The Ohio Village where the firefighter accidentally burned toxic chemicals was evacuated after an electric train derailed near the Pennsylvania state line on Feb. 8
EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — Evacuated residents can safely return to the Ohio village where crews burned toxic chemicals after a train derailed five days ago near the Pennsylvania state line, East Palestine Fire Chief Keith Drabick said Wednesday.
Feb. 8 — The evacuation order is lifted, five days after the derailment, after water samples are analyzed overnight. The results lead officials to deem the water is safe, East Palestine Fire Chief Keith Drabick says at a news conference.
In the area, the EPA reported it had screened indoor air for 386 homes, with 100 remaining. The air of local schools was screened by the agency. It has also tested local waterways several times after a plume of contamination was released into them.
Some people are having headaches and smelling chlorine and smoke in the air after the controlled release of chemicals on Monday, although there have been no injuries.
After the accident many nearby residents were ordered to leave before the chemicals were released, because of concerns about health risks.
The commander of the Ohio National Guard had previously stated that members of the Guard would take readings inside homes, businesses and other structures to make sure the air was safe before the order was lifted.
The East Palestine train wreck: What did we learn from the Norfolk Southern tragedy? How did the accident happen, and why do we need to work together?
About 50 cars, including 10 carrying hazardous materials, derailed in a fiery crash Friday night on the edge of East Palestine. Federal investigators say a mechanical issue with a rail car axle caused the derailment.
“We will be judged by our actions. Norfolk Southern is working with the community to identify what’s needed to help East Palestine recover and thrive after the train wreck, President and CEO Alan Shaw said in a release.
The death of two people in a toxic wreck has prompted calls for rail safety and raised questions about the movement of toxic substances.
America’s railroads move a lot of chemicals. Freight trains moved 2.2 million carloads of chemicals in 2021, according to the Association of American Railroads.
The lack of information between individual states about what the trains are carrying is concerning the governor of Ohio.
Norfolk Southern was solely responsible for disposing of waste from the train accident until Friday, when federal EPA review and approval will be needed, Shore said.
The mode of transportation is capable of moving huge quantities, according to the Federal Rail Administration. The alternative is trucks moving commodities over the highways, which aren’t looked upon favorably.
Even though the federal and industry statistics show that rail is a safer method to carry hazardous materials, spills and leaks still happen.
“The real issue is the risk of derailment and explosion,” Kimberly Garrett, a researcher and PFAS expert at Northeastern University. It would be terrible if natural gas were to have a release like the vinyl chloride.
EPA Observations of the Ohio River Contaminant Delayed by a Finite-Size Compound and a Big-Bubble
The Ohio EPA is responsible for investigating and detecting impacts to water. The samples are taken for testing.
“Fire combustion chemicals” flowed to the Ohio River, “but the Ohio River is very large, and it’s a water body that’s able to dilute the pollutants pretty quickly,” Kavalec said. She said that the chemicals are moving so fast that they are believed to be moving for about a mile an hour.
Whelton said that the EPA should look at semi-volatile organic compounds, which are more persistent and detected in local waterways.
“Because of their size, they don’t go in the air as easily,” Whelton said. “They like to stick to soils and other materials. How polluted the creek is and what will they do to clean it up?
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources estimates the spill affected more than seven miles (11.2 kilometers) of streams and killed some 3,500 fish, mostly small ones such as minnows and darters.
The volatile organic compounds released by the controlled explosion can cause symptoms including headache, sore throat, and nose and eye irritation – which some East Palestine residents have complained of. However, Ohio’s state health director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said air quality doesn’t appear to be behind the reported animal deaths near the derailment.
Anecdotes about the Protection of Live-Away Children from Environmental Effects: a Case Study in East Palestine, Ohio
It is challenging because they are anecdotes. “Everything that we’ve gathered thus far is really pointing toward very low measurements, if at all.”
