The EPA tells Norfolk Southern not to ship toxic train waste
The National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation of an electric derailment with a passenger rail car and its investigation of overheating a wheel bearing
A mechanical issue with a rail car axle is suspected to be the cause of the derailment, and the National Transportation Safety Board said it has video appearing to show a wheel bearing overheating just beforehand. It’s expected to report its preliminary findings in two weeks.
The wheelset will undergo a metallurgical examination as part of the overall investigation. Investigators will return to complete an examination of the tank cars once they are fully decontaminated, the NTSB said.
The NTSB report was described to CNN by a source familiar with the investigation as a “tight presentation of the facts” – and it comes amid mounting questions about how Norfolk Southern, the train’s operator, has handled the incident and the mechanical failures that may have preceded it.
Feb. 4 — The EPA says it is responding to the derailment site. EPA begins air monitoring for volatile organic compounds, which are on the train, and can be dangerous to people.
A decision to conduct controlled detonations of some of the tanks carrying toxic chemicals that have the ability to kill at high levels and increase cancer risk spurred residents to ask about safety.
A railroad conductor should not be notified about natural disasters in Palestine, and the Ohio River is still a “contaminant plume”
There is something wrong with the current law, because it doesn’t require train conductors to inform state or local officials in case of disasters, DeWine said. “The fact that this train did not qualify under current law requiring the railroad company to make that notification is just absurd.”
The EPA said that there was a spill of chemicals into the local waterways, but that most of it was contained. An initial plume of chemicals that was spilled into the waterway had made it to the Ohio River, but officials said they exist in very low concentration, and they are working with water facilities on enhanced filtration so they are not passed onto water customers.
“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. The chemicals are a “contaminant plume” the Ohio EPA and other agencies have tracked in real time and is believed to be moving about a mile an hour, she said.
The chemicals are a “contaminant plume” that the Ohio EPA and other agencies have been tracking in real time. It’s believed to be moving about a mile an hour, Kavalec said.
The “tracking allows for potential closing of drinking water intakes to allow the majority of the chemicals to pass. The strategy and treatment of the water supplies helps ensure the safety of the drinking water supplies and they are pretty confident that the low levels of contaminants that remain are not being passed onto customers.
Vanderhoff repeatedly told residents in East Palestine to use bottled water until testing on their water source is completed. He said it’s especially important to use bottled water for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding or making infant formula.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources Assessed the Environmental Impact of the Derailment of a Long-Range Electric Railroad in April 2005
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 estimation of the dead fish came after initial testing and sampling by the state agency, Mertz said. There wasn’t an increase in the amount of fish killed since the initial days following the train wreck.
Almost 500 cubic yards of “vinyl chloride-impacted material” has been removed, according to the Ohio EPA, and cleanup of contaminated dirt near the derailment site continues.
Some of the pits of dirt that have been dug up measure about 700 feet long and 8 feet deep, Kurt Kollar, the on-scene coordinator for the Ohio EPA’s Office of Emergency Response, said.
Dr. Erin Haynes, an environmental health scientist with the University of Kentucky, told CNN last week that it will be important to monitor people’s health and the environment around the train derailment for some time to come since health impacts may not emerge until later.
The anecdotes are challenging because they are. “Everything that we’ve gathered thus far is really pointing toward very low measurements, if at all.”
This is in large part because railroads are considered the safest mode of transportation to carry large amounts of hazardous materials, including chemicals, for long distances across the country, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.
Between 1994 and 2005, railroad accidents that resulted in hazardous materials being released resulted in just 14 deaths and highway accidents in which hazardous materials were spilled resulted in 116 deaths.
Warren Flatau, a Federal Rail Administration spokesman, told CNN that it is the mode of transportation that is able to move bulk quantities. “These commodities cannot be moved by pipeline; the alternative is moving them by truck over the highways, which is not looked upon favorably.”
However, the USA Today analysis found that other forms of transportation are much more leak-prone: “for every rail leak reported last year, there were two involving planes and 67 on highways.”
Larger spills happen when trains derail. A Norfolk Southern train derailed in Pittsburgh, leaking a load of mouthwash and causing an odor, according to a city news release. The Biden administration halted a rule that would have banned the transportation of highly volatile liquid natural gas after the Trump administration allowed rail to carry it.
