The four major groups involved in the management and cleanup of the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio – Norfolk Southern, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials, the Ohio governor’s office and the Pennsylvania governor’s office – each have markedly different stories regarding the authorization of the controversial “controlled burn” of five carriages containing vinyl chloride as the residue from the noxious smoke and fumes released in the February 6th procedure continues to sully the nearby land and waterways.
“Alan Shaw, the CEO of Norfolk Southern did break some news up there in East Palestine in a very controlled environment. He didn’t didn’t show up for the town hall meeting – he was there inside that one little building there for that TV interview there and then scooted out of town back to his home in Atlanta,” The Ohio Star and Star News Network editor-in-chief Michael Patrick Leahy said in an appearance on WarRoom Monday morning.
Leahy reviewed Shaw previous statements saying that he – Shaw – was in the meeting where the decision was made “vent and burn” the vinyl chlorine and asked, “But where was the meeting? Was it in Atlanta, where his headquarters are? Was it in Columbus, Ohio, where Governor DeWine has his offices? Was it in East Palestine, Ohio? Was the On-Site EPA Coordinator – who has the legal authority to make that decision – was he there, as well?”
In addition to where the meeting was held, the individual who ultimately made the decision to “vent and burn” the vinyl chloride also remains unknown in the flurry of imprecise statements and comments issued by the different parties.
“Steve,” Leahy said, “[There are] Four different stories from the four organizations responsible for the February 6th controlled burn of vinyl chloride in East Palestine:
“One story is non-existent from the EPA – they supposedly have the legal authority but they are not saying anything.
“Then you have the head of Norfolk Southern who says he was in the meeting where the decision was made, but won’t tell us where it is or who made the decision.
“The Governor of Ohio says ‘I approved of it but I didn’t make the decision’ and then the closer on this is Josh Shapiro, the governor of Pennsylvania saying ‘Well, Norfolk Southern didn’t tell us all the details about this, initially.’
“So, none of these stories add up. We’re going to go to all four of those and the department of Justice to ask for the detailed timeline between February 3rd derailment and the February 6th controlled burn.”
Watch the interview: