Blame vs Accountability: Responding to the East Palestine Train Derailment

After a train derailed and flooded over 100,000 gallons of chemicals into nearby water and soil, accountability and common ground are needed in Ohio.



What's your favorite train?

On February 3, a Norfolk Southern freight train carrying hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. Over 100,000 gallons of hazardous chemicals were dumped in the community, contaminating water, soil, and storm drains and potentially killing more than 43,000 fish, crustaceans, amphibians, and other marine animals. In the aftermath of the incident, many used it as an opportunity to assign blame without any evidence or critical thinking. As a result, the train derailment has become extremely divisive, even though everyone seems to share the same goal of wanting to understand what happened and how to prevent it in the future. Ethan discusses why blame and accountability are two very different things and how shifting to accountability can allow us to find common ground and find a constructive path forward after this train derailment in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.”

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Writers: Ethan Brown, Velina Georgi, Mo Polyak, Madeleine Salman, Maddy Schmidt

Fact Checker: Olivia Amitay

Editor: Megan Antone

Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Hallie Cordingley, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt

Ad Voiceover: Megan Antone

Music: Brett Sawka

The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.

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The Sweaty Penguin
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.


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