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J.D. Vance Challenges Biden's EPA Administrator to Drink the Water

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

As the Biden administration continues denying Ohio's request for federal emergency assistance to deal with the consequences of a train derailment that spilled toxic chemicals in the town of East Palestine, the Buckeye State's new U.S. Senator J.D. Vance issued a challenge to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan.


Regan, who visited with local and state officials in Ohio on Thursday, said that the air and water in East Palestine were safe due to "'robust' air quality testing and 24/7 monitoring have shown no problems." But CBS News noted that the Ohio Department of Health warned area residents with private wells to avoid their tap water until testing can take place, suggesting that Regan is giving advice without knowing for certain that there's no danger from groundwater contamination. 

"It reminds me of that scene in Erin Brockovich where she puts the water in front of them and says, 'If you think it's clean, we brought this water from the community that was affected,'" Senator Vance recalled while taking questions from reporters on Thursday before issuing a similar challenge to the Biden administration.

"I think that if the EPA administrator wants to stand here and tell the people that the tap water is safe, by all means they should be willing to drink it," Vance declared. 


When asked whether he was drinking tap water in East Palestine, Vance said "no," and explained "if I was living here, I would drink the bottled water for now" to be "better safe than sorry — especially since it's being provided for free."

"That's the guidance I would give," Vance continued. "Residents are going to make their own decisions on this but my honest personal advice is I'd be drinking the bottled water right now."

Vance also tweeted out a video of him checking out a creek in East Palestine, with some type of pollution still clearly present in the water:

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