The Village of East Palestine extends its gratitude to President Joe Biden for his executive order, which emphasizes the protection of our residents and surrounding communities following the Norfolk Southern train derailment.

This executive order echoes our commitment to ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of everyone affected by the derailment. We appreciate the extensive cleanup, monitoring, and health assessments, and the commitment to holding Norfolk Southern accountable by all federal, state, regional and local authorities. These measures are critical for the restoration and healing of our community.

It is noteworthy to mention that the executive order does not issue a federal disaster declaration. Such a declaration would have enabled state and local authorities to directly access federal programs from FEMA. However, Ohio’s request for a disaster declaration will remain open, and will be reconsidered if FEMA receives new information warranting the declaration.

We cannot overstate the incredible efforts of our first responders, local fire departments, and the East Palestine community. Their courage, hard work and unity have shown the nation why we are, and will continue to be, a great place to call home. 

We look forward to working with the new Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator as they conduct an assessment of the unmet needs of our community. The Village of East Palestine remains committed to working together with all federal, state, and local agencies to ensure a comprehensive recovery process.