Why Did the Authorities Burn Off the Huge Amount of Chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio?

Addendum: Check out this video with JD Vance:

The train derailment in Ohio has raised a number of questions.

Constitutional conservatives tend to believe that the federal government only has very limited powers defined by the Constitution. These powers do not include many activities in which the federal government is currently engaged.

But the federal government currently regulates transportation safety. It also regulates air and water quality and toxic spill events. These are not constitutional roles, but it is the current reality.

Some folks have questioned what led to the derailment. Was the Norfolk Southern railroad maintaining its trains properly? Were the regulators responsible for assuring transportation safety doing their jobs?

Once the derailment took place, some decisions had to be made. How does this enormous spill get contained? What does one do with the large volumes and quantities of chemicals at the site given the fact that the trains were wrecked and the chemicals spilled?

A decision was made to burn off the chemicals. This caused a huge mushroom cloud of smoke to arise over the area to the extent that evacuations had to be ordered. Fish, chickens and other animals were killed. Some people developed symptoms, but we don’t know the extent of the human effects. I do not recall such a dramatic, striking acute scenario with toxic spills that had occurred in the past.

A list of at least five or six chemicals were involved including vinyl chloride and phosgene. The phosgene was apparently liberated after the burn that took place. Vinyl chloride causes angiosarcoma of the liver; and phosgene causes pulmonary edema (or fluid on the lungs).

But when vinyl chloride is burned it also liberates dioxins. (HT:TS)

How is this type of spill supposed to be handled? There is a bureaucratic procedure that establishes teams that are responsible. The federal EPA is the lead agency, There is a designated Regional Response Team that includes federal, state and local officials. A federal “On Scene Coordinator” is the key person. The buck stops with him.

One of the problems with the Ohio response is that the governor of that state, Mike DeWine, is an establishment Republican. His leadership has been deficient and uninspiring; and his communication has been minimal.

(Addendum 02/16: DeWine had stated in a release ten days ago that the “controlled burn” of the chemicals was to avoid an explosion causing shrapnel to be expelled.)

But DeWine’s role has been essentially usurped by unconstitutional federal law. This type of situation is the EPA’s primary responsibility under federal law.

The EPA’s communication has been deficient also. Because it plays the lead role, it is most responsible for communicating with the public.

The option to burn the chemicals is listed on the EPA website as one of the methods of dealing with this type of situation. But they need to explain to the public how this decision was made, and what the basis for it was. Perhaps they wanted to prevent further penetration of soil and ground water and surface waters, and felt they had no other options, but they need to speak.

The administrator of the federal EPA is a black man from North Carolina who previously served in Governor Roy Cooper’s administration in Raleigh. His name is Michael Regan; and he is a NC A&T graduate.

If this spill and burn had taken place in a minority area, the outcry would have been enormous. They would have been flinging charges of environmental racism. But because this happened in a mostly white, working class, rural/ small town area in Ohio, and reflects mismanagement by the Biden Administration, the story has been downplayed by the corrupt media.

Addendum: JD Vance challenges the EPA administrator, Mr. Regan, to drink the tap water in the affected area:

It is also a reasonable question to ask whether it is safer to transport such chemicals by truck.

In any case, many questions are raised by this enormous event that few completely understand.


4 thoughts on “Why Did the Authorities Burn Off the Huge Amount of Chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio?

  1. TC: Every thing you said is 1000% correct. Answers need to be forthcoming . This is a big deal.

    1. Fred, Bannon has been hammering away on his show regarding this issue. Something is not quite right. It could be that a failure to communicate may be the main problem, and that the burn-off was the only real option. But the suspicion is that this was done to get the rail line cleared and back in service.

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