Residents in East Palestine were repeatedly told to use bottled water until testing on their water source was completed. He said it’s especially important to use bottled water for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding or making infant formula.
Tiffany Kavalec is the Chief of the Division of Surface Water at the Ohio EPA. The agency says they are confident that the contaminants will be contained even though some waterways remain contaminated.
As for drinking water, Kavalec said water treatment facilities should be able to remove the remaining low levels of volatile organic compounds in the water, and that the water will eventually be safe to drink.
Whereas other chemicals can break down with exposure to sunlight, air and water, “PFAS don’t break down naturally,” Garrett told CNN. The chemicals have also been linked to higher levels of some cancers.
A smell of chlorine passed through the air this week as Nathen Velez and his wife were raising their two children.
The Norfolk Southern Coastal Railroad Accident Derailment: Management of the Public Works and Air Quality During the First Ever Emergency Emergency Evacuation
Feb. 6 — To prevent an explosion, Norfolk Southern launches a controlled burn of rail cars containing vinyl chloride. EPA air monitoring detects particulate matter resulting from the fire, the agency says.
The federal and state governments have said for a long time it is safe for residents to return to the area, and that air tests have not found much of a problem. The state says the local municipal drinking water system is safe, and bottled water is available for those with private wells. Despite those assurances, many residents have expressed a sense of mistrust or have lingering questions about what they have been exposed to and how it will impact the future of their families and communities.
And on Wednesday, Norfolk Southern officials announced they would no longer take part in a community meeting scheduled that evening about the situation, citing threats to employees.
The company said in a release that they are concerned about the growing physical threat to their employees and the community around them due to the increasing likelihood of outside parties.
Company officials had hoped to join local leaders Wednesday evening to update the community on the steps they are taking to “safely clean up the accident site and to provide the latest results from ongoing water and air testing,” the release reads.
The community meeting was scheduled to take place Wednesday evening, and residents were invited to meet with their attorneys before the meeting.
Since the derailment, many residents in East Palestine remain plagued with anxiety. Velez is spending small fortunes in order to keep his family safe from where they used to call home.
“My wife is a nurse and is not taking any chances exposing us and our two young children to whatever is now in our town,” Velez wrote on Facebook. The risk of living in our own home again is not worth it.
Monitoring the Norfolk Southern Railroad Derailment Site Using Wells and Public Water – Warning Signs from the Public Works Test on the Pennsylvania Side
I’ve authorized testing of all of the wells on the Pennsylvania side and the public water system to ensure that local residents have the comfort of knowing what’s coming out of the tap is safe. We’ve seen no worrisome readings yet, but we’re going to continue testing for months and months, if not years.
Nevertheless, worrying signs continue to emerge, including a newly public document that says potentially contaminated soil has not yet been removed from the site – a critical step experts say should be completed quickly so that toxic materials are not further dispersed into the environment and groundwater.
Vinyl chloride – a volatile organic compound, or VOC, and the most toxic chemical involved in the derailment – is known to cause cancer, attacking the liver, and can also affect the brain, Maria Doa of the Environmental Defense Fund told CNN.
Kurt Kohler, the Ohio EPA’s Office of Emergency Response said February 8 that it could take years to clean up the site. Administrator Michael Regan said Tuesday that the federal EPA will continue to do everything in its power to protect the community.
In a document sent to the EPA and recently made public by the agency, a company contracted by Norfolk Southern for cleanup efforts did not list soil removal among completed activities.
“Contaminated soil will continue (to) leech contaminants, both up into the air, and down into the surrounding ground,” Richard Peltier, an environmental health scientist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, told CNN in an email. A flood of new pollutants will enter the system every time it rains.
“From day one I’ve made the commitment that Norfolk Southern is going to remediate the site,” Shaw told CNN Tuesday. They are going to do it through long-term air and water monitoring. We will make Norfolk Southern a safer railroad and we will help the residents recover from the accident, and invest in the long-term health of the community.
