The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday ordered states to stop preventing the transportation of contaminated debris from an Ohio train disaster that resulted in a fire from reaching hazardous waste storage facilities around the country.
This announcement follows Ohio Governor Mike DeWine calling on both the EPA and Norfolk Southern Railway to authorize more sites to take East Palestine’s contaminated soil due to some states with sites that are certified to take in hazardous materials not accepting it.
The cleanup at the toxic train derailment site in East Palestine last month has stalled because Ohio is having problems locating sites to accept the 24,400 tons of excavated contaminated soil. According to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s office only 2,980 tons have actually been removed so far.
DeWine says that some states with sites that are certified to take in hazardous materials aren’t accepting the soil. He said that refusing the soil is unfair to the residents of East Palestine, which isn’t where it belongs.
On Tuesday, a district court judge ruled against the state of Oklahoma in its effort to block the coronavirus vaccine mandate for members of the state’s National Guard, The Hill reports.
U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot explained his reasoning in a 29-page ruling, in which he rejected a motion filed by Governor Kevin Stitt (R-Okla.) and Attorney General John O’Connor (R-Okla.) to indefinitely block the mandate; Judge Friot claimed that the plaintiffs’ claim was “without merit.”
“The court is required to decide this case on the basis of federal law, not common sense,” said Friot in his ruling. “But, either way, the result would be the same. The claims asserted by the Governor and his co-plaintiffs are without merit.”