Residents of East Palestine, Ohio are still reeling with the impacts of the recent train derailment and subsequent chemical spill in their town, and relief is virtually nowhere to be found. Politicians are busy trying to blame each other’s Party for what happened, but these residents aren’t interested in the blame game. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins talks with reporter Louis DeAngelis from Status Coup News about what is really on residents’ minds right now.
*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
Farron Cousins: The situation on the ground in East Palestine, Ohio has certainly not gotten any better, I would say, since the train derailment just a couple weeks ago. And while most of the national media at this point is kind of focused on who’s to blame, is it Buttigieg? Is it the CEO? Is it Trump? Is it Biden? Who the hell knows? The situation on the ground remains the same. We have people that are suffering. And with me now is Louis DeAngelis with Status Coup News. Louis, you’ve been on the ground, you’ve been on the ground for quite some time. You already have a trip planned to go back to East Palestine. I’ve watched your stuff on Status Coup. You’ve been talking to these people. And a lot of these folks, they’re not worried about the blame game right now. They’re more worried, what the hell am I gonna do? My life has been turned upside down.
Louis DeAngelis: Absolutely. You’re right there. I spent about a week on the ground in East Palestine, home for a little bit of a break right now. But I’ve been staying in touch with residents day and night on the issues that they are still having, the answers that they are still not getting from officials on the ground in East Palestine. And you, you put it well, a lot of these folks are in just an absolutely impossible position. They are, many of them are getting sick. Many of their children are getting sick, experiencing all sorts, all sorts of health conditions that they had never experienced before this. You’ve got otherwise ordinarily healthy people ending up with everything from issues with their eyes and throats when they’re near some of these places, including in their homes, if they live near where the actual derailment happened.
You have folks getting bloody noses constantly, diarrhea. We’ve got reports of folks that I’ve talked to who had blood in their stool. All sorts of things. Rashes, folks ending up in the hospital with, with breathing issues and needing nebulizer treatments, who were otherwise entirely healthy before this. So the impossible position that these folks are in are, number one, stay in East Palestine and risk the potential health effects that might come with this, both in the short term and then the, the scarier element of this is in the long term. Some of the chemicals that were found on board this train and that were created as a result of the controlled burn of this train that didn’t look very controlled to me and a lot of the other folks that we’ve, we’ve talked to, cause all sorts of things ranging from cancers and other dangerous things down the line in the future.
So their option is that, or to, you know, try to leave. The unfortunate reality of trying to leave is if some of these folks are fortunate to own the home that they live in, I don’t know about you, but I’m not looking to buy a house in East Palestine right now, especially with everything that’s going on. I don’t know that that situation is gonna change any time in the short term or even in the longer term looking 1, 2, 3 years down the line based on everything that’s happened here. So, you know, this isn’t a wealthy community. This is a lower income community. Leaving without selling your house and trying to buy a house somewhere else or pay rent isn’t an option for many of these people. And unfortunately, at this point, the railroad is done paying for hotel stays because the area has been deemed safe by officials. Although even that has been contradicted on many occasions at this point.
Farron Cousins: Yeah. That, that just blows my mind. I mean, you know, you made a great point. Obviously, we see the immediate health benefits from the instant exposure to these chemicals. But, you know, I’ve worked at a law firm for nearly 20 years now, and a lot of these environmental devastation cases that, you know, this firm has handled a lot of it is because the poisoning happened 20 years ago, 30, sometimes 50 years ago. And the health effects are just now really manifesting to the point where you can link them directly to whatever it was, you know, whichever corporation was dumping their chemicals in these areas. And then, of course, we have the ongoing environmental devastation. These chemicals have not yet completed their seepage into the water tables, and then god knows where it goes from there. We could be talking about widespread devastation for decades to come. Not to mention, as you pointed out, you know, it’s not like we’re dealing with a Cher Noble situation where it’s uninhabitable for, you know, forever.
Louis DeAngelis: Right.
Farron Cousins: But no, you’re right. Nobody’s gonna want to go to East Palestine and say, hey, I’m looking for some cheap real estate. Let me, let me snatch this house up. These people are in quite possibly one of the worst situations imaginable, because yeah, either you abandon your life, your financial situation, your job, or you stay and continue to possibly be poisoned. It, it’s, a lot of people would say, well, I would leave. Put yourself in the real position and it becomes a lot more difficult to just say, pack it up kids, we’re, we’re getting outta here.
