WASHINGTON – Senator Mike Braun released the following statement today after the Environmental Protection Agency announced shipments of toxic materials to Indiana would be paused, with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management confirming shipments would be paused until testing confirms there are no harmful levels of dioxins.
Last week, Senator Braun and Representative Jim Baird sent a letter to the EPA demanding answers to several questions about the agency’s decision to send this material to Indiana and if partisan politics was the only reason an in-progress shipment of materials was diverted from Michigan and sent back to East Palestine.
Senator Braun and Rep. Baird called on the EPA to explain what testing procedures were in place in East Palestine to test contaminated materials before they were transported, and called on EPA to preemptively test and determine if facilities are certified to process the contaminants they are being asked to process. The EPA has not responded to these concerns, six days later.
“The EPA never should have sent one ounce of this material into Indiana without testing it for dioxins in the first place. This halted shipment should stay halted, and the Biden EPA should explain why they started shipping material to Indiana instead of Michigan as originally planned.” – Senator Mike Braun
From Senator Braun and Representative Baird’s letter, sent March 1:
- The aftermath of the Norfolk Southern derailment has tested the faith and trust our constituents place in EPA. Constituents in Putnam County are concerned about being exposed to unnecessary risk from exposure to contaminated materials if materials have to be turned away or are forced to wait outside the facility while materials are tested for compliance.
- What on-site testing procedures are in place in East Palestine to test contaminated materials for the types and levels of contamination before they are transported to a facility for disposal?
- Is EPA working to preemptively test and determine that facilities are certified to process the contaminants they are being asked to process.
- In its official statements on February 25 and 26, EPA explained that each of the sites chosen by Norfolk Southern were “up to the standards” and “EPA-approved” to dispose contaminated materials. If that is the case:
- Why did EPA halt the Norfolk Southern cleanup?
- Why did EPA recertify the Vickery, Ohio and East Liverpool, Ohio facilities, but not the Belleville, Michigan; Romulus, Michigan; or Deer Park, Texas facilities?
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