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Tipsheet

Here's How DeWine, EPA Chief Tried to Convince East Palestine Residents Their Water Is Safe

AP Photo/Paul Vernon

After insisting the drinking water in East Palestine is safe following the Norfolk Southern train derailment on Feb. 3, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, and GOP Rep. Bill Johnson attempted to prove it on Tuesday.

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While cameras were rolling, the men drank water that was poured from the tap in at least two homes, according to local news outlets. 

The move comes after DeWine has acknowledged residents’ concerns.

“We know that the science says that East Palestine is safe, but we also know that residents are very worried,” DeWine said. “They are asking themselves 'Is my headache just a headache? Or is it a result of the chemical spill? Are other medical symptoms caused by the spill?' Those are very legitimate questions and residents deserve answers.”

At a press conference, DeWine said that 1.1 million gallons of contaminated water had been removed, and results of water testing released last week by the Ohio EPA reportedly showed “no detection of contaminants associated with the derailment.”

Standing near the sink of East Palestine, Ohio, resident Carolyn Brown, who admitted she hadn't even brushed her teeth with the water, the men clinked their glasses before drinking it to show her it was safe. 

"We believe in science," Regan said. "We don't feel like we're being your guinea pig, but we don't mind proving to you that we believe the water is safe."

They then went to the home of former chemistry teacher, Andris Baputnis, to drink his tap water, too. 

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Critics remain skeptical, however, pointing out that the men only took tiny sips and that former President Obama pulled a similar stunt in Flint, Michigan. 


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