Louis DeAngelis: Absolutely. I mean, the average, or the median income for a resident in East Palestine is, you know, roughly $29,000 a year. The median household income is around 40. Obviously those numbers fluctuate a little bit, but, it’s, again, if you’re not able to sell your house, if you are lucky enough to own the house, again, a lot of these folks are renting as well. They’re stuck in a one year lease that they can’t get out of. And again, the area is being deemed safe by the governor, by EPA officials and whatnot. Although the governor yesterday slipped up a little bit on that, making a comment saying, oh, you know, this is gonna take a while to make the community safe, after saying time and time again before everything’s fine, everything’s fine. So yes, again, the position these folks are in is impossible.
But the other layer to all of this is the rightful distrust that these folks now have in the institutions that you would think are here to, you know, provide accurate information to these folks. But the further I dig into some of this, the worse that it gets. A couple examples that I’ll share. First off, the initial tests that were done when all of this went down, were hired out by contractors that were hired by the railroad. That information was essentially then shared with, you know, politicians who were like, yep, okay, these levels look good. And then that information was basically just handed to the media who just repeated the talking points. So that’s basically information coming directly from these contractors hired by Norfolk Southern. I won’t get into all of this right now, but we’ve done some digging into these contractors, and there are issues in their pasts as well of, you know, similar instances of, you know, influencing the data, we’ll say.
Only sharing certain parts of it to make sure that things looked okay, not testing for things that should be being tested for. So that’s the information that got out initially and that, unfortunately, we saw a lot of corporate media just kind of repeating this stuff initially. Fortunately now at least some of the stuff is getting out that, hey, some of the things that, you know, should be being tested for, are not being tested for. And that has coming out quite a bit. A big example here is dioxin. You maybe have heard some of the conversations with this. When you set all of these chemicals on fire, including vinyl chloride and others that were on board the train, you’ve likely seen images or video of the absolutely massive plume of smoke, and who knows what else that launched up into the air and spread for miles and miles, I’ll add, dioxins were gonna be included inside of that.
I talked with Dr. Stephen Lester about this after a town hall. He explained to me that the dioxins will be carried up into the air, in thermals created by the fires, and then it will spread out in that cloud. But dioxins are heavier than air. So eventually these dioxins will settle down onto the ground, yes, in East Palestine, but also in surrounding communities that, you know, wherever the wind was blowing that day, which unfortunately the wind shifted a couple times, and lands on the grounds. Dioxins can cause all sorts of, it’s, it’s one of the most harmful chemicals in existence. It can cause all sorts of health issues ranging from issues with women having children, ranging to all sorts of cancers, all sorts of things like this. And even just small amounts of this can be an issue. If it lands in a farmer’s field and that farmer plants some of his crops, the crops can absorb the dioxin into them.
And then when you or I eat them after buying them at the grocery store, it can affect us down the line. It can affect livestock who might be drinking this sort of stuff in the water. Thing after thing after thing and there has not been a single test done by the EPA, by the state of Ohio, by the federal government for dioxin at this point. Just another, another thing of the irresponsibility behind all of this. But again, officials tell everybody everything’s safe. Well, yes, it’s safe when you look at the tests that you’ve done, but you’re not doing all of the tests that would make sense to do in this sort of instance, according to several experts.
Farron Cousins: And, you know, dioxin, I’m just trying to look it up here, but as far as I remember, is this not, isn’t this what was in Agent Orange, dioxin? I mean.
Louis DeAngelis: Yeah. And I’m pretty sure that it is. And I mean, other chemicals that were created during this were definitely in it as well. So this is, this is very, very serious stuff. And the answers that folks in town are getting about why it’s not being tested for are absolute nonsense. One of the answers that was repeated by somebody in a, in a round table event just yesterday or maybe the day before at this point said, well, we, we’re not gonna test for dioxins because we don’t have a baseline of where the dioxins were in the air before the event. Frankly, I don’t care what the dioxins were in the air before the event, because if the, or on the soil or wherever, because if the dioxin levels that are in the soil or the air now are dangerous, people deserve to know about it.