Ben Ratner and his family worry about the long-term health care of East Palestine, as measured by the air quality department in Norfolk-South
East Palestine resident Ben Ratner and his family worry about the longer-term risks that environmental officials are only beginning to assess, he told CNN this week.
The home of the Ratner family was tested and cleared for vocs. And so far, no chemical detections were identified in the air of 291 homes screened by the EPA for hazardous chemicals including vinyl chloride and hydrogen chloride, it said in a Monday news update, with schools and a library also screened and 181 more homes to go.
Ben, who owns a cafe a few towns, said the effects of the train disaster are still felt by him and his family.
He said that it is difficult to make an investment in things like that or even feel good about paying the mortgage because there might not be any value in the future. It was difficult to come to grips with.
Norfolk Southern has committed to millions of dollars’ worth financial assistance to East Palestine, including $3.4 million in direct financial assistance to families, a $1 million community assistance fund, among other aid, according to the company.
The EPA says air monitoring continues in East Palestine. Monitoring since the fire ended has not turned up any levels of concern.
But when Velez returned Monday for a short visit to the neighborhood where his family has lived since 2014 to check his home and his business, he developed a nagging headache that, he said, stayed with him through the night – and left him with a nagging fear.
The Ratner Family’s Water Use Strategy and Treatment, and a Possible Alternative to the Mortgage-Financial-Homebuying Problem
“In terms of some of the symptoms of headache, et cetera, unfortunately volatile organic compounds share, with a host of other things, the ability to cause very common symptoms at the lower levels – so headache, eye irritation, nose irritation, et cetera,” he said. In regards to the measured facts, I think that we need to look at the fact that the air sampling in that area is not pointing toward an air source for this.
As to odor, residents “in the area and tens of miles away may smell odors coming from the site,” Ohio EPA spokesperson James Lee told CNN on Wednesday. Some of the substances involved have a low odor threshold. This means people can smell less of the contaminants than is considered hazardous.
The Ratner family is limiting its water use because of unknown affects, Ben Ratner said. Velez worries “every time we turn the water on or give my daughter a bath could potentially be hazardous,” he wrote on Facebook.
The “tracking allows for potential closing of drinking water intakes to allow the majority of the chemicals to pass. Kavalec said that this strategy and drinking water treatment are effective at addressing contaminants, and that they are confident that low levels of contaminants that remain are not getting to customers.
After their home was evacuated, he and his family moved to an apartment on Airbnb for 30 minutes, but their finances are running out and a friend set up a fake account on the internet to raise money.
Many of us are stuck with the same situation and the sad truth is that there isn’t an answer. “There is no viable solution other than to leave and pay a mortgage on a potentially worthless home.”
The East Palestine Railroad Company: Monitoring the Public Works Progress after the Decay of a Trapped Electric Train in Somerset, Pennsylvania, Last Wednesday
Hundreds of people gathered to hear state officials tell them that the testing already done has shown that the local air is safe to breathe in and that safety testing of the air and water would continue.
But residents had many questions over health hazards and they demanded more transparency from the railroad operator, Norfolk Southern, which did not attend the gathering, citing safety concerns for its staff.
There were continuing concerns over the large amount of smoke, odors, and questions about potential threats to animals and drinking water during Wednesday’s meeting.
“Why are they being hush-hush?” Kathy Dyke said of the railroad. “They’re not out here supporting, they’re not out here answering questions. We were not aware of what was on the train for three days.
In and around East Palestine, near the Pennsylvania state line, residents said they wanted assistance navigating the financial help the railroad offered hundreds of families who evacuated, and they want to know whether it will be held responsible for what happened.
In a letter to the company, Yost said that the pollution had caused harm to the environment, created a nuisance, and damaged natural resources.
