The Daily Caller reports a former fire chief as opining that the controlled burn of toxic chemicals following the recent train derailment in Ohio may not have been necessary.
This is the opinion of Silverio Caggiano, a former fire chief and the current administrative deputy chief at Mahoning County Hazardous Materials & WMD Response Team.
Caggiano's comments came during a recently-held community meeting that was hosted by the local non-profit River Valley Organizing.
This meeting followed the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in East Palestine, Ohio. The train was carrying hazardous chemicals, and reports indicate that a controlled burn was performed to prevent an explosion.
Caggiano disputes reports about the necessity of the controlled burn.
Speaking at the community meeting about a recent case study, Caggiano told residents that he was not aware of any "incident where they have detonated all the cars in a trench and burned them off."
Instead, Caggiano argued that the controlled burn was actually performed "to open up a railroad."
Referring to the controlled burn as a "laboratory experiment from hell," Caggiano went on to argue that there is nothing to suggest that the controlled burn was immediately necessary and that it may not have been necessary at all.
"The cooling off could have done it, the temperature gradients could have fallen off, you don’t know,” he said. “If you just let it boil off, you don’t know. But what they did was they took a potential and made it a for sure.”
Residents, during the meeting, voiced concerns about how their health may be impacted by the event, particularly by the chemicals that have been released.
Thus far, various government entities have attempted to assure the community that everything is relatively safe.
The EPA, for example, performed a test of nearby homes and found "no exceedances for residential air quality standards." It further claims that there are "no water quality concerns."
Residents, however, do not appear to be convinced. And, experts at the community meeting suggested that the EPA has made at least one "major mistake" in its testing, namely, by not testing for "dioxins," chemical compounds capable of causing skin reactions.
Accordingly, experts at the meeting encouraged residents to have their soil and water tested independently. Residents were also encouraged to obtain a baseline physical, in case their health takes a turn for the worst. It is nightmare scenario for these residents.