Farron Cousins: It, it just, it’s always about protecting the corporation. I mean, no matter what level of government we’re looking at here, federal, state, local, it’s always gonna come back to let’s protect Norfolk Southern in this particular instance. But, you know, you can change out Norfolk Southern with any other major corporation in America. Your politicians more than likely are gonna try to protect them. So, so let’s talk for a moment about the residents and Norfolk Southern, because Norfolk Southern has made several offers, you know, publicly, like, oh, don’t worry, we’re gonna take care of you. At first it was, you know, basically a couple dollars is what it amounted to per resident.
Louis DeAngelis: Yes.
Farron Cousins: They’ve had a couple other offers since then. What’s the residential response to, to Norfolk Southern’s offers?
Louis DeAngelis: For sure. I mean, a lot of folks are insulted by, by the offers they’ve been receiving, and also by the process that Norfolk Southern had made them, you know, do to get there. These folks were having to jump through hoops to do this. I went myself and, you know, firsthand experienced what these folks were going through. The assistance center that they have set up one town over from East Palestine, I don’t know why they don’t have it set up in East Palestine if it’s safe there, I’m not sure. But one town over upwind, notably as well from East Palestine, we got there around 8:30 in the morning, knowing that this facility was gonna open at 10:00 AM. To our surprise, there were already about 45 people in line waiting to get in at 8:30 in the morning, an hour and a half beforehand.
The people at the front of that line were there before 6:00 AM because in the days prior, the company ran out of tickets to give to folks to let them know when the turn was to come up. They were only giving about 200 or 250 tickets per day for your chance to go up and talk with some of these folks from Norfolk Southern about either getting reimbursements or getting the thousand dollar check that I’m sure many of folks have heard about that’s been pretty widely reported in the media at this point. So they wanted to show up early because they couldn’t afford to stand there and wait around for upwards of five hours in line to be turned away and told they have to come back again the next day. The process was changing a little bit here and there.
So by the time we got there, the system was set up that, you, the first folks in line, the first 60 or so would get a ticket for the morning. The next 60 or so folks in line would get a ticket to come back at noon and so on throughout the afternoon, which already at that point means you now have to come back again hours later after waiting for however long to get the ticket in the first place. An absolutely asinine system, if you ask me, especially when this is a multi-billion dollar corporation that did this. You’re telling me that these people can’t set up a website so that these folks can submit the information that they need to do this? It’s, it was ridiculous the hoops that these folks were having to jump through to be reimbursed for simple things like, you know, a hotel stay for a couple nights while their town was essentially, you know, set, a giant fire was set in the middle of it causing, you know, chemicals to be spread all over the place.
But these folks had to jump through hoops to get this sort of money. And one other thing on the assistance here, it basically seems like the option was either A, take the thousand dollars, and we are not gonna do other reimbursements for you with this. Or you can submit receipts and receipts and receipts. Initially some people weren’t necessarily thinking how absolutely dangerous this situation was gonna be, and the thousand dollars seemed like a cleaner option to just take it and not need to worry about the receipts. And then come to find out later, they’re like, okay, I should probably have this air testing done in my home. I should probably look into purifiers and things like this. The, the appropriate testing and stuff that you’d wanna do in your home. We talked to one resident yesterday, two days ago who said that she had a quote done for the appropriate tests in her house, and it was gonna cost her $4,500 to do so.
Farron Cousins: Oh God.
Louis DeAngelis: So the, you know, assistance being set up there was, it, it was a mess, frankly. Folks were, were not happy about it. Folks were able to be, you know, if you’re able to get to the front of the line, you know, most of them were able to get reimbursements for the things that, that they needed. But again, at this point now, you know, new reimbursements are not being done for hotel stays in particular, which is, which is notable because there’s a lot of folks who are still uncomfortable going back. And I will say rightfully so.
Farron Cousins: And, you know, when we’re talking about the air quality tests in the homes, this is where the local officials, the state officials, need to step up because there’s nothing stopping them from issuing an order demanding that Norfolk Southern pay for those outright. Norfolk Southern should be on the hook to be paying these people, to where the, to where the homeowner isn’t involved in the process at all. Right. They open their door and let the person in. No bills, nothing. All of those should go straight to Norfolk Southern. There’s nothing stopping these local officials, the state officials, hell, even the federal officials from ordering this to be done. This is Norfolk Southern’s mess. They are responsible for this. But we see this a lot with corporations. And again, you know, it comes back to all of the years I’ve spent working with, with these lawyers.
