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Columbiana County official to testify in DC

EAST PALESTINE — Columbiana County Health Commissioner Wesley Vins will testify Tuesday at the Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee in Washington, D.C.

Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Washington, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, announced the witnesses for the hearing, which will address the environmental response to the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine.

“The people living in East Palestine and its surrounding areas deserve transparency regarding the recent train derailment that’s upended so many lives,” Johnson said in a news release Friday. “It’s critical that they hear from the government officials charged with responding to the incident in order to ensure the health and safety of that community. We look forward to beginning those conversations at our Energy and Commerce hearing next week. This is the first step in the committee’s ongoing efforts to bring transparency to these communities so they can trust that the air, water, and soil surrounding their homes is not a threat to their health.”

Other witnesses will include Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Anne Vogel and Debra Shore, EPA Region 5 administrator.

The hearing comes on the heels of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on Tuesday that focused on legislation to improve railway safety.

Tuesday’s hearing will take place at the Rayburn House Office Building and is set to begin at 10 a.m. The hearing will be open to the public and media, and will be livestreamed at energy commerce.house.gov.

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