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Holcomb criticizes the decision to dump dangerous Ohio train crash debris in Indiana



Indianapolis, Indiana – The federal government’s decision to transport dangerous debris from the railway wreck in East Palestine, Ohio, to the Hoosier State has Governor Eric Holcomb upset.

On February 3, a train derailed, releasing hazardous chemicals into the atmosphere. The Environmental Protection Agency announced on Monday that it would transfer the remaining hazardous material to a landfill in Roachdale, Indiana, and an incinerator in Grafton, Ohio.

Holcomb criticized the choice in a statement issued on Tuesday, blaming a lack of communication and asserting that he just learned “third-hand” about intentions to send materials to the state.

He said that resources shouldn’t be transported from “the far eastern side of Ohio to the far western side of Indiana,” but rather to the “nearest facilities.”

In order to find out “precisely what safeguards” were taken during the “transport and dispose of the items,” the governor wants to speak with the EPA administrator directly.

Holcomb’s statement:
“I continue to object to the EPA Administrator’s decision, from Washington, D.C., to move the hazardous waste from the East Palestine train derailment to Indiana. Further, there has been a lack of communication with me and other Indiana officials about this decision.”

“After learning third-hand that materials may be transported to our state yesterday, I directed my environmental director to reach out to the agency. The materials should go to the nearest facilities, not moved from the far eastern side of Ohio to the far western side of Indiana. I have made a request to speak to the administrator to discuss this matter. I want to know exactly what precautions will be taken in the transport and disposition of the materials.”

The landfill will analyze samples of the hazardous waste to see if it can be treated at the Roachdale plant, according to David Costin, director of Putnam County EMA. If that turns out to be the case, Putnam County commissioners would convene neighborhood gatherings to inform locals of the procedure.

The Indiana Department of Transportation said earlier Tuesday that it had “not been in involved in or received any requests for support related to the movement of hazardous materials from the train derailment site in Ohio.”