Most Americans support more regulations on the transportation of hazardous materials in a new poll, which comes after a train carrying dangerous chemicals derailed in Ohio earlier this month.
The new poll conducted by The Economist and YouGov found that 54 percent of American adults supported more regulations on transporting hazardous materials. Twenty-one percent said they supported no changes, 17 percent were not sure and eight percent said there should be fewer regulations.
When divided by party lines, Democrats were more in favor of adding more regulations with 67 percent saying they supported more, compared to just 44 percent of Republicans saying they supported more regulations. Half of Independents said that they would support more regulations, with 24 percent responding that they were not sure.
The train derailment spilled toxic chemicals in the East Palestine area, which prompted a temporary evacuation of nearby residents. Since then, residents have raised environmental and health concerns about the aftereffects of the derailment, reporting smells and symptoms that they think may be associated with the derailment.
State officials said in a press release on Wednesday that the municipal water is safe to drink and that no contaminants have been found while conducting air quality testing.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg unveiled a series of railroad reforms on Tuesday, calling for Norfolk Southern and other freight rail companies to enact new inspection technologies, invest in safer cars and notify state officials if hazardous materials are being transported through their state. The secretary also announced that he will be traveling to East Palestine on Thursday as critics suggest that the administration has not done enough to help the area.
The White House and former President Trump have fired off criticisms at one another, as the White House said Trump officials “laid the groundwork” for lax regulations in the railroad industry on Wednesday. During a visit to East Palestine on Wednesday, Trump then accused the Biden administration of “indifference and betrayal” in its response to the train disaster.