In an interview with NBC News that aired on “Hallie Jackson Now,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg explained that widespread false information following the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio was a major motivation for his visit to the area. He added that had he known how far the false information would spread, he and his team would have taken greater precautions to ensure that the people of East Palestine received only reliable data.
With all the disinformation that reached the residents of East Palestine, Buttigieg claimed he wished he had communicated more clearly. Neither an active HAZMAT site nor an active accident scene would normally be visited by the Transportation Secretary. However, he decided it was essential to make an exception in this situation so that he could inform the people of the area about the help they were receiving from his government and inform the rest of the nation about the urgent need for safety and changes.
Buttigieg claimed he was only following protocol by not interfering with the NTSB and emergency personnel.
Buttigieg accused Trump for the East Palestine, Ohio, train accident in February, saying he’s restricted by legislation on specific aspects of rail regulation while pointing to the repeal of a “braking rule” under the former Trump administration as evidence.
However, what Buttigieg said is not true.
A report reveals that even though the DOT rescinded a planned regulation in 2018 that would have mandated the installation of electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes on trains transporting certain hazardous chemicals, this regulation wouldn’t have applied to the freight train derailing in East Palestine.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairwoman Jennifer Homendy said that the regulation would have applied solely to high-hazard combustible trains if it had been implemented.
Homendy said that even if the regulation had been implemented, this train still wouldn’t be equipped with ECP brakes and that anybody claiming differently is disseminating misinformation.