Breaking News
More () »

Environmental activist Erin Brockovich holds town hall in East Palestine 3 weeks after train derailment

Brockovich has been actively tweeting about the Ohio train derailment situation, previously calling for the Biden administration to 'STEP UP NOW.'

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — As Friday marks three weeks since the Ohio train derailment in East Palestine, environmental activist Erin Brockovich took part in a town hall meeting.

Her visit comes after US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and former President Donald Trump both made stops in East Palestine to address the train derailment earlier this week.

Brockovich, who was the focus of the 2000 biographical film "Erin Brockovich" starring Julia Roberts, tweeted multiple times from East Palestine on Thursday. She spoke of "meeting some wonderful people" who "need to be heard."

"Every one of you in this room knows what happened, knows what you experienced, knows what you've gone through," the 62-year-old told a crowded auditorium Friday. "You understand the fear."

Watch the full town hall below:

SUBSCRIBE: Get the day's top local and national headlines sent to your email inbox each weekday morning with 3News to GO! newsletter

Those at the event hung on Brockovich's every word, and were grateful to hear a new perspective on the incident.

"I didn't think I'd get a bunch of political answers and a bunch of 'he said, she said,'" East Palestine resident Lelly Groleau told 3News. "I wanted to see what people who didn’t have an agenda would say."

Brockovich spoke for just a short time before introducing a presentation that went through the history of train derailments and focused in on one main thing" Trust your gut. If you feel something's wrong, act.

"There's a moment here for this community and for all of us, and it's a teaching moment," she said. "We cannot afford agenc[ies] or compan[ies] to continue to kick the can down the line."

Groleau has been on a roller coaster of "yeses" and "nos," "you should be worried" or "you're fines" for the past three weeks. At Brockovich's town hall, she felt seen.

"We're just a small town that's not going to give up on itself," she declared, "and we don't want people to forget us."

Brokovich's other main message Friday is that this is a long game with no short answers or solutions when it comes to learning the full impact of the Feb. 3 wreck. You can view more tweets and photos from her visit below:

Last week, Brockovich was actively tweeting about the Ohio train derailment calling for the Biden administration to "STEP UP NOW." She also criticized U.S. Sen. J.D. Vance for his response to the situation.

The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report Thursday amid the ongoing investigation into the Feb. 3 train derailment.

"This was 100% preventable," NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy told reporters. "We call things accidents; there is no accident. Every single event that we investigate is preventable."

You can read the NTSB's full preliminary report HERE.

Want to be among the first to know the most important local and national news? You can download the free WKYC app and get the latest updates right on your phone: Android, Apple.

Before You Leave, Check This Out