The risk of explosion is the real issue according to a Northeastern University researcher. If natural gas were to go down, it would be a disaster.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the Lake Kavacolat: Report of a Rail Car Collision at 1130 p.m. after the Clean-Up
As work proceeds at the crash site to remove contaminated soil and haul away the remaining rail cars, air quality will be monitored by the EPA.
Officials have repeatedly assured residents that tests show no dangers lurking in the air or water. The EPA said that crews have checked hundreds of homes and there are no dangerous levels of contaminants.
Whelton told CNN the EPA should also continue to monitor semi-volatile organic compounds, which are more persistent and detected in local waterways after the derailment.
Whelton said that they don’t go in the air as easily because of their size. “They like to stick to soils and other materials. The question is, how contaminated is the creek and what will they do to remediate that?”
OFFICIALS have not confirmed anecdotal reports of pets and chickens dying. Mary Mertz, director of Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources said there was no evidence that non-aquatic species had been affected by the spill.
Kavacolat said water treatment facilities should be able to remove the low levels of volatile organic compounds from the water, and that the water will eventually be safe to drink.
“PFAS don’t break down naturally” when exposed to sunlight, air and water. The chemicals have been linked to cancer.
The East Palestine Derailed Train Exposure Revisited: Nathen Velez’s Family in a Car: Water, Water and Air Tests
An overwhelming stench of chlorine filled the air this week where Nathen Velez and his wife had been raising their two children, quickly burning his throat and eyes.
The evacuation order was lifted on Feb. 8. Some residents in the area have complained of headaches and nausea, as well as concerns over possible pollution of the air and water supply, since then.
The event hosted by East Palestine officials was supposed to include officials from Norfolk Southern. But the company, which said it had hoped to provide updates on cleanup efforts and results from air and water tests, backed out earlier in the day, saying it was concerned about a “growing physical threat to our employees and members of the community around this event,” stemming from its belief that “outside parties” would participate.
The company said in a release it has becomeincreasingly concerned about the physical threat to their employees and members of the community because of 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 supposed to go forward Wednesday evening, but residents were invited to meet with attorneys prior to the meeting to learn more about the derailed train.
Many residents of East Palestine are still worried about the train wreck. Velez is spending money to try to keep his family away from the place he used to call home.
Velez wrote that his wife is a nurse and is not taking any chances exposing him and his two kids to what is now in our town. “The risk and anxiety of trying to live in our own home again is not worth it.”
The Ohio EPA is partnering with Norfolk Southern to help the East Palestine Fire Chief Keith Drabick and protect the citizens of the City of East Palestine
The Ohio EPA installedentinel wells near the city’s municipal well field to monitor contaminants in the water as part of its long-term early detection system.
The order to evacuate is lifted on February 8th after the water samples are analyzed. The results lead officials to deem the water is safe, East Palestine Fire Chief Keith Drabick says at a news conference.
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.
Kurt Kohler, head of the Ohio EPA’s Office of Emergency Response, said on February 8 that after the emergency response, the Ohio EPA would continue their involvement in long term clean up of these kinds of spills. The federal EPA, too, will “continue to do everything in our power to help protect the community,” Administrator Michael Regan said Tuesday.
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. “Every time it rains, a flood of new contaminants will enter the ecosystem.”
Shaw told CNN Tuesday that he has made the commitment that Norfolk Southern is going to fix the site. We’re going to monitor the air and water over the long term. We’re going to help the residents of this community recover and we’re going to invest in the long-term health of this community and we’re going to make Norfolk Southern a safer railroad.”
Will you know if I can help? Ben Ratners’s experience with the derailment at the Norfolk Southern Airport and the Ohio Department of Environmental Health
He told CNN this week that his family are worried about the longer-term risks environmental officials are only beginning to assess.
But the Ratners – who played extras in a Netflix disaster film with eerie similarities to the derailment crisis – still are feeling “an ever-changing mix of emotions and feelings just right from the outset, just the amount of unknown that was there,” said Ben, who owns a cafe a few towns over and isn’t sure he still wants to open another in East Palestine.
“It’s hard to make an investment in something like that or even feel good about paying our mortgage whenever there might not be any value to those things in the future,” he said. “That’s something tough to come to grips with.”
Norfolk Southern announced Tuesday that it is creating a $1 million fund to help the community of some 4,700 people while continuing remediation work, including removing spilled contaminants from the ground and streams and monitoring air quality.