We will continue to pay for the clean-up activities as they have been paid for so far. We are committed to thoroughly and safely cleaning the site, and we are reimbursing residents for the disruption this has caused in their lives. We are investing in helping East Palestine thrive for the long-term, and we will continue to be in the community for as long as it takes. We will work with regulators and elected officials to improve railroad safety after this terrible accident.
A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board found that one of the train’s cars carrying plastic pellet was heated up by a hot plate that triggered the fire, said Homendy. So far, the investigation found the three crew members on board the train did not do anything wrong prior to the derailment, though the crash was “100% preventable,” she said.
EPA Commissioner Regan’s visit to East Palestine during the February 3 derailment of a freight train and subsequent release of chemical vinyl chloride
Residents in East Palestine have concerns about possible symptoms, which is why the health clinic will be opening Tuesday. It will have registered nurses, mental health specialists and, at times, a toxicologist, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan will return to the town Tuesday to meet with residents and local and state officials, an EPA official with knowledge of the visit told CNN.
The visit comes as skepticism and anxiety spread in the small town of 5,000 while reports mount of rashes, headaches, nausea and other symptoms that residents fear could be related to the February 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern freight train and crews’ subsequent release of the toxic chemical vinyl chloride from the wreck.
The US Department of Health and the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention are expected to come to the community this week in order to assess what remains.
Some East Palestine residents are unsure if the air is safe to breathe or if the water is safe to drink.
We should always be looking at the community for potential health impacts. Haynes advised that anyone with health symptoms shouldCall the poison control center and see if they can get help.
According to the EPA, the focus is being placed on recovery of pooled liquids, excavation of heavily contaminated soil and removal of all remaining rail cars. In order to divert up-stream water around the containment area, Norfolk Southern establishes a section of Sulphur Creek. The containment area has stopped the introduction of additional pollutants into the water.
Texas Molecular told CNN on Thursday that it had been hired to take away potentially dangerous water from the Ohio train wreck. The company said they had experts with more than four decades of experience in managing water safely and that all shipments, so far, had come by truck for the entire trip.
Julian said water measurements have been below the level of concern and that Maysville Utilities took precautionary measures in temporarily shutting down their Ohio River intake valve due to the public concern.
The Norfolk Southern Railroad Corrupted by a Chemically-Induced Freight Carrier: How Much Have We Learned?
Meanwhile, the majority of the hazardous rail cars remain at the crash site as investigators continue to probe the wreck, but about 15,000 pounds of contaminated soil and 1.1 million gallons of contaminated water have been removed from the scene, Norfolk Southern announced Monday.
The contaminated soil became a point of contention last week after a public document was sent to the EPA that did not include soil removal. It is still not known what the impact was on the surrounding areas, because the soil was not removed before the railroad reopened.
As skepticism spreads about the safety of the air and water, some local business say they’ve seen fewer customers, despite calls to return to normal life.
A stylist at a hair salon also told the station there’s no doubt the salon lost business and that customers may be worried about what may be in the water washing their hair.
“I know a lot of our businesses are already suffering greatly because people don’t want to come here,” local greenhouse owner Dianna Elzer told CNN affiliate WPXI.
Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of US Transportation, is among a number of officials who called for tighter safety regulations after the toxic derailed.
“Together with local health officials, we have implemented a comprehensive testing program to ensure the safety of East Palestine’s water, air, and soil,” Shaw said.
So, what can we do now? The EPA announced this week it had taken control of the cleanup, requiring Norfolk Southern to foot the bill — not just for its own plan, but for any work done by the agency.
Crews are still working to respond to the freight disaster in East Palestine as community members worry about possible adverse health effects from the toxic materials released when dozens of cars derailed after a likely mechanical failure.
Norfolk Southern and CERCLA (Commission of Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability) Adaptations to the Norfolk Southern Train Wreck
Feb. 22 — EPA Administrator Michael Regan threatens to fine Norfolk Southern if it fails to fully clean up after the mess the derailment left behind, he says, citing the agency’s authority under CERCLA – the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.
