In January, both the mayor and residents of East Palestine sent letters to the White House asking Mr. Biden to visit and hear about their lingering concerns himself.
In a Jan. 12 letter, obtained by The New York Times, Mayor Trent Conaway wrote that the derailment “has damaged the soul of our northern Appalachian communities.”
A separate letter from residents said that as the first anniversary approached, “our community remains deeply affected.”
“While we are strong and resilient people, we also deserve to be heard,” the letter said.
“We ask you to demonstrate that the highest office in the world does not forsake hardworking Americans in the face of adversity. As the president of the people, by the people and for the people, we trust that you will act.”
The train was carrying more than 700,000 pounds of vinyl chloride, a carcinogen used to produce pipes, furniture and packaging, when it skipped the tracks. Much of that freight was incinerated by emergency responders, in a so-called controlled burn to avert a wider explosion.