Effects of a Chemical Derailment on the Air Quality and Health in East Palestine, Ohio, Following the February 3 Train Wreck
Health concerns are lingering in East Palestine, Ohio, after a train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed on February 3. The residents were temporarily evacuated for a controlled burn of the chemicals that sent a large cloud of black smoke into the sky.
Residents of East Palestine were later asked to evacuate out of precaution. On Monday, Feb. 6, crews conducted what officials called a “controlled release” of the hazardous chemicals which caused a large plume of black smoke.
James Justice of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said around-the-clock air monitoring has shown normal, un-concerning levels. The data points show that the air quality in the town is safe.
There was a robust air monitoring system in place and the data from it showed nothing that would cause concern, he said. The controlled burn at the site of the accident did not see any toxins in the air, but other samples outside that area did.
The residents of the small village are dealing with concerns about their air and water safety in the aftermath of the February 3 train wreck which caused a fire and resulted in crews deliberately releasing vinylchloride from train cars to avoid an explosion.
The Ohio National Guard and Norfolk Southern had the responsibility of releasing and burning vinyl chloride from a February 22 train on the East Palestine area
The commander of the Ohio National Guard previously said that members wearing protective gear would take readings inside homes, basements and businesses as officials aimed to ensure the air was safe before lifting the evacuation order.
No one was injured when 50 cars derailed on the outskirts of East Palestine in February. As fears grew about a potential explosion, officials seeking to avoid an uncontrolled blast had the area evacuated and opted to release and burn toxic vinyl chloride from five rail cars, sending flames and black smoke billowing into the sky again.
We will be judged on our actions. 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.
Norfolk Southern did not need to give state officials information about what chemicals the rail cars contained because it was not a high hazardous material train, DeWine stated during a Tuesday news conference.
Some residents refuse to return because they still don’t think the village’s air, water, soil, and surfaces are safe.
The EPA, with the Ohio National Guard and a Norfolk Southern contractor, also has collected air samples – checking for vinyl chloride, hydrogen chloride, carbon monoxide, phosgene and other compounds – in the East Palestine community, it had said. There are more than a dozen instruments which all stated that their “screening level” had not been exceeded.
The Ratner home, for instance, was tested and cleared for VOCs, he said. 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.
There is concern about the vinyl chloride, which is a carcinogen that becomes a gas at room temperature, when loaded on five cars. It it commonly used to make polyvinyl chloride or PVC, which is a kind of plastic used for pipes, wire and cable coatings and car parts.
When vinyl chloride is exposed in the environment, it breaks down from sunlight within a few days and changes into other chemicals such as formaldehyde. When it is spilled in soil or surface water, the chemical evaporates into the air quickly, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Some of the hazardous chemicals that the EPA Monitoring have been monitoring are phosgene and hydrogen chloride. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hydrogen chloride and phosgene can cause eye irritation, dry burning throat, and vomiting.
At-Home Indoor Air Screening for East Palestine Residents: Results from a Detonation Investigation of a Rail Car Elliptical
“Now that we are entering into a longer term phase of this, people are going to be concerned about the long-term chronic exposure that comes at lower levels,” said Karen Dannemiller, a professor at The Ohio State University who studies indoor air quality.
She said that it’s important for East Palestine residents to take part in the EPA’s at-home air screening because indoor spaces can be a point of exposure.
Residents should wipe down surfaces, especially those that collect dust, and wash items that absorb odors, like bed sheets and curtains. She wants to make sure that the air stays clean by vacuuming in short-term spurts.
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. The preliminary report is expected to be done in about two weeks.
The wheelset will be examined as part of the investigation. Once the tank cars are cleaned up, investigators will return to complete their examination.
The video from the two local businesses was reported by local media to show flames and glowing from the train before it derailed.
As authorities were worried about the possibility of a widespread, deadly explosion, the wreck burned for days. Control detonations can kill quickly at high levels and increase cancer risk, but crews managed controlled detonations. The hazardous substance spilled into a trench, where it was burned away.
Statewide search for vinyl chloride and other contaminants in down-gauge waterways near the Ohio train wreck, said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was concerned about the lack of information individual states had about the rail cars that are carrying.
In an update Tuesday, investigators said no vinyl chloride had been found in any of the down-gauge waterways near the train wreck and environmental teams were aerating the area.
The Ohio River is very large and it is a water body that is able to suck up pollutants in a relatively short period of time.
The governor said a chemical plume of butyl acrylate in the Ohio River is currently located near Gallipolis, Ohio, and will be near Huntington, West Virginia, sometime tomorrow. Testing results indicate that the chemical is currently well below a level the CDC considers hazardous, he said. No vinyl chloride has been detected in the Ohio River, he added, though agencies will continue sampling river water out of an abundance of caution.
The chemicals are a “contaminant plume” that the Ohio EPA and other agencies have been tracking in real time. Kavalec said it was moving about a mile an hour.
The “tracking allows for potential closing of drinking water intakes to allow the majority of the chemicals to pass. This strategy, along with drinking water treatment…are both effective at addressing these contaminants and helps ensure the safety of the drinking water supplies,” Kavalec said, adding that they’re pretty confident that the “low levels” of contaminants that remain are not getting passed onto customers.
Vanderhoff repeatedly told residents in East Palestine to use bottled water until testing on their water source is completed. He said that pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and infant formula makers should use bottled water.
Waterways in the Area of the Decay of the New York Highway Explosion are Contaminated, State Health Efforts Explained
Some waterways in the area of the derailment were contaminated after the crash, killing an estimated 3,500 fish, but officials have said they believe those contaminants to be contained.
Initial testing and sampling by the state agency gave estimates of the dead fish. The number of fish killed in the aftermath of the wreck appeared to not have gone up.
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.
Some East Palestine residents have reported headaches, sore throat, nose and eye irritation due to the volatile organic compounds released by the controlled explosion. 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 are challenging because they’re anecdotes,” Vanderhoff said. Everything we have gathered so far is pointing to very low measurements.
Chemicals are moved by America’s railroads. Freight trains moved 2.2 million carloads of chemicals in 2021, according to the Association of American Railroads.
“It’s the mode of transportation that’s capable of moving bulk quantities,” Federal Rail Administration spokesperson Warren Flatau told CNN. Commodity can not be moved by pipelines; the alternative is moving them by truck over the highways, which is not viewed favorably.
Even though federal and industry statistics show that rail is a safer way to carry hazardous materials than truck or plane, 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. “If natural gas were to have a derailment like the vinyl chloride, it would be devastating.”
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OHDA) Efforts to Remove Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds from a Rail Car Spike
As work continues at the