The administrator of the EPA is in East Palestine to assess the response to the Norfolk Southern train wreck. The administrator gets to hear from residents about the impacts of the crisis and discuss how the EPA can help.
“Norfolk Southern will pay for cleaning up the mess that they created and the trauma that they inflicted,” Regan said. “In no way, shape or form will Norfolk Southern get off the hook for the mess that they created.”
“We recognize that we have a responsibility, and we have committed to doing what’s right for the residents of East Palestine,” the company said Tuesday.
The company has committed more than $6 million to date in East Palestine, it said, including $3.8 million in direct financial assistance to families impacted by the accident.
Shaw responded to criticisms from Buttigieg and Brown by saying the company invests over a billion dollars a year in safety solutions.
“It’s pretty clear that our safety culture and our investments in safety didn’t prevent this accident,” Shaw said. We have to look at what we can do differently and improve on what we are doing.
The Pennsylvania EPA has given the middle finger to the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. The crash occurred less than a mile away
The crash took place less than a mile away from the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, and the governor of Pennsylvania praised the EPA for taking charge of the clean up.
Shaw did not comment on potential causes in the CNBC interview. He said Norfolk Southern was cooperating with investigators from the Federal Railroad Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.
The derailed cars were carrying hazardous chemicals that were used to make hard plastic.
Police responded to the crash and began to concern themselves that cars carrying vinyl chloride were at risk of an explosion. Officials ultimately evacuated the area to conduct a “controlled explosion” instead, sending a black plume of smoke into the sky above the small town.
“This is really in response to the concerns that we have heard, that people want to be able to go someplace and get some answers about any kind of medical problems that they believe that they are, in fact, having,” he said.
President Joe Biden called the EPA’s order common sense. “This is their mess. The president told Norfolk Southern that it should be cleaned up.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro is furious with Norfolk Southern, telling NPR on Wednesday that it had “given the middle finger to the good people of Pennsylvania and Ohio” in the way it had handled its response. He said authorities would watch the water on his side of the border.
The Ashoka-Pomeranchuk-York-Tahrue Effect: Public Concerns about the Safety of Water in East Palestine
Thousands of fish died in Ohio waterways after a train derailed, causing more skepticism in the community, as some people have reported health problems, like headaches and rash.
Toasting with glasses of tap water from the home of an East Palestine, Ohio, resident, Regan and DeWine sought to quell bubbling concerns about the safety of the water.
The train operator gave incorrect information to officials in the days following the accident andfused to explore or articulate alternatives, the governor of Pennsylvania alleged on Tuesday.
Alan Shaw, Norfolk Southern’s president and CEO, said that the company has aligned itself with the EPA and local efforts in East Palestine since the train accident.
Shaw said that his company continues to monitor air and water quality and has conducted hundreds of tests with thousands of data points, “all of which have come back clean.”
President Biden called on congress to help implement rail safety measures, and accused the Trump administration of limiting government ability to strengthen rail safety measures.
“This is more than a train derailment or a toxic waste spill – it’s years of opposition to safety measures coming home to roost,” Biden wrote in an Instagram post.
Still, as worries remain, the state opened a new health clinic for East Palestine residents to address the reports of rashes, headaches, nausea and other symptoms.
Asked about the reported symptoms, the EPA administrator said Tuesday that he’s “not discounting what people are experiencing” and asked anyone concerned to seek medical attention.
“I believe people when they say that they’re facing adverse impacts. And what we’re doing is we’re asking them to seek medical attention … then we can take that information and add that as part of our response,” Regan said. We are not judging peoples experience at all. We just ask that they seek medical help while we conduct all of our investigations.”
“We need our town cleaned up, we need our residents to feel safe in their homes,” Conaway said at Tuesday news conference. That is the number one thing. Your home is your sanctuary: if you don’t feel safe in your home, then you’re never going to feel safe anywhere.”