What these corporations do is they, they put off as many expenses as long as they can. They will avoid paying everything, everything, everything for that short term profit. And they understand 20 years from now, they will be paying out millions and millions in lawsuits. They understand that. They’re anticipating that. But in the meantime, paying as little as possible, you can pocket as much, all of the executives that are with that company today, by the time those lawsuits hit, they’re gone. They’re retired. Some of them, you know, have moved on beyond this world. So they’re not worried about it. That’s the next guy’s problem. He’s gonna have to pay all that out. So that’s why you see this stinginess at first, because that’s their money. The, the lawsuits later on, that’s somebody else’s problem to deal with. Externalize and push down the road so they can make as much money as possible today.
Louis DeAngelis: Now absolutely. And we’re seeing that even as well with, you know, you mentioned they should be paying for the testing and whatnot to go into the homes and, and to a degree like some of that is happening. But again, the main key issue here is they’re not testing for everything that would be present. Like, if you test for the wrong things, you’re gonna be able to get whatever results you want. You need to be testing for the right things, and that’s not happening. And another example of this is Norfolk Southern had contracted out with a local, fairly local cleaning company to come in and try to ease people’s minds, have their homes cleaned, so that when they returned, everything was all fine and dandy. I’ve now spoken with more than a handful of residents who actually have this cleaning company come, but the first who had reached out to me was a woman named Jenna Catone.
The railroad tracks are in her backyard. Her windows were open the night that this happened. Her and her son ended up in the hospital needing nebulizer treatments, again, after being perfectly healthy, no issues. They still have rescue inhalers now that they have to carry with them in case something comes up as a result of this. Jenna was the first person to bring this to my attention, but this local cleaning company is coming in. Number one, they are not hazmat certified, which this is absolutely a chemical situation. They absolutely should be hazmat cleaning companies coming and doing this cleaning. But the cleaning technology and the, the chemicals and cleaning solutions that they’re using are what are meant to be used in a hospital to clean up bacteria and viruses and all of these things. And they do absolutely nothing as far as cleaning up chemicals go.
So this company is coming in, you know, fogging or spraying in the home, leaving, telling folks, everything’s fine. You don’t need to wipe anything down in your house anymore. You’re all good to go. Like, welcome back to your home. When in reality, you now have whatever this cleaning solution is sprayed on top of whatever chemicals, you know, settled in their home after this happened. Again, in the case of Jenna and her neighbors, they are very close to where this happened. Again, railroad tracks in their backyard. It’s abhorrent that Norfolk Southern would even consider hiring a company that’s not hazmat certified. A big part of the reason is, to your point before, money. Hazmat certified cleaning companies are expensive. We talked to residents who tried to do this on their own, and it’s over a thousand dollars to have one come in. And Norfolk Southern in many instances with residents I talked to, said that they would not reimburse a cleaning company that will cost that much money to come in and do a hazmat cleaning.
Farron Cousins: You know, it’s really scary when you talk about these folks that are, you know, obviously the breathing problems are one of the most immediate things along with the rashes. And that’s just from the immediate exposure.
Louis DeAngelis: Yep.
Farron Cousins: We, we’ve already sat here, we’ve talked about it in the water, we’ve talked about it in the air, we have talked about it in the soil. And that’s what I really want to drive home to everybody listening and watching this. They’re surrounded. I mean, there’s, there’s no safe spot to get away from this at the moment. And sure, what’s in the air weeks from now, that’s gone. But it doesn’t disappear. It’s not being shot up into outer space. It has settled. That’s when it’s in the soil. It gets in the food. It gets in the water. And then we start to see those real long-term effects. Now these, you know, breathing issues with some of these residents that you’ve talked about, some of this could be permanent. And that, of course, is a very real concern, especially when you’re dealing with folks that have never had these issues. Now we’re already looking at potentially lifelong issues. And trust me, those inhalers, the nebulizer treatments and solutions, steroid inhalers, that stuff’s not cheap even when you have insurance. Uh,
Louis DeAngelis: Right.
