Ohio governor calls it 'absurd' that derailed train with toxic chemicals was not considered hazardous

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During a press conference on Tuesday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said it was “absurd” that a freight train carrying toxic chemicals that derailed on Feb. 3 — which forced the evacuation of residents around East Palestine — was not considered a “high-hazardous-material” train.

Video Transcript

MIKE DEWINE: And let me just now talk about something that I did learn today, which I think does impact Congress. I learned today from the PUCO, Ohio PUCO, that this train was not-- was not-- considered high hazardous material train. Let me repeat this. This train apparently was not considered a high hazardous material train.

Therefore the railroad was not required to notify anyone here in Ohio about what was in the railcars coming through our state. I would think that members of Congress-- and I would ask them to take a look at this. Even though some rail cars did have hazardous material on board, and while most of them did not, that's why it was not categorized as a high hazardous material train. Frankly, if this is true-- and I'm told it's true-- this is absurd, and we need to look at this. And Congress needs to take a look at how these things are handled.

We should know when we have trains carrying hazardous material that are going through the state of Ohio. So I asked Congress to take a look at this and, again, see what they can find out. And if those facts as I related them are true, to take the appropriate action.