Former President Donald Trump and environmental activist Erin Brockovich plan to visit East Palestine, Ohio, this week as the community continues looking for answers after a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed Feb. 3 and released toxic chemicals.
Trump said on his social media platform, Truth Social, that he plans to visit East Palestine to meet with members of the community Wednesday.
“The people of East Palestine need help,” posted Trump, who has announced he is running for president in 2024 and has been critical of the Biden administration’s response to the derailment.
Trump’s campaign did not provide specifics about his visit. East Palestine City School District canceled classes because of the visit.
“This decision was made in consideration of the heightened security measures that will be in place and the significant number of street closures that will prevent transportation of our students to and from school,” Superintendent Chris Neifer said in a message to families.
Environmental advocate Erin Brockovich, who was popularized by a 2000 film bearing her name, will host a town hall Friday. Brockovich will appear with attorney Mikal Watts at 6 p.m. at the East Palestine High School Auditorium at 360 Grant St. Brockovich said they will explain people’s legal rights at the meeting, which has limited space. Those wishing to attend can register at eastpalestinejustice.com.
In between those visits, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R-Franklin County, will host a Senate committee hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Community College of Beaver County in Center Township. Mastriano, who ran unsuccessfully for governor last year, chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee.
The hearing, which will be held at the Dome Athletics and Events Center, will focus on the emergency response to the train derailment and the subsequent controlled chemical burn. Residents are invited to comment.
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