What is the Name of Nicholas Proia? An Empirical Viewpoint on a Large Fire at the Irradiated Seyfert 1 Airport
Who is he? Nicholas Proia is a pulmonologist in the area and is a clinical professor of internal medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University.
What are people saying? Proia said that he hadn’t seen anything like it, but the doctors were bracing for a big increase in patients after the accident.
We really have not seen much in the way of at least respiratory illness come in. Some patients will say a foul smell or a rash after hearing what we have heard. But really no overt shortness of breath, or respiratory failure has been connected to this.
Despite officials deeming the air and water samples safe, some residents still have concerns. At the press conference, officials said residents are encouraged to get their homes cleaned and seek medical attention if necessary.
It’s also a caveat to remember that you’re only going to find what you’re looking for. And who knows what else is out there, especially after a large fire with a bunch of different, pretty interesting chemicals.
The East Palestine water treatment plant reopens after the Ebola train crash: EPA, Norfolk Southern, and Darlington Township, Pennsylvania
Officials issue a shelter-in-place order for the entire town of roughly 5,000 people. Due to the risk of an explosion, an order to evacuate was issued for the area within a mile of the train crash.
Aeration pumps begin operating at three locations along Sulphur Run and the confluence with Leslie Run. Oxygen is injected into the water. There were no problems with the East Palestine water treatment plant. EPA and Norfolk Southern contractors collect surface water samples for analysis.
The EPA is working with Norfolk Southern, the health departments and other agencies to come up with procedures for safely reoccupying areas that have been evacuated.
The 52nd Civil Service Team gathers air samples from each of the three public administration buildings.
The EPA says it is investigating a complaint of odors from the Darlington Township, Pennsylvania, fire station. A team with air monitoring equipment goes to the station, where it does not observe any contaminants above detection limits.
The EPA and Ohio EPA find spilled materials in Sulphur Run, the EPA says. Oily product is leaking from a tank car and pooling onto the soil. Norfolk Southern begins to remove product from the spill using a vacuum truck.
An Environmental Protection Referral from the Attorney General of the Columbiana County Attorney General’s Office after the Decay of a Public Works Facility in Palestine
Feb. 15 — Residents pack a high school gym in East Palestine for a meeting with officials to discuss the current state of their community, CNN reports.
Instead, local leaders take questions from emotional residents who expressed distrust of officials’ accounts and anger – including at the transport company’s decision to skip the event.
The Regional Administrator attends a community meeting with EPA on-scene coordinators and local officials to discuss residents’ concerns.
DeWine is asking the CDC for help by sending doctors and other experts who can evaluate residents who are experiencing symptoms.
The well water sample results show no water quality concerns according to the EPA. The Columbiana County General Health District continues to sample private water wells. The agency says fifty wells have been tested, fifty in Ohio, and three across the border in Pennsylvania.
Feb. 21 — The state opens up a health clinic for residents who worry their symptoms, such as trouble breathing, rashes and nausea, might be linked to the derailment.
An additional layer of reassurance will be provided by EPA staff and contractors if cleaning services are offered to residents and businesses.
According to the statement from the office, the Attorney General’s office was given a criminal referral from the department of Environmental Protection.
Environmental Protection and Cleansing in the Era of the East Palestine Disaster: Comments on a Case Study in Pennsylvania, and the Ohio Department of Environmental Protection
Number two: They will fully pay for it. We will clean up ourselves if we have to because they refuse to do anything. The EPA chief said the agency could fine them up to $70,000 a day.
“And when we recoup our total costs, we can charge them three times of the amount of the cost of the federal government. That is what the law provides.”
Editor’s Note: Ericka L. Copeland is the chapter director of Sierra Club Ohio and former two-term president of the Cincinnati Public Schools’ Board of Education. The views she expresses are her own. You can see more opinions on CNN.
Three weeks after the derailment of a freight train carrying hazardous chemicals ignited a days-long fire in their town, residents of East Palestine are still waiting for answers.