We’ll be judged by what we do. We are cleaning up the site in an environmentally responsible way, reimbursing residents affected by the derailment, and working with members of the community to identify what is needed to help East Palestine recover and thrive,” Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan Shaw said in a release.
Velez returned Monday to check out his business and home, however he developed a nagging headaches that lingered through the night, leaving him with a nagging fear.
State and federal officials have repeatedly said that air monitoring hasn’t detected any remaining concerns because of the misinformation and exaggerations spread online. Even low levels of contaminants that aren’t considered hazardous can create lingering odors or symptoms such as headaches, Ohio’s health director said Tuesday.
Feb. 7 — Residents in the area are told they may smell odors coming from the site because the byproducts of the controlled burn have a low odor threshold – meaning people may smell these contaminants at levels much lower than what is considered hazardous, the EPA says.
Environmental Concerns in the Ratner Family’s Water Use After the Decay of a Freight Train in East Palestine, Ohio
The Ratner family is limiting its water use because of unknown affects, Ben Ratner said. Velez worries that giving his daughter a bath or turning on the water could potentially endanger her.
The family has been on vacation in various places since they evacuated, but their finances are strained, and a friend has set up a Go Fund Me to help them.
Many of us residents are stuck in the same situation, and there is no answer. “There is no viable solution other than to leave and pay a mortgage on a potentially worthless home.”
EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — Residents of the Ohio village upended by a freight train derailment packed a school gym on Wednesday to seek answers about whether they were safe from toxic chemicals that spilled or were burned off.
Hundreds of worried people gathered to hear officials assure them that the air and water is safe to breathe in and that they will continue to test for safety.
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.
Wednesday’s meeting came amid continuing concerns about the huge plumes of smoke, persisting odors, questions over potential threats to pets and wild animals, any potential impact on drinking water and what was happening with cleanup.
Why are they being hush-hush? When the railroad isn’t going to be blamed, residents complain about the East Palestine train wreck
“Why are they being hush-hush?” Kathy said about the railroad. “They’re not out here supporting, they’re not out here answering questions. For three days we didn’t even know what was on the train.”
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.
“The pollution, which continues to contaminate the area around East Palestine, created a nuisance, damage to natural resources and caused environmental harm,” Yost said in a letter to the company.
The EPA will take control of the Norfolk Southern train wreck cleanup in Ohio, which released hazardous chemicals into the environment.
Speaking to CNN’s Jason Carroll Thursday morning, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said the agency has full authority to use its enforcement capabilities over the crisis.
“We issued a notice of accountability to the company, and they’ve signed that, indicating that they will be responsible for the cleanup,” Regan told CNN. “But as this investigation continues, and as new facts arise, let me just say, and be very clear, I will use the full enforcement authority of this agency, and so will the federal government, to be sure that this company is held accountable.”
The interview comes nearly two weeks after a train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in East Palestine, a town of under 5,000 people along the Ohio-Pennsylvania border. The derailment was followed by a dayslong blaze and the ordered evacuation of residents until local and state officials declared the air and water safe enough for people to return – about five days after the wreck.
Despite being assured, a chemical odor lingered for days and officials estimate several thousand fish were killed by pollution washing down streams and rivers.
State of the Art in East Palestine: The Derailment, the Waterway, and the Emergency Response to the East Palestine Train Wreck
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw were questioned by a group of residents of East Palestine during a CNN town hall about their future, as well as the response to the train wreck.
The emergency response has now turned into the responsibility of the railroad, and the EPA has moved to make that happen, Michael Regan said during a Tuesday press conference.
The CDC is asked for immediate assistance by DeWine who wants experts to help people who are experiencing symptoms.
In anticipation of rainfall, emergency response teams have plans in place to prevent contaminants not yet removed from the derailment site from washing into local waterways during the storms, DeWine said in a statement.
DeWine said the Ohio Department of Agriculture continues to assure Ohioans that its food supply is safe and the risk to livestock remains low following the train derailment.
The mayor told reporters on Wednesday that there were two options: explode the tanks, or destroy them. Toxic chemicals went into the air. I am truly sorry, but that is the only option we had. If we didn’t do that then they were going to blow up and we were going to have all the weapons in this town.
The Olathe-Sundrum train derailment — “I need help, I need help,” Conaway told CNN on Wednesday night
“I need help,” Conaway told reporters Wednesday night. “I have the village on my back, and I’ll do whatever it takes … to make this right. I’m not leaving, I’m not going anywhere.”
