Biden Makes First Visit to East Palestine a Year After Train Derailment – One America News Network

US President Joe Biden speaks after receiving an operational briefing from officials on the continuing response and recovery efforts at the site of a train derailment which spilled hazardous chemicals a year ago in East Palestine, Ohio on February 16, 2024. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
5:25 PM – Friday, February 16, 2024

Over a year after a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, spilling dangerous chemicals, President Joe Biden finally took time out of his schedule and paid the small community a visit on Friday.

Biden assured the locals that the U.S. government would perform its duties and stay in the region until the cleanup works were finished after meeting with local leaders and receiving a briefing from the Environmental Protection Agency.

He commended the bravery and tenacity of the community and maintained that they are not “defined by the derailment.” He also chastised Norfolk Southern for failing to take the necessary safety measures with its hazardous cargo.


However, locals in the area expressed frustration that Biden waited a whole year before he decided to make the trek to East Palestine. They also claimed that he has not made any effort to get the small community back on its feet.

“Let me be clear. While there are acts of God, this was an act of greed that was 100% preventable,” Biden said.

The incident on February 3rd, 2023, did not result in any fatalities, but it did cause nausea and headaches, among other symptoms, from the inhalation of toxic chemicals. It additionally prompted anxiety and fears about potential long-term health hazards to rise in the area, affecting both people and animals.

“We’ve tested the air, the water, [and] the soil quality,” Biden continued.

Republicans, particularly former President Donald Trump, who visited the region soon after the derailment, unlike Biden, have criticized the current Democrat president for breaking his commitment to visit the scene of the accident soon after.

However, Biden did visit the small community today, over a year later, speaking with impacted locals and authorities, including the town’s mayor, Trent Conaway, who had expressed disapproval towards Biden.

Conaway stated on Friday that the meeting had been “long awaited” and that he intended to concentrate on “things we agree with,” such as the town’s long-term health issues and financial stability.

“We will not be defined by this single event, but rather by our response to it and our perseverance,” Conaway said.

“Holding the train operator accountable” was Biden’s pledge.

“My administration ordered Norfolk Southern to clean up the mess it created and ensure it was done right,” he said. “That includes an executive order I signed to continue our priority to hold Norfolk Southern fully accountable for this disaster and any long-term effects that are able to be identified as time goes on.”

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