YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Environmentalist and consumer advocate Erin Brockovich is calling out President Joe Biden to do more for the residents of East Palestine following a train derailment and a controlled release of vinyl chloride in the village.
Brockovich posted on her Twitter account Monday that the Biden Administration is not doing enough.
“The Biden Administration needs to get more involved in this train derailment now. We are counting on you to break the chain of administration after administration to turn a blind eye.”
This follows comments Brockovich made last week to WKBN sister network NewsNation in an exclusive interview when she said that she is skeptical of government reports as to the extent of contamination, either in the water or the air from the chemical release.
The Twitter post on Monday could be related to an administrative reluctance dating back 10 years when railroad lobbyists urged lawmakers to not implement protocols that would be costly or restrictive when hauling hazardous materials, including a “high hazard” designation.
Specifically, in 2017, regulators nixed provisions that would mandate that rail cars carrying hazardous, flammable materials be equipped with electronic braking systems to stop trains more quickly called Electronically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) brakes.
The U.S. Department of Transportation wrote in 2017 that it rescinded the idea of mandating ECPs for the following reason:
“This determination was made with congressionally-mandated input from the National Academy of Sciences’ Transportation Research Board, U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) and studies by the FRA, which found that the cost-benefit analyses are not sufficient justification for mandating ECP brakes.,” regulators wrote.
Brockovich earned national attention after she spearheaded a successful lawsuit against a major company on behalf of people who had unknowingly been exposed to toxic waste. She was a law clerk at the time. A 2000 film was produced about the event starring Julia Roberts.