We will get to the bottom of this and we want the community to know that. All volatile organic chemicals are being tested. Everything on that train is being tested. We feel confident that we are casting a net wide enough to present a picture that will protect the community.
A man from less than half a mile from where the train derailed told CNN on Wednesday night that the company didn’t show up for the meeting.
“Most people did not want to go home, but they had to. So, all the people who had to go home were complaining of smells, pains in their throat, headaches, sickness,” he said. The smell makes you sick, I have gone back a few times. It hurts your head.”
The State of East Palestine, Ohio, a health clinic after a toxic train derailment, the Cozza re-joint
They did not show up at the town hall meeting last night. The public deserves transparency,” he said. The public deserves to know the most up to date information. We are the federal government and we have a responsibility to hold this company accountable.
The railroad company told Cozza that it was safe for her to come back home after the air testing was done. However, she insisted the railroad company run soil and water tests, and only then did a toxicologist deem her house unsafe.
Cozza stated that he would have been sitting in that house right now, had he not used his voice, when they told him that it was safe.
“My concern is how many of those kids are laying in their bed in East Palestine right now that are not safe,” she said. I don’t trust them.
The nation’s top environmental official is headed to East Palestine, Ohio, where the state is opening a health clinic Tuesday as worry and frustration linger in the community more than two weeks after the fiery derailment of a train carrying toxic chemicals.
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.
Medical teams from the US Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention and the US Department of Health are also expected to arrive in the community as early as this week to help assess what dangers remain.
The Investigative Report of the Ohio River Sulphur Run Detector at the Cincinnati Water Works, Northern Kentucky Water District, and the Chester, Kentucky Railroad Authority
Jim Stewart, who has lived in East Palestine for more than six decades, said the wreck burned down his dreams of retiring soon and selling his house, adding he worries what the home’s value now looks like. He wonders if he will be able to plant his Tomatoes in the summer after officials said the soil was contaminated by chemicals.
“We should never say we’re done looking at this community for potential exposures and health impacts. Some may not occur until later,” said Haynes, adding that anyone experiencing health symptoms should take them seriously and call the poison control center.
“Environmental teams are treating the impacted portions of Sulphur Run with booms, aeration, and carbon filtration units,” Norfolk Southern added. “Those teams are also working with stream experts to collect soil and groundwater samples to develop a comprehensive plan to address any contamination that remains in the stream banks and sediment.”
The intakes from the Ohio River that were shut off Sunday as a precautionary measure were reopened after no detections of the chemicals found from the train wreck, according to news releases from Greater Cincinnati Water Works and Northern Kentucky Water District.
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 soil under the tracks had not been dealt with, and citizens have been worried that the railroad started, got the tracks back on and started running. The administrator ordered that the soil be removed. The soil will have to be removed to make room for the tracks.
Environmental Health and Safety Issues in East Palestine After the Fragment Disaster: A Coalition Against The Power of EPA and Norfolk Southern, and Implications for Air and Water
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 hairdresser at the salon said that the business had closed and customers may be worried about what happens 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.
A number of officials, including US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, have demanded accountability and called for greater safety regulations after the toxic derailment.
“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.
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.
“If Norfolk Southern decides that they don’t want to follow the order, EPA will step in, so that there’s no break in service, perform these duties, while fining the company up to $70,000 a day and then we’ll recoup our cost on the back end,” Regan said during Wednesday’s town hall. The law gives us the authority to charge Norfolk Southern more than the amount of the mess we have to clean.
“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.”
What Norfolk Southern did after the Ohio-Pennsylvania Collision in Feb. 3, 2015, when the train was dejected
More than $6 million has been committed by the company to East Palestine to assist families in the aftermath of the accident.
Shaw said in an interview with CNBC that the company invests over $1 billion annually in “science-based” safety solutions.
“It’s pretty clear that our safety culture and our investments in safety didn’t prevent this accident,” Shaw said. We need to take a look at this and see what we can do differently.
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro praised the EPA for taking charge of the cleanup from the crash, which took place less than a mile from the Ohio-Pennsylvania border.
“It is my view that Norfolk Southern wasn’t going to do this out of the goodness of their own heart. There’s not a lot of goodness in there,” Shapiro said. They had to be compelled to act.
