Biden Indicates He May Be Heading to East Palestine

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio – President Joe Biden indicated he might travel to East Palestine “at some point” during remarks to reporters after a Senate Democratic luncheon Thursday afternoon.

“I’ve spoken with every official in Ohio, Democrat and Republican, on a continuous basis, as in Pennsylvania,” Biden said. “I laid out a little bit in there what I think the answers are, and we put it together. And we will be implementing an awful lot to the legislation here. And I will be out there at some point.”

The remarks came the same day as U.S.l EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan announced Norfolk Southern would be required to begin sampling for dioxins.

The federal government has received a lot of heat both for a perceived lack of response from the Biden administration and the lack of focusing on testing for dioxins, which scientists have fear could have formed from the burning of the vinyl chloride during the vent and burn on Feb. 6.

Regan visited East Palestine three times and said he has heard concerns from residents, community leaders, businesses and schools about a lack of sampling and monitoring for dioxins.

The order directs Norfolk Southern to test for the substances and if they are found at a level that pose a risk to humans and the environment, the order further requires the railroad to clean up the contaminants.

Several officeholders in both political parties have asked for dioxin testing and Republicans, including Gov. Mike DeWine and East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway have been among those to question why Biden was in the Ukraine and East Palestine in the immediate aftermath of the derailment..

Should Biden visit, it would be following visits last week by former President Donald Trump, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and environmental activist Erin Brockovich.

The Biden administration has noted that the l EPA was on the ground here just hours following the Feb. 3 derailment and has been joined iby the departments of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as the separate investigatory agency, the National Safety Transportation Board.

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