As if it weren’t horrible enough to live under the literal and figurative cloud of danger that erupted over East Palestine, Ohio several weeks ago, it now appears as though the fallout of the event known as “Ohio’s Chernobyl” will continue unabated.
That’s because, in a shocking and unforgivable move, the Biden administration is refusing to send federal disaster funds to the area, despite the Ohio Governor’s frantic pleas.
President Joe Biden’s administration rejected a request for federal disaster assistance from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in response to the train derailment in East Palestine earlier this month.
The derailment, which occurred on February 3, caused a fire that lasted several days. Officials decided to initiate a controlled release of the chemicals to mitigate the risk of an explosion; all residents within one mile of the crash site were told to evacuate, although they were permitted to return to their homes on February 8.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) told Ohio that the Biden administration was rejecting its request for federal assistance because the agency said the incident did not qualify.
The decision was a dismal one, to say the least.
Earlier in the day, the DeWine administration put out a statement saying that the Biden administration was not cooperating with requests to help the community through federal disaster aid.
“The DeWine Administration has been in daily contact with FEMA to discuss the need for federal support, however FEMA continues to tell Governor DeWine that Ohio is not eligible for assistance at this time,” DeWine’s office said earlier in the day. “Governor DeWine will continue working with FEMA to determine what assistance can be provided.”
Local residents have been furious over the course of the last several days, after Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg refused to attend a town hall meeting and face those affected.
The meeting was also skipped by representatives of Norfolk Southern, the company responsible for the crashed locomotive, who feared for the safety of their staff in the area.