The concerns of environmental groups like ours are focused on the ongoing impacts to the East Palestine community, where people continue to report odors and immediate health problems, chemical residues remain on soils and surfaces, and clean-up and soil removal is ongoing.
And while the accident has received reams of press coverage, people who live in East Palestine have said that their complaints about rashes, headaches and other ailments they believe are linked to the disaster have been ignored.
But a memo from Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection and its Department of Health advised residents that vacuuming inside their homes “may cause chemicals that have settled on floors and surfaces to become airborne, which could cause inhalation concerns” — guidance which is confusing and even scary.
Meanwhile, across the border in Ohio, residents say they received no immediate information from state authorities on how to clean the interiors of their homes.
Why a hazardous chemical reaction in East Palestine is unacceptable, and why railroads shouldn’t use it: The Regan skeptics are outraged
Pete Buttigieg, US Secretary of Transportation, visited East Palestine for the first time since the disaster and called for railroads to do more to implement higher safety standards. The head of the federal EPA, Michael Regan, toured the scene for a second time on Tuesday, aiming to assure residents that they could feel confident about the testing and cleanup efforts currently underway in their town. I count myself among the skeptics.
The butyl acrylate is known for being volatile, and so it is no longer being detected by ORSANCO. The water tests limit levels to a certain extent. Government scientists didn’t detect any vinyl chloride or total volatile chemicals in the river samples.
Health impacts on the residents of East Palestine may not have been seen today, but they could surface in the future.
Eric Beckman, co- founder of the Mascaro Center for sustainable innovation and a professor in the Department ofChemical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, said that what happened in East Palestine is an uncontrolled chemical reaction.
Our concern is that because of the smoke particles and unburned gas that created the chemical mixture, it could well have led to high toxicity for miles around East Palestine and hidden dangers of harmful fumes on the ground, sidewalks and access areas.
The governor of Ohio failed to issue a disaster declaration so far. A spokesman for the governor has said he might revisit the idea if the circumstances warrant it. Meanwhile residents of East Palestine continue to be exposed to these toxic chemicals and are forced to pay out of pocket for hotel lodgings while he delays his decision.
The community of East Palestine needs our support right now and others downstream, as well as communities across the nation, through which trains carrying highly volatile hazardous chemicals will continue to run until robust safety measures are put in place.
It should be the case when their community is being used as a conduit for cargo to move across hundreds of miles of railway tracks.
The Norfolk Southern Environmental Protection Ordered to Stop Transporting Hazardous Materials from East Palestine, Ohio, and the Michigan Democrat Concerned by the DeWine Decision
The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered shipments of hazardous waste out of East Palestine, Ohio, to stop after complaints from residents and officials in other states where the toxic material was headed.
“We have instructed Norfolk Southern to pause but only temporarily,” Shore said, adding that officials would resume transporting the contaminated waste to approved disposal sites “very soon.”
“Waste disposal plans will have to be reviewed by the federal EPA and approved in order for them to move forward,” she said.
The Texas and Michigan officials said they didn’t know that hazardous waste from the crash would be shipped to their jurisdiction for disposal.
The Michigan Democrat said that they weren’t given a heads up on the reported action. Our priority is to make sure the people we represent are safe.
The judge said she was sensitive to the concerns of the residents of Harris County who learned that water from East Palestine would be going to her state. On Saturday, Hidalgo said she was “heartened” by the EPA’s decision to pause the transports.
So far, about 1.8 million gallons of liquid waste and 4,832 cubic yards of solid waste have been pulled from the derailment site, according to the office of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
Shore said she believed all the disposal facilities that Norfolk Southern had used were “up to the standards,” but that the EPA was reviewing the transportation routes and facilities in response to residents’ concerns.
She said it was important to the residents of East Palestine as well as those in the communities where the waste might go to ensure the process was done right.
