The massive train derailment in Ohio that has created a frightening public health crisis across two states is a stark reminder of the dangers posed by the growing petrochemical industry in the region.
Food & Water Watch Pennsylvania Director Megan McDonough issued the following statement:
“Community groups, grassroots organizations and public health experts have been warning for years that the fracking and petrochemical polluters in our area pose serious health dangers to our communities. Yet lawmakers from both parties have encouraged the growth of pipelines, petrochemical plants, and new fracking wells dangerously close to our homes and schools. Expanding these dirty energy networks means transporting hazardous and even potentially deadly chemicals by pipeline, truck and train – putting millions of us at risk every single day.
“As this tragedy unfolded, many of those directly impacted have received confusing messages about what actions they should take to protect themselves and their loved ones. It is an unsettling reminder that we are still not prepared to respond to these situations when they occur – even though we know full well that they will happen again.
“The fiery train crash in East Palestine is just the latest in a series of preventable tragedies. Our communities cannot continue to be treated as dumping grounds for careless corporate polluters. We deserve clean air, clean water and a livable climate – and that means an end to the dangerous fossil fuel and petrochemical expansion projects that put all of us in harm’s way. Governor Shapiro has spent years documenting the abuses of reckless frackers and polluters. We count on him to take action to protect Pennsylvanians from future tragedies.”