Feature photo by AP PHOTO/GENE J. PUSKAR

Companies should never again be allowed to do what Norfolk Southern did to this Ohio community.


“Every environmental disaster impacts us all, but this one struck closer to home for both of us: Chad lives an hour southeast of East Palestine and Tish an hour northwest. There’s a temptation to dismiss this tragedy as a one-off, unparalleled accident — but it’s not. Rolling catastrophes like this derailment are all too familiar to us at the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), which has been fighting for the rights of communities to protect themselves from this sort of corporate abuse for over 25 years. As it unfolded, we felt like we were trapped in the movie Groundhog Day, watching in East Palestine the latest cycle in a never-ending replay of similar events we have observed year after year in hundreds of other communities across the nation.

Published In These Times.


NOTE: Train derailments, pipeline explosions, nuclear plant meltdowns, wildfires and toxic algae blooms are not accidents, even though that is how they are reported to us. CELDF staff members, Tish O’Dell and Chad Nicholson, give a different and more honest report on the East Palestine disaster. Their analysis details how the system itself is to blame and why these horrific and deadly events keep happening and our communities and nature keep bearing the brunt.  

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