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EPA Administrator Michael Regan tells East Palestine residents air and water are safe

EPA administrator tours derailment site, promises government will keep people safe
EPA administrator tours derailment site, promises government will keep people safe 02:21

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (KDKA) - EPA administrator will be in East Palestine to assess the impacts and damage after a train derailed nearly two weeks ago. 

EPA Administrator Michael Regan met with local, state and federal leaders involved in responding to the train derailment. 

Regan continued to assure residents that the air and water are safe, saying "robust" air quality testing and 24/7 monitoring have shown no problems.

While Regan said the drinking water is also safe, the Ohio Department of Health is asking the few residents who do use private wells to use bottled water until their wells can be tested.

Officials have tested the air quality in close to 500 homes and haven't found any vinyl chloride, Regan said. He also said that they're testing for all other chemicals that were on the train. The screenings are still available for anyone who wants them. 

When asked if he would feel comfortable living in East Palestine, he said he would if air and water tests in the homes showed it was safe. 

"As a father, I trust the science, I trust the methodology that the state is using," he said. 

"I would encourage every family in this community to reach out to the state or EPA to get their home air quality tested and their water tested. We have the resources to do it, we want to do it and we want people to feel secure and safe in their homes," he added. 

On Wednesday, the EPA announced results from tests of six water systems and results showed no contaminants. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tweeted saying that EPA is confident the water is safe to drink. 

Meanwhile, the EPA added that its latest air quality tests show no level of health concern. Residents, however, say if that's the case, why are their animals and pets dying? Several cases have been reported, including when a woman's cat had to be put down after a vet said it could have suffered from chloride gasses, a chemical that was exposed to the town after the derailment. 

When asked about residents who were reporting health issues, Regan said those residents should seek medical care and tell local health officials. Other officials encouraged those residents to get medical records to document any issues. 

While acknowledging mistrust of the government, Regan asked people to trust officials and the science behind the results. 


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