On Feb. 3, about three dozen Norfolk Southern freight cars derailed near East Palestine, a town of roughly 4,800. A preliminary report from the National transportation Safety Board will be released next week, indicating that a wheel bearing failure probably caused the train to derail.
Despite repeated questions from frustrated residents, Shaw, the CEO of Norfolk Southern, declined answering questions regarding the wreck investigation and details about what may have caused the derailment, saying he was “prohibited” from talking about the probe.
The Pennsylvania Railroad Safety Derailment after the February 3 Decay: A White House Addressing a Critique of Norfolk Southern and the Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Agency
Eleven of the derailed cars were carrying hazardous chemicals such as butyl acrylate and vinyl chloride, which is used to make the hard plastic resin PVC.
He said, “This is more in response to the concerns that we have heard, that people would like to be able to go someplace and get answers about any medical problems that they believe they are having.”
President Joe Biden was not the first to call the EPA order common sense. “This is their mess. They should clean it up,” the president said of Norfolk Southern in an Instagram post.
As part of the continued fallout, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said state environmental officials made a “criminal referral” against Norfolk Southern. The Ohio attorney general is also reviewing all actions the law “allows him to take,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said.
Air and water quality testing has so far found no dangers to residents of the small village near the Pennsylvania border after the February 3 derailment, and Regan said he has “absolute confidence” in the agency’s data.
Regan and DeWine drank tap water from a home in East Palestine, Ohio in order to quell concerns about the water’s safety.
Pennsylvania’s governor – who also ordered evacuations after the derailment – alleged Tuesday that the train operator gave officials “inaccurate information” and “refused to explore or articulate alternative courses of action,” in the days following the toxic wreck.
The Norfolk Southern Railroad Company in East Palestine and the Impact of the Cleveland Toxic Train Derailment on the Public Works Work Environment: Chairman and CEO Alan Shaw
Norfolk Southern President and CEO Alan Shaw said that his company has been aligned with the EPA and local efforts on the ground in East Palestine since the train derailment.
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.”
After federal officials released an initial report concluding that this month’s toxic train wreck in Ohio was completely preventable, investigators will begin examining procedures, practices and design prior to the derailment that has sparked long-term concerns among hundreds of frustrated residents.
President Biden called on Congress to help implement rail safety measures and accused the Trump administration of limiting the government’s 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.
Concerns remain and the state opened a new health clinic in East Palestine to address the reports of rash, headaches, nausea and other symptoms.
The administrator of the EPA asked anyone who was concerned to seek medical attention, and did not discount the reported symptoms.
I believe people when they say they are facing adverse impacts. We want them to seek medical attention, so we can take that information and add it to our response. We are not equating what people are experiencing with what we think is normal. We want them to seek medical aid 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. If you don’t feel safe in your home, you’re never going to feel safe anywhere.
The NTSB hot zone survey: Measurement of the train wreck in East Palestine and a clinic for residents with respiratory problems at the town hall
NTSB conducts a one-mile walkthrough of track outside the hot zone and identifies the point of derailment. Graham says the preliminary report is expected in four to eight weeks.
The train had been traveling at an average speed of 49 miles per hour between Alliance, Ohio, and Salem, Ohio – but then slowed down to nearly half that speed between Salem and East Palestine.
Courtney Newman, a mother and teacher in East Palestine, said since her family returned home, her son has had “bloody noses every day,” and she has had “skin issues.”
Another resident, Josh Hickman, said he is still staying at a hotel as he doesn’t feel safe returning home, but he’s had to come into the village a few times and experienced symptoms including headaches, dizziness and blood from his nose – and on Tuesday, sought treatment at the emergency room.
The site has vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, ethylene glycol monobutyl etheracetate, and 2-ethylhexyl acrylate in addition to phosgene and hydrogen chloride. All these chemicals can change when they react with other things or break down, creating a stew of potential toxins.
Trent Conaway said Wednesday that they are getting everything they need, except answers. We need to know what the health concerns are.
The governor stated during the town Hall that he didn’t want to minimize or downplay the possible medical issues associated with the train wreck.
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.
Community Action Plan for East Palestine: Water Use, Deposition, and a Response to a Call from the Mills at the Tevatron
Shaw said they were going to reimburse the citizens and invest in the community’s long term health. I will see this through, and we will be here. We are going to work with these community leaders to help you thrive.