Shore said during the Saturday press conference in East Palestine that it was better for it to be stored in a properly constructed and monitored disposal facility than for it to stay here if there were no licensed, regulated disposal facilities nearby. I am aware that some people in other states have legitimate concerns about how the waste is being dealt with and transported.
Shipments now will be going to two EPA-certified facilities in Ohio, and Norfolk Southern will start shipments to these locations Monday, EPA regional administrator Debra Shore said at a news conference Sunday.
“These extensive requirements cover everything from waste labeling, packaging, and handling, as well as requirements for shipping documents that provide information about the wastes and where they’re going,” Shore said.
The Waste From The Texas Train Wreck: State-of-the-Art Investigations of Environmental Health in East Palestine, Ohio, After the February 3 Derailment
The water from the train wreck in Texas was expected to be dumped in Harris County, Texas with half a million gallons already there according to the county’s chief executive.
Federal teams in East Palestine have begun going door-to-door to check in with residents, conduct health surveys and provide informational flyers after President Joe Biden directed the move, a White House official told CNN.
Also, a 19-person scientific team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been collecting information from residents about symptoms they have experienced since the derailment, said Jill Shugart, a senior environmental health specialist for the CDC.
The EPA also installed “sentinel wells” near the city’s municipal well field to monitor contaminants in well water as part of the agency’s long-term early detection system “to protect the city for years to come,” Vogel, head of the Ohio EPA, said Saturday.
About 102,000 gallons of liquid waste and 4,500 cubic yards of solid waste remained Saturday in storage on site in East Palestine – not including the five truckloads returned, according to DeWine. Additional solid and liquid wastes are being generated as the cleanup progresses, he added.
When CNN asked if she and the governor of Michigan were aware of plans for toxic waste to be delivered in her district, she said no.
It was told to her office that half a million gallons of water was already in the county and the shipments began arriving last Wednesday.
Hidalgo’s office had been seeking information about the disposal, including the chemical composition of the firefighting water, the precautions that were being taken, and why Harris County was the chosen site, she said.
CNN asked the Ohio agency the location of the remaining 581,500 gallons which had been “removed” but not “hauled off-site” and has yet to receive a response.
The shipment of hazardous waste from the train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio will resume Monday despite concerns over the movement of the hazardous waste.
The hazardous waste material that was sent to Michigan and Texas is now being processed, according to the EPA regional administrator.
Questions about the disposal of toxic waste from the February 3 derailment have added to the controversy surrounding the crash that has also left residents of the town worried about potential long-term health effects.
The mayor of East Liverpool, one of the towns set to incinerate the waste, expressed concerns about the process but said the EPA has assured him that everyone has been following necessary guidelines.
The Mayor said that it was a concern, that they had a 2-year-old daughter. “But, again, I think this is a state-of-the-art facility that can handle this type of waste.”
After speaking to residents in East Palestine, Shore said it’s clear “that everyone wants this contamination gone from the community” and “we owe it to the people of East Palestine to move it out of the community as quickly as possible.”
Monitoring Wells to Evaluate DeWine’s Environment at the Site of the East Palestine Derailment as Permitted by the DEWine Crew
And this week, new wells will be drilled “to determine if ground water immediately below the derailment site is contaminated,” DeWine’s office announced Sunday.
“These monitoring wells will also support a better understanding of the direction and rate of the ground water flow in the area,” DeWine’s office said.
All rail cars, except for 11 held by investigators, have been removed from the site of the derailment, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Anne Vogel said in an update Sunday.
So far, the investigation found the crew did not do anything wrong prior to the derailment, though the crash was “100% preventable,” Jennifer Homendy, the chair of the safety board, said last week.
The region 5 administrator for the EPA said Sunday that it was possible to restart shipments on Monday because EPA certified facilities could accept some waste.
“All of this is great news for the people of East Palestine and the surrounding community, because it means cleanup can continue at a rapid pace,” she said.