(UnitedVoice.com) – Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are trying to reassure residents of East Palestine, Ohio, and the surrounding cities, that they can return home after the massive February 3 train derailment. In the wake of the accident, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) authorized the chemicals that were aboard several of the cars to be destroyed in a controlled burn. A heavy, toxic smoke filled the air, forcing residents of the town to evacuate. Other chemicals poured into the Earth, possibly polluting the water.
State and federal EPA agents have told residents the air and water are fine. However, a lawyer who represented families that fell ill in the wake of the September 11 terror attacks is issuing a warning.
EPA’s 9/11 Failures
When the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001, they released toxic chemicals into the air. Hordes of first responders spent months digging through the rubble to find remains of those who were lost in the attack. Residents and employees of the buildings surrounding Ground Zero were also exposed to the toxic dust.
In the 21 years since the terrorist attacks, more than 5,500 people have died from 9/11-related illnesses. Over 122,000 people have enrolled in the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program, which provides care for those impacted by the attacks. After the attacks, the EPA told residents in NYC that the air quality was safe.
In 2006, The New York Times reported Federal Judge Deborah A. Batts accused former EPA Administrator Christine Whitman of making “misleading statements of safety” about the air quality. The judge found Whitman knew the collapse had created a plume of toxic dust as early as September 13, 2001, but still told people it was safe to return.
Michael Barasch, an attorney who represents more than 25,000 members of the September 11th community, said the recent reassurances that the air and water quality in the train derailment is cause for concern.
Barasch spoke to Breitbart News about the issues in Ohio along the Pennsylvania border. He said that when he heard the EPA reassuring the public it was safe to return home, it sent “shivers” up his spine. He explained that he believes the federal government should have cleared a “20 mile radius” surrounding the train derailment “for two to four weeks and consider it a toxic area until independent scientists can verify that it’s really safe.”
The attorney accused the EPA of lying about air safety after 9/11 to get Wall Street reopened. Instead of worrying about the financial industry, Barasch said the government should have just told NYC residents that they should have stayed away from their offices after the attacks if they didn’t have to be there. That is also what he thinks the EPA should have done in Ohio.
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