested by police in Ohio last week for pressing the governor too loudly at a press conference while being asked to shut up.

The accident

The accident occurred on February 3 in East Palestine, a village of five thousand souls, where a train operated by the Norfolk Southern Railway derailed causing a huge fire. Of the 50 wagons, 20 carried toxic chemical material. To avoid an explosion, it was decided on February 6 to release the dangerous pollutants in a controlled fire. The EPA, the environmental protection agency, continued to reassure that the alert levels have not been exceeded but the inhabitants are afraid and do not want to return after today’s revocation of the evacuation order. Many accuse ailments of various kinds and yesterday the EPA admitted that it had detected two chemical contaminants in some tributaries of the Ohio River, so much so as to push the governor to say that he would only drink bottled water in the affected area. The story recalls that of Don DeLillo’s novel ‘White Noise’, which became a Netflix film with the same title (in Italy ‘White Noise’). One of the extras, 37-year-old factory worker Ben Ratner, lives in the East Palestine area and has truly relived the nightmare of fiction. “I tried to watch the film again after the accident – he told the US media – but I didn’t enjoy it at all and turned off after a quarter of an hour”.