Farron Cousins: You know, monthly costs on that for my household is over $500. So yeah, it’s, that’s a big one. And these people are gonna be dealing with that at least for the next few months, possibly forever. And then the cancers come. That’s.
Louis DeAngelis: Oh yeah.
Farron Cousins: That’s, we will see it. I mean, we know, we all know we can watch this because we’ve seen this story so many times. The cancers are coming, it’ll be five, 10 years before they start showing up, but they’re coming.
Louis DeAngelis: Absolutely. And I mean, it’s easy to see. I’m sure at this point folks have seen the videos of people kind of disturbing the soil on the bottom of the creek beds and things like this. What’s scary is, in some of these areas, the way that the Norfolk Southern and the contractors and, you know, everybody else involved are trying to clean these streams and whatnot as well, is by aerating them. So essentially what you have is a series of makeshift, like temporary dams. And on one side of the upper side of the dam, they’ll be sucking water out of the, out of the streams and creeks and through a series of, there’s some buckets with potential filters and things like this. But at the end of it, it will be shot up into the air, like a, like a fountain almost, spraying this water up into the air.
And what’s happening when they’re doing that is it’s separating some of the chemicals from the water. Many of the chemicals will go up into the air and the water will land back in. The idea being that they’re hoping all of the chemicals go out into the air and eventually dissipate. Which is really scary though, because these are set up throughout East Palestine and beyond. Some of them right on the edge of downtown, very close to homes. And some of these homes are close to where this is happening. So the chemicals are actually even still in the air in parts of town. And then the other concern you mentioned, it’s settling into the dirt and the soil. The folks who live right along the railroad tracks, there’s stuff kicking up every single time a train goes by. And the trains go by very frequently, multiple per hour, I can say from while I was there.
So it is still a concern with some of it kicking up. And then, you know, one more point on the, on the health conditions as well that these folks are experiencing. I actually ran into Governor DeWine while I was in East Palestine. I don’t think he was very excited to see me after I asked him a couple tough questions that you wouldn’t get from a lot of the corporate media folks. Unfortunately, I wish they would do that. But he told me that all the residents who were on the street that he was on that day and did his little photo op taking a sip of the water, you know, I told him, I was like, these folks are experiencing all of these health conditions that we’ve already talked about. What, what is your message to them?
What should they do about it? And he referred them to a clinic that had just opened that day by the state of Ohio. In that clinic, I went right after he told me, I was like, all right, let’s go see what’s here, see if it’s legit. Unfortunately at that clinic, they are basically just offering people to talk to, which is important in an instance like this, you definitely need to go and talk about some stuff. This is, there’s a lot of trauma involved here. Notably what this clinic is not providing though, is any sort of treatment of any kind, any sort of prescription to solve any of your problems. They’re not doing any diagnosis of anything that you might have experienced as a result of this. And they’re not doing any testing at all of urine or blood to tell you what you might have, you know, gotten into your system.
Alls they’re doing is basically saying, like, referring you to a doctor. So to your point earlier, hopefully you have good health insurance or health insurance at all. If these folks, you know, don’t have health insurance, they’re gonna be on the hook for a lot. If they have bad health insurance, like I have, you know, they’re gonna have a high deductible, you know, upwards of, you know, $10,000 or something like that, that they’re gonna have to pay out of pocket before anything happens. These folks, unfortunately, a lot of them don’t have that kind of money to solve the problem. If you’re gonna set up a clinic, a clinic to do this, let’s do it the right way and actually provide real treatments for these folks who desperately need it.
Farron Cousins: Well, and that’s, you know, the medical monitoring things like that, again, it’ll be, it’ll be years before you’re able to really file these lawsuits because we don’t know the effects. And you know, I’ve talked to plenty of lawyers, you know, both here and nationally, they’re getting calls from these residents all the time. It’s like, hey, what can you do? And unfortunately, the lawyers right now have to say, we can’t. You know, obviously there’s lawsuits over the crash. Yes. Because that’s the immediate effect. But you already have people questioning like, look, I’m taking in these chemicals. I’ve had this. And the lawyers unfortunately have to say, listen, right now, there’s not much we can do about this. The, the long-term effects, if we were to file a suit now, you would be screwed later. You know, you’re gonna get not anything right now.
