CLEVELAND — Since the Feb. 3 Norfolk Southern train derailment, and days later, when plumes of black smoke shot into air during an intentional release of vinyl chloride, concerns of contamination and safety in East Palestine remain.
Residents continue reporting health problems and Ohio waterways were reportedly impacted as well.
During a recent visit to East Palestine, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, EPA Director Michael Regan and U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson shared a toast of tap water from a resident’s home faucet to ensure safety. As Regan said before the toast, “we believe in science, so we don't feel like we're being your guinea pig, but we don't mind proving to you that the water's safe.”
Residents say they’re still cautious. The ongoing concerns prompted help from others as far as Texas. Two Fort Worth officers helped bring residents 13 pallets of bottled water in the department's 18-wheeler for a 20-hour one-way drive.
“The first question they asked us when we asked if they needed water was, 'How quick could you get it here?'” said Officer Buddy Calzada, Public Information Officer for Fort Worth Police Department. “That was about 40,000 bottles of water that we were able to transport down there, including that, if you kind of just think of it mentally, it's about 2,330 gallons.”
Now Amazon is pitching in as its Cleveland and Pittsburgh operation facilities are set to deliver more than 1,400 cases of bottled water on Wednesday morning. Volunteers at the company's Euclid fulfillment center will load 12 pallets of water, which equates to 84 cases of bottled water per pallet, or about 24,000 bottles.
“This has obviously been such a terrible situation for the folks in East Palestine and that's why we really wanted to rally together and support a community where Amazonians do live,” said Amazon Spokesperson Sam Fisher.