RENSSELAER COUNTY EXECUTIVE STEVE McLAUGHLIN CALLS FOR EPA AIR MONITORING OF RENSSELAER COUNTY AND UPSTATE NEW YORK FOLLOWING OHIO FREIGHT TRAIN DERAILMENT AND RELEASE OF HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
Air monitoring should be provided by the federal government in Rensselaer County and other areas of the Capital Region following a major freight train derailment and explosion in Ohio earlier this month, County Executive Steve McLaughlin said today.
The derailment and explosion in East Palestine, Ohio on February 3 may have caused major environmental and health issues, and monitoring by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will ensure the safety of residents in the county and upstate, said McLaughlin.
Prevailing winds move east, and fallout from the Ohio explosion will likely be felt in upstate, McLaughlin noted.
"This explosion is a major environmental incident and issue and will likely to be coming to our county and surrounding area. We need to take steps to get ahead of this issue," said McLaughlin.
"The EPA should establish air monitoring in the area and ensure the health and safety of the residents of Rensselaer County, Capital Region and upstate," added McLaughlin.
"Prevailing winds move east, meaning the problem in Ohio is now being carried here to Rensselaer County and upstate New York," said McLaughlin.
McLaughlin said the county has not received any information or directives from the state or federal government relating to the Ohio explosion.
"I am concerned there has not been more information forthcoming about the Ohio situation. The entire Northeast is exposed to the fallout from Ohio, and some guidance is needed," said McLaughlin.
"The EPA is finally assuming command of the situation in Ohio today, but you have to ask why it took nearly three weeks for the EPA to take over," added McLaughlin.