You’re not gonna get the medical monitoring. You’re not gonna get, you know, the, the big settlements to be able to move to a different area. You’re gonna get pennies basically, if you try to file any kind of chemical related lawsuit at this point, which is of course very disappointing. But that’s the way that works. And corporations know it is. And again, like I’ve said, they use it to their advantage. One other thing I do want to hit on here, because I talked about it in the intro, we do have the blame game.
Louis DeAngelis: Right.
Farron Cousins: You know, Obama put in regulations that were okay, they were regulations. Trump pulls ’em back. You had Democratic members in the Senate who had for several years been warning, we’ve gotta put these regulations back, we gotta do something. Everybody says, well, hey, Buttigieg. Right. You know, transportation secretary, Biden president. They haven’t been there long enough to do it. It’s been two years, folks. It’s been two years.
Louis DeAngelis: Right.
Farron Cousins: I mean, we’re halfway through this administration. Yeah. It’s easy to blame Trump. We wanna blame Trump. We hate the guy. But sometimes we gotta look and say, you know what? Nope. This, this failure’s on on us too at this point. It truly is. And you know, I’ve said before, I don’t know if, you know, maybe you agree, maybe you don’t. I think Buttigieg is in over his head. We have just seen so many transportation disasters. He’s just not cut out for this. I truly feel that way. So, what, what’s your thoughts on this?
Louis DeAngelis: Yeah, I mean, I agree that Buttigieg seems to be in over his head on all of this. Honestly, if he was looking for a moment to kind of rise from the ashes and like take a leadership role and do something, he’s had about three opportunities in the last six months to do so. Whether it have been the, you know, the holidays travel mess. This, there are other examples as well. Unfortunately he did not rise from the ashes on any of these to, to solve these problems. I can tell you for sure that folks in East Palestine agree with that sentiment that he’s not, not handling this well. Yeah, to your point, I mean, there are a lot of people to blame for this. You know, you can put some, some blame on Trump for pulling the regulations back. You can put blame on Biden for not issuing these regulations.
You can also put more blame on Biden for squashing the railroad workers strike, who one of their things that they were pushing for was additional safety regulations. And, you know, union guy Joe Biden, who, you know, seems to be, you know, puts off this persona that he’s a friend of the unions, squashed that basically unilaterally. Didn’t try at all to, you know, help and support these workers at that time. So yeah, I mean, I think the Biden administration definitely has some blame, but this is also something that’s been going on for awhile. The railroad industry spends a lot of money on lobbying, so I would love to see some additional regulations come out as a result of this. Frankly, I’m not holding my breath, but I really hope that, that some of these folks surprise me and do something here because yes, this happened in East Palestine right now, but this could happen in your small town that has railroad tracks running through it. All the way across the country or your city.
I mean, I live in Austin, Texas. There’s some railroad tracks right, right down the middle of downtown, basically. Who knows what they’re carrying through? I’d encourage folks to look into, you know, what is being traveled through your town? Reach out to your, you know, local officials, your congressmen, your senators and whatnot and try to get some answers here. Because at this point, the incentives in place for a lot of these politicians are to continue to keep the gravy train of, of fundraising money flowing. And if that has to come from the railroad industry or another industry, a lot of these folks are unfortunately very happy and willing to take it.
Farron Cousins: And until there is a disaster, most people don’t think about trains. I mean, it’s not a huge thing here in the United States. Obviously the airline debacle that you mentioned, that was a huge thing because we’re flyers, we’re drivers. All of that. Trains, they, they really do get overlooked. And, you know, many years ago I was, you know, doing some work with DeSmog blog. We had a wonderful writer there, Justin Mikulka, one of his specialties was talking about all of the train derailments, because we were just having so many at that time. And this was during the Obama administration. They were, they ended up calling them bomb trains because that’s essentially what these chemical trains had become. They were crashing constantly, which is why eventually Obama said, okay, for the love of God, we, I gotta do something. This looks terrible.