A total of 102,000 gallons of liquid waste and 4,500 cubic Yards of Solid Waste are currently stored in East Palestine and another five truckloads of contaminated soil were returned to the town, according to the office.
During the town hall, a woman said that since she was evacuated, she was still not using the water because she couldn’t tell whether they were telling the truth or not. “I use bottled water. I can not. I don’t believe what they’re saying. I am not sure who is telling the truth.
Officials issue a shelter-in-place order for the entire town of roughly 5,000 people. The area around the train crash is being evacuated because of the danger of an explosion.
Environmental Protection Agency, Norfolk Southern, and a local couple filed a first-class action lawsuit against the Norfolk Southern rail company in Sulphur Run
They say EPA community air monitoring readings do not detect any issues of concern. The agency says that the Norfolk Southern contractor continues to do air monitoring.
Aeration pumps begin operating at three locations along Sulphur Run and the confluence with Leslie Run. Aeration helps treat contamination by injecting oxygen into the water. The East Palestine water treatment plant confirms there was no adverse effects to the plant, the EPA says. Surface water samples are collected by the EPA and Norfolk Southern contractors.
Norfolk Southern has a plan to prevent an explosion with a controlled burn of rail cars. The agency says it detected particulate matter from the fire.
The EPA continues to monitor and work with Norfolk Southern to develop procedures to reoccupy areas that have been evacuated.
The EPA is looking into a complaint of odors from the fire station. A team with air monitoring equipment goes to the station and does not observe anything 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 can use a vacuum truck to remove the product from the spill.
A local couple and business owner file the first-class action lawsuit against Norfolk Southern, CNN reports. The suit states that the rail company failed to exercise reasonable care for residents and businesses, which were affected by the chemical spill.
The East Palestine Firefighter’s Report: Residents’ Concerns on Air Quality, Water Quality, and Train Wreck Toxicity
Despite officials deeming the air and water samples safe, some residents still have concerns. People are asked to get their homes cleaned and to seek medical attention if they need it.
Air monitoring throughout East Palestine continues, the EPA says. Monitoring since the fire went out has not detected any levels of concern that can be attributed to the incident.
EPA discontinues phosgene and hydrogen chloride community air monitoring. After the fire was extinguished on February 8, the threat of vinyl chloride fire producing phosgene and hydrogen chloride no longer exists. The EPA will monitor community air quality for other chemicals of concern.
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, leaders take questions from residents who are upset with the officials and angry with the company that decided to miss the event.
Regional Administrator Debra Shore attends a community meeting alongside EPA on-scene coordinators and state and local officials to hear residents’ concerns.
Gov. DeWine issues a press release stating the municipal water is safe to consume. According to the state, the municipal well testing showed no water quality concerns.
Governor Mike DeWine says there are no traces of train wreck toxicity found in homes that have been tested for air quality.
The East Palestine EPA Clean-Up Program and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Investigative Referendum in the Case of a Train Wreck
The EPA says the village of East Palestine has no water quality concerns. The health district is still testing private water wells. To date, 52 wells have been sampled, 49 in Ohio, and three across the border in Pennsylvania, the agency says.
Norfolk Southern has been removing rail cars at the location, excavating polluted areas and staging recovered waste for transportation to anapproved disposal facility according to the EPA. Water is diverted from the wetlands to the run.
• Reimburse the EPA for cleaning services to be offered to residents and businesses to provide an additional layer of reassurance, which will be conducted by EPA staff and contractors,
We know that we have a responsibility and we will do what is right for the residents of East Palestine, the company said Tuesday.
The Pennsylvania attorney general received a criminal referral relating to the train wreck and will investigate, according to the office.
“Number two: They will pay for it – fully pay for it. At any moment, if we have to step in because they refuse to do anything, we will do the cleaning up ourselves. The EPA chief said they 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.”
Investigating the accident in a railroad locomotive: Jennifer Homendy, the safety board chair, and the investigation of the event that the wheel bearing failed
The report found that one of the train’s cars carrying plastic pellets was heated by a hot axle that sparked the initial fire, according to Jennifer Homendy, the chair of the safety board. Homendy explained that the heat threshold wasn’t reached at that point and that two wayside defect detector didn’t sound an alarm. It was too late for the third detector to pick up the high temperature.
“This was 100% preventable. … There is no accident. Homendy said during the news conference that every event they investigate is preventable. “The NTSB has one goal, and that is safety and ensuring that this never happens again.”
