Chronicle poll results: Train derailment
PollOur readers share their views

Chronicle poll results: Train derailment

We asked our readers how concerned they are with the East Palestine train derailment. Here's what they said.

Last week, the Chronicle asked its readers in an electronic poll the following question: “How concerned are you with the East Palestine train derailment and its impacts?” Of the 225 people who responded, 65% said “very concerned”; 29% said “somewhat concerned”; 4% said “not at all concerned”; and 2% had no opinion. Comments were submitted by 60 people. A few follow.

I have been working in the hazardous waste industry for 40 years and was at USEPA in the Superfund program. I also teach the topic at CMU. Pittsburgh air and water were not impacted, so I am not concerned at all. If I were in the immediate area of the train wreck, I would be very concerned. We should not forget that trains with crude oil, hazardous and dangerous substances pass through Pittsburgh over several rail routes on a daily basis.

It’s unclear if we are affected here in Pittsburgh. Some people here have said that they’ve seen acid rain on their cars.

It could occur anywhere at any time. The railroad system and routes were laid out and built over 100 years ago and, just like our country’s infrastructure and electrical grid, are outdated and in need of being upgraded.

It’s hard to believe that this country is still unable to protect its population from the dangers of toxic chemicals passing through residential areas on trains that apparently are either not correctly operated or not correctly regulated. This could have happened anywhere, including here.

As anyone who follows rail transport knows, there is insufficient regulation of an industry which has proved over and over their willingness to put profits ahead of people. Obama promulgated sensible regulations that Trump promptly rescinded. Time for “Mayor Pete” and the Feds to set more rigorous safety standards.

Why didn’t Biden in the two years the Democrats control Congress not reverse the Trump deregulation of the railroads?

Why is Biden in Ukraine and not East Palestine?

The derailment is troubling enough, but the aftermath is even more disturbing. The Biden administration did not give this disaster the attention and resources it deserved. The question is why.

Once again a disaster becomes a political issue.

Most of us live close enough to rail lines, and we are vulnerable. We also need to take care of our fellow citizens in times of emergency.

We currently have so little faith in the accuracy of information we receive from corporations, state governments and even the media that it’s hard to accept that the quality of our air and water have not suffered a serious blow. PJC

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