(breitbart) – Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is “concerned” by the impacts of the trail derailment near East Palestine, he said in a statement late Monday — days after residents were force to evacuate due to the release of toxic chemicals.
“I continue to be concerned about the impacts of the Feb 3 train derailment near East Palestine, OH, and the effects on families in the ten days since their lives were upended through no fault of their own,” Buttigieg said in a social media update Monday evening.
“It’s important that families have access to useful & accurate information,” he continued before contending there was a swift response to the incident initially.
“USDOT has been supporting the investigation led by The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Our Federal Rail Administration and Pipelines and Hazardous Materials teams were onsite within hours of the initial incident and continue to be actively engaged,” he said, making a vague promise to investigate what happened and hold those responsible accountable.
“In the meantime, our Federal partners at EPA are onsite and monitoring indoor and outdoor air quality to test for VOCs and other chemicals of concern,” he said, adding that the agency has screened 291 homes already with “no detections” identified:
Buttgieg’s Monday statement comes well over a week after the initial derailment, which forced residents to evacuate, as the derailed train was carrying toxic chemicals. Nearly a week after the initial derailment, officials gave residents the ok to return home.
“Hundreds and hundreds of data points we’ve collected over the time show the air quality is safe,” the EPA’s James Justice said at the time.
However, recent data now shows that the train derailment on the Ohio-Pennsylvania “spewed more harmful pollutants into the air, surface soils and water table than originally reported,” as Breitbart News detailed:
A list of the cars involved in the derailment and the products they were carrying since released by Norfolk Southern reveals several more toxic chemicals than first made apparent following the crash, ABC News reports. Among the substances were ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate and isobutylene also in the rail cars that were derailed, the NBC News list shows. Contact with ethylhexyl acrylate, a carcinogen, can cause burning and irritation of the skin and eyes, and inhalation can irritate the nose and throat, causing shortness of breath and coughing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The disaster serves as the latest incident under Buttgieg’s watch, prompting critics to point out that the Biden official continues to offer delayed or lackluster reactions, offering vague promises to investigate for issue after issue. The airline fiasco last year, for example, even prompted Democrats to sour on Buttigieg.
WATCH: Massive Inferno, Threat of “Catastrophic” Explosion After ~50-Car Train Derailment