But people don’t realize how frequently these things do happen on the railways. I mean, I’ve got railroad tracks to a major hub two blocks away from me. The major hub is four blocks away. So they’re everywhere. You know, keep your eyes open. It’s probably closer to you than you would like to think. And these rail disasters are far more common than you realize, you know, you could be the next East Palestine and you have no idea how close it is. And I think, I’m not trying to scare everybody into thinking, oh my God, but look at how frequently rail disasters happen in this country and it will shock you, and it’ll shock you that nobody ever talks about it.
Louis DeAngelis: Agreed. I mean, I had not paid too close attention to railroads myself up until, you know, I started covering it, paying attention to it with the railroad worker strike back in, you know, November, December or the attempted strike. And then with this, I mean, I can tell you, you do not want anything even close to this happening in your town. Again, it’s even, even weeks later, you still walk into some of these people’s homes who live close by and you immediately can tell that something is not right. Right. I’m not an expert here. Like, I’m not a scientist doing this sort of thing. But I can just tell you instinctively, when you walk in and your eyes immediately start watering, and when you take a big breath in, your nose kind of gets a little like you’re smelling a hot pepper or something, and you can feel it in your throat when you spend too much time in it and you gotta step outside, that is clearly a problem.
And that is not, that is not something that anyone deserves to be dealing with, not the folks in East Palestine and we don’t want it to happen ever again. So, yeah, I mean, this, something needs to be done as a result of this to regulate the railroad industry much tighter than it is right now. You shouldn’t be able to have mile and a half long, you know, plus more than that, you know, trains carrying these chemicals, being able to drive for, I mean, you know, we’ve got the surveillance footage from over 20 miles out that the, the, you know, the axle was on fire at that point. How, is there nothing in place to make this train stop before to put that fire out and prevent this whole thing from happening? Hopefully we’ll find out, you know, some of these answers and exactly what went wrong when we actually get the, the final reports out.
Again, I’m not holding my breath on a lot of this stuff. You know, I’ve always been someone who, you know, I question authorities on things all the time, but the more that I dig into this, the more I’m just like, oh my God. How many other things have, have, should I be looking further into to, to figure this stuff out? Because again, it’s just thing after thing after thing that I’m like, how are we not testing for this? How is he saying, you know, how is the governor saying one thing one day and then absolutely flipping his sentiment the next? And then workers are getting sick and all the. It’s ugh. It’s driving me nuts. It’s driving me nuts.
Farron Cousins: Well, and you know, where’s the congressional hearing? Why are we not having those CEOs in Congress?
Louis DeAngelis: Right.
Farron Cousins: I know they’re super busy because, you know, we’ve gotta talk about the FBI, you know, maybe they’re coming after conservatives. We’ve gotta talk about Twitter and Hunter Biden. Oh my God, they’ve got all these hearings. Okay. Well, we’ve got actual suffering, not just your imagined slights.
Louis DeAngelis: Yeah.
Farron Cousins: And nothing. And nothing. So. Alright, listen, Louis DeAngelis, Status Coup News, you’ve done phenomenal work. You’re going back to East Palestine in a week or so, right?
Louis DeAngelis: Yep. Yeah. So I’ll be back on March 13th, with Status Coup again. We’ll be putting out a ton of great additional content here. So if you are able to check us out over there on YouTube, give us a subscribe on Status Coup News. We’d, we’re gonna be putting out a lot of good stuff. Again, yep, like you said, I’ll be there March 13th for about another week. I’ve been talking to residents every day still since I’ve been home for a little bit, for a bit of a break. So we’re gonna have plenty of new interviews with more residents. We’re really trying to give the microphone back to the people, let them share what’s actually going, going on. At that point, my guess is there aren’t gonna be many cameras left in town, so I’ll be very curious to see what additional things are being done with a little less media attention in town. So we’re gonna try to highlight this story continuing forward, because again, this should be headline news all over the place still. And it’s sad to see some of it starting to fall out of the limelight here. But, I will definitely be spending my, my focus is on continuing to tell this story, and keeping it in the limelight as best as I can.
Farron Cousins: Well, thank you so much. And certainly, after your next trip, reach back out. We’ll get you back on, talk about what you found that time. You can find Louis DeAngelis on Twitter @louisd217. Louis, thank you so much for talking with us.
Louis DeAngelis: Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it.