East Palestine Awarded $879K Emergency Grant

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown announced Tuesday that the village has been awarded an $879,509 emergency grant.

The grant is being provided through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and is being sent to the Ohio Department of Mental Health after a request from the state of Ohio for additional funding to address immediate and ongoing behavioral and mental health needs in the village, as well as expand and enhance the capacity of local crisis response systems.

“East Palestine is the type of community that’s so often forgotten or exploited by corporate America,” said Brown, D-Ohio. “I’m going to fight as long as it takes to make sure residents get the support they need to make their community whole.”

The announcement came after President Joe Biden was questioned by the media about his failure to make a promised appearance in the community after a Norfolk Southern train derailed in February.

Brown said he continues to work for East Palestine, including calling on FEMA to approve a request by Gov. Mike DeWine for a major disaster declaration, which would unlock additional resources from the federal government to address ongoing needs.

Cleanup is continuing in the village. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the train derailment site currently generates 1 million gallons of wastewater per week from excavation-related stormwater collection, which is not being treated onsite to remove vinyl chloride and other contaminants. Current excavation continues in the area of the south ditch and the car scrapping area on the south side of the tracks. Sheet piling is being installed this month, reportedly to ensure soil stability and reduce groundwater infiltration in those areas.

Home and office cleaning for eligible structures to address potential dust emissions from the cleanup efforts began Aug 23. The deadline to apply will be extended until Sept. 14. Those interested can apply HERE.

More than 100,000 tons of solid waste and 32.3 million gallons of liquid waste have been shipped from East Palestine since the cleanup began, according to the EPA.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.