Millions of people reportedly saw a video showing Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) disrupting a stream bed in East Palestine, Ohio, and causing chemical bubbles to rise to the surface in a new viral video.
The video comes as the country grows more concerned about the consequences from the nearby Norfolk Southern train catastrophe.
Local and state officials had earlier evacuated all inhabitants within one mile of the derailment and began a controlled burn of industrial chemicals found on the vehicle to reduce the possibility of an explosion, which could have scattered shrapnel across the small town.
Vinyl chloride, a carcinogen used in the production of PVC, was spilled last week from five rail carriages, creating large plumes of black smoke visible over eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
Vance tweeted video of himself standing near to a little brook in East Palestine on Thursday afternoon.
Vance then used a stick to disrupt the creek’s bottom; seconds later, an oily sheen of chemicals appeared on the water’s top.
The video was released after federal and state officials stated that the water in East Palestine is now safe to drink.
Vance also challenged EPA Administrator Michael Regan, who visited East Palestine on Thursday, to drink the supposedly clean tap water.
“If I was living here, I would drink the bottled water for now. Better safe than sorry, especially because it’s being provided for free. That’s the advice I would give, and again, the residents are going to make their own decisions on this.” Vance said in a statement to reporters.