EAST PALESTINE, OH. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) visited East Palestine, Ohio and neighboring towns on Saturday following the devastating train derailment that took place two weeks ago.
In an exclusive interview with ABC 27 News, Mastriano said the derailment had the potential to be “one of the biggest ecological disasters in Pennsylvania history.”
“I was only there for four hours with my chief of staff, and my skin is burning, our throat and eyes are burning [and] we’ve had some coughing and skin rashes going on,” Mastriano said.
Residents near the derailment have reported similar symptoms, including headaches. Dead fish have also been spotted in the Ohio River near East Palestine.
“The folks in Pennsylvania that we interacted with feel like they’ve been abandoned,” Mastriano said. “There’s nothing coming to them. They haven’t heard from anybody — whether [that be] Harrisburg or Norfolk Southern.”
Gov. Josh Shapiro announced late last week that the Commonwealth will conduct its own independent water sampling to ensure levels are safe. Shapiro also pledged to hold Norfolk Southern accountable for the derailment.
On top of this, Mastriano will host a Senate Hearing on Thursday to discuss the disaster and what he said are the needs of Pennsylvanians.
The Shapiro Administration, the Department of Agriculture and the Federal Emergency Management Company have all been invited to attend, according to Mastriano. Mastriano also said he asked Norfolk Southern to participate, but the company declined. He plans to issue a subpoena, which could require the company to be in attendance.