28 February 2023- State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) hosted a Senate committee hearing last week in Monaca, Beaver County, to hear from residents impacted by the Norfolk Southern train wreck. Less than a week after learning at the hearing that local families need a health clinic to serve Pennsylvania residents, Mastriano asked the administration to commit to deploying a clinic to the area, replete with toxicologists and other specialists to provide free and immediate help to the residents. In response, the administration announced Monday that the PA Department of Health finally has plans to open a clinic today.
“I’m pleased the administration is opening a health clinic, but it shouldn’t have taken nearly a month and a Senate committee hearing to get them to do this,” said Mastriano, who chairs the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. “Local residents began reporting health concerns within days following the train wreck, but it has taken nearly a month to meet their needs. These people needed and deserved help sooner than this.”
Mastriano and his colleagues learned at the hearing that Ohio residents have had access to a health clinic in their state, but it would not serve Pennsylvania residents. Several Pennsylvanians affected by the train wreck asked why Pennsylvania has not offered the same service to its residents.
“This is one of the reasons I held the hearing and gave a voice to Pennsylvanians who have been harmed by this train wreck and its aftermath,” Mastriano said. “I can’t help but ask why Ohio was able to open a clinic for its residents so much faster than Pennsylvania. The delayed response to help Pennsylvanians has a long way to go. Residents are still waiting for filtered water in sufficient quantities to provide to their animals, a need that only our National Guard can and should have been directed to provide a month ago.”
The health clinic is scheduled to open Tuesday, Feb. 28 and will be open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The clinic will be at the Darlington Township Building, 3590 Darlington Road, Darlington.