The company’s railcar inspection practices will be reviewed by investigators. More specifically, determining what caused the wheel bearing failure will be key to the investigation, Homendy said.
The response to the chemical disaster will be a key part of the investigation.
Since then, some East Palestine residents have said they are experiencing headaches, dizziness, nausea and bloody noses — a host of health issues they say they did not have prior to the crash.
The 149-car train operated by Norfolk Southern on February 3 had three employees on board: a locomotive engineer, a conductor and a trainee who were all in the head end of the locomotive, Homendy told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday.
Why did the East Palestine plane crash occur? A response to residents frustrated by the recommendations of the Norfolk Southern Transportation Safety Board and Norfolk-South
We are deliberative. We are the gold standard when it comes to investigations globally, and we are methodical in our approach,” Homendy said. We will not hesitate to issue an urgent safety recommendation if we see a serious safety issue.
The residents were frustrated that officials dodged their questions, making their distrust in the process worse.
Jim Stewart, a lifelong 65-year-old East Palestine resident who said he lives near where the crash happened, told Shaw he feels his health has been threatened by the derailment.
“Did you shorten my life now? I want to retire and enjoy it. How are we going to enjoy it? Stewart said that Shaw burned him. “You’ve made me an angry man.”
Shaw declined on Wednesday to answer repeated questions from residents regarding the crash investigation and details about what could have caused the derailment, saying he was “prohibited” from talking about the probe.
Norfolk Southern also plans to review the results of the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation as well as use data to “figure out what we could’ve done better,” said Shaw, adding the company has already implemented new internal safety measures.
Why is the East Palestine, Ohio, waste problem happening? When the EPA notified Norfolk Southern to pause but only temporarily, and what to do next
The shipments of hazardous waste out of East Palestine, Ohio were stopped after complaints from the residents and officials within other states where the 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.”
“Moving forward, waste disposal plans, including disposal location and transportation routes for contaminated waste, will be subject to federal EPA review and approval,” she noted.
“We were not given a heads up on this reported action,” Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell said in a statement. We are focused on keeping the people we represent safe.
Judge Lina Hidalgo of Harris County, Texas, said on Wednesday that she was “very sensitive” to concerns from residents who learned that firefighting water from East Palestine was headed to her state. On Saturday, Hidalgo said she was “heartened” by the EPA’s decision to pause the transports.
“These locations regularly accept this type of material and were chosen due to their specific ability and necessary permitting to dispose of these types of waste,” Spielmaker said Saturday in an emailed statement to NPR. The US EPA is working with us to resume the removal of waste from East Palestine.
The EPA was reviewing transportation routes and facilities as a response to the concerns of the residents, but Shore said they were up to the standards.
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.
“We know it’s far better to have it safely stored in a properly constructed and monitored disposal facility than to have it remain here any longer than necessary when there are licensed, regulated disposal facilities available that routinely dispose of similar waste,” Shore said during the Saturday press conference in East Palestine. “At the same time I know there are folks in other states with concerns – legitimate concerns – about how this waste is being transported and how it is being disposed of.”
That’s as officials in Texas and Michigan complained they didn’t receive any warning that hazardous waste from the crash would be shipped into their jurisdictions for disposal.
Norfolk Southern will begin shipments to the EPA-certified facilities in Ohio on Monday, according to the EPA regional administrator.
All rail cars, except for those held by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), have been removed from the site of the derailment, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director Anne Vogel said in an update Sunday.
The Texas Department of Firefighting Agricultural Experiments (Dynamics) Describes the Plan to Dispose About Two Million Gallons of Water from the East Palestine Train Derailment Site
“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.
About 2 million gallons of firefighting water from the train derailment site were expected to be disposed in Harris County, Texas, with about half a million gallons already there, according to the county’s chief executive.
The White House told CNN that teams from the federal government began going door-to-door in East Palestine after President Joe Biden directed the move.
The scientists from the CDC are gathering information from people about the symptoms that they have experienced after the train wreck.
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.
Dingell told CNN on Saturday that neither she nor Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer were aware of plans for toxic waste to be delivered to disposal sites in her district.
Hidalgo said Texas Molecular told her office Thursday that half a million gallons of the water was already in the county and the shipments began arriving around 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 582,500 gallons that had not been removed and have yet to receive a response.