CONTACT: Sasha Tenenbaum
Senior Manager, Media and Public Engagement
WHAT: On Thursday, March 9 at 10 AM ET, parents from Pennsylvania and elsewhere will join Moms Clean Air Force organizers in Washington, DC, at the US Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works (EPW) hearing on the environmental and public health threats facing the East Palestine community in the wake of the Norfolk Southern train derailment and toxic chemical release.
WHO: Pennsylvania Moms who have been impacted by chemical pollution are set to attend the hearing in-person will be available for interviews. They include:
- Rachel Meyer, the Moms Ohio River Valley organizer, lives about 20 miles from the site of the chemical disaster in East Palestine. Rachel’s home is also located a short distance from the Shell ethane cracker plant in Beaver County, PA, which spews large quantities of toxic pollution into the surrounding community. Despite only having come online in the fall of 2022, the plant has already exceeded its annual pollution allowances several times. Rachel says: “The ongoing East Palestine petrochemical disaster adds to the multiple pollution burdens for families like mine living in nearby Beaver County, Pennsylvania. My home is surrounded by oil and gas operations and located only eight miles from the Shell petrochemical complex that has already had multiple malfunctions resulting in pollution releases. I’m very concerned about what my three year old daughter is breathing since children are especially vulnerable to air pollution. Our children deserve to breathe clean air and industry must be responsible for cleaning up their pollution while providing transparency for communities. I am urging our government to do everything it can to protect little lungs.”
- Vanessa Lynch lives in Southwestern Pennsylvania, about 50 miles away from the East Palestine chemical disaster and is on the front lines of the oil and gas industry. Living so close to this industrial pollution puts her family at greater risk for asthma, central nervous system toxicity, and cancer. Vanessa says: “The East Palestine train derailment is a wake up call for all of us in the Ohio River Valley who are experiencing the rapid expansion of the petrochemical industry in our region. More petrochemical buildout increases the likelihood of future disasters along with the demand for additional fracked wells like the ones in my community that provide the chemical for making plastics at the Shell petrochemical facility in Beaver County, Pennsylvania. Our government must rein in the toxic air pollution from the escalating buildout of the petrochemical industry with the strongest possible safeguards to protect the health of our families.”
WHEN: Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 10:00 AM ET
WHERE: The hearing will take place at the 406 Dirksen Senate Office Building. Live video of the hearing and witness testimony will be available on the committee’s website.
- Statement: Moms speak out about Ohio train derailment, calling on EPA and government to protect communities from petrochemical pollution
- Fact Sheet: Petrochemical Pollution and Our Health
- Blog Post: Ohio Train Derailment Highlights Toxic Plastic Pollution
- Petition: Protect People From the Disastrous Petrochemical Industry