What is Erin Brockovich doing now? Lawyer urges East Palentine residents to 'get out' after toxic train derailment
EAST PALESTINE, OHIO: Environment activist Erin Brockovich has urged East Palentine residents, who live near the site where a deadly train derailment took place, to prioritize their own safety. She has urged the residents to be skeptical of EPA assurances that the site is no longer unsafe. The environmental lawyer and consultant's work battling Pacific Gas & Electric had been turned into a film in 2000. The movie titled 'Erin Brockovich' starred Julia Roberts.
East Palestine residents are in fear for their health after a train carrying toxic chemicals crashed. As many as 50 Norfolk Southern Railroad freight train cars derailed in Columbiana County on Friday, February 3, 2023, at around 9 pm. A major fire started near the track. The railroad company resorted to a controlled release of cancer-causing chemicals on February 6 in order to prevent a possible explosion.
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Prior to the gases being released, hundreds of East Palestine residents were evacuated and moved from their homes. However, they have now been told it is safe to return. The toxic gases released after the train derailment include vinyl chloride, isobutylene, ethylhexyl acrylate, and ethylene glycol monobutyl ether.
'I need the community to act for themselves'
"After 30 years of what I've been through, and what this community is going through - come on," Brockovich said while talking about EPA assurances that the site is now safe. The 62-year-old told NewsNation that people living near the site must trust their gut instincts and take care of themselves, according to the Daily Mail.
"I need the community to act for themselves," she said, adding, "If you feel unsafe, then please - get out of harm's way. If you feel unsafe, stay sheltered in place. If you're questioning if it's all clear, and you think it isn't, listen to that voice. Document what's happening to your own health. Document or videotape the fish that are dying, as you move about your community. I think it will be critical."
Brockovich said people in the local community need to act on their own as they could not rely on the government to suggest how they should act. "You will have to protect and defend yourself at this moment because I don't think all the answers are there," she said, adding, "They will be. But they're not. So, for the moment, please, use your own instincts: keep yourself safe, ask questions, if you're uncertain get to safety, and if you see something, say something, and document it."
Brockovich said that her office is being flooded with calls from various people, adding that she has not been able to find a legal firm that is willing to investigate the situation. "I don't know why. It could be a whole host of reasons," she said. "My guess would be that there's no affirmative answer yet. We know it's vinyl chloride. What the levels are, the EPA is saying everything is safe. So they may just be following the safe thing to do until we know," the activist further added.
What is Erin Brockovich doing now?
Brockovich is now the president of Brockovich Research & Consulting. She also works as a consultant for the New York law firm named Weitz & Luxenberg. The firm focuses on personal injury claims for asbestos exposure. She is also an ambassador for Shine Lawyers, where she has been working since 2007.
Brockovich demanded that the Joe Biden administration "step up" after the train derailment incident. "Doing better than your predecessor is not doing enough. The Biden administration needs to get more involved in this #PalestineOhio train derailment now. We are counting on you to break the chain of administration after administration to turn a blind eye," Brockovich wrote on Twitter.
Doing better than your predecessor, is not doing enough.— Erin Brockovich (@ErinBrockovich) February 13, 2023
The Biden administration needs to get more involved in this #PalestineOhio train derailment now.
We are counting on you to break the chain of administration after administration to turn a blind eye.
STEP UP NOW.
In another tweet, Brockovich said, "I’m trying to gather information on this very serious situation in Ohio involving a train derailment with hazardous chemicals. What I will say is this. Trust your eyes, ears and nose and get the hell out of there if your senses are telling you too."
I’m trying to gather information on this very serious situation in Ohio involving a train derailment with hazardous chemicals.— Erin Brockovich (@ErinBrockovich) February 11, 2023
What I will say is this. Trust your eyes, ears and nose and get the hell out of there if your senses are telling you too.
People, who were evacuated, are now allowed to return to their homes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reportedly monitoring the air and drinking water quality of the surrounding area.