EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — Sen. Sherrod Brown visited East Palestine Monday and met with residents and business owners.
“To say it's a new experience, I mean, it definitely is,” said 1820 Candle Company co-owner Melissa Smith.
Her shop stands right in the middle of East Palestine, a place she said she’s spent more time cleaning lately than anything else. “We had to do all the cleaning and the duct work cleaning and the air quality and the water testing,” said Smith.
Business owners, like Smith, got the chance to attend a meeting with Brown. “
One of things that's really struck me is how resilient this community is,” said Brown.
He expressed that community leaders remain frustrated, something he said is making him determined to get them answers.
“People want their community back, they want to see Norfolk Southern take care of what it's promised," said Brown.
The removal of toxic waste from the town is just the first step toward a return to normal. Brown said he remains committed to making sure Norfolk Southern meets all of its obligations to this community.
“The first round of resources is that everybody keep their receipts, whether they're testing their well or their hotel rooms or the clean up that everyone keeps the receipts. And I will make sure that that that Norfolk Southern is accountable," Brown said.
Brown is also pushing for improved rail car safety regulations so incidents like this don’t continue to happen.
“I want to see rail safety legislation pass in the next few weeks," Brown said.
For now, business owners like Smith must continue to work even with the fear the business could decline.
“Some of our local businesses, we really want to push the idea that we want us to be not forgotten and not become a ghost town. We want to have a comeback, we want to come back better," Brown said.