EPA Administrator: We Have No Injuries, Deaths Because We Waited Nearly Two Weeks for Senior Officials to Visit East Palestine

On Friday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan responded to criticism that it took almost two weeks for a senior Biden administration official to visit East Palestine, Ohio in the wake of the train derailment there by stating that a visit would have diverted resources from the emergency response and there has been no loss of life or injuries “because emergency responders and local officials were able to focus on the job and not visitations.”

Co-host Bill Hemmer asked, “Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said this, he said, ‘While [I am] glad…EPA Administrator Regan will visit the site today, [it is] unacceptable that it took nearly two weeks for a senior administration official to show up.’ To you then sir, what took so long?”

Regan answered, “I have to say I’m thankful for the emergency responders, including my EPA staff, that were on the ground hours after the train derailment and have been there since. And I think we have to be responsible here and understand, when you bring in a senior official, especially at the Cabinet level, you divert or pull away resources from the emergency response, from the state police, and the like. And so, we wanted to be sure that the emergency responders had all of their resources and their focus to do what they’ve done. Thankfully, no loss of life, no injuries, and that’s because emergency responders and local officials were able to focus on the job and not visitations. Yesterday was a great day for me to visit the derailment site. I spent time at a local creek. I spent time in a home, a member’s — a community member’s home. And so, we’ve been there since day one, I want to stress, we’ve been there since day one.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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