Saturday marked one year since the fiery train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, wreckage that spilled 1 million gallons of chemicals into the soil and water and sent a huge plume of toxic smoke into the air.
One year later, residents are still worried about the long-term health effects. The accident was supposed to serve as a wake-up call for rail safety, but so far not much has changed. Congress has still not passed a rail safety bill and derailments increased by 13% in the first 10 months of 2023.
On the political front, President Joe Biden is still facing criticism for having never visited the town. It’s a problem he hopes to fix later this month.
But it might be too late to save face. The administration has still not declared a federal disaster in East Palestine. And despite a recent invitation to Bidwn, Mayor Trent Conway has been a vocal critic of the president. Last month, Conway said the best time for Biden to come would be in 2025 after he loses to Donald Trump.