The NAACP Ohio State Conference and Center for Environmental and Climate Justice continue to have concerns for community members who live in and near East Palestine who are impacted by the train disaster due to the derailment in their communities.
While we have yet to see the long-term impacts of run-off and water and air contamination, we know that it is important for federal and state authorities to dedicate resources to address environmental concerns in these communities. The communities most impacted by the hazardous waste from the derailment are low-income as well as communities of Black and other people of color.
The NAACP calls on state and federal officials to prioritize communities, water and air quality testing, and building out safety fixes for trains that carry hazardous material. The Trump Administration rolled back the Obama-era safety requirement on electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, which may have contributed to the derailment. However, Black and other communities of color will continue to suffer disproportionate health impacts and harm when there is not a national focus on environmental safety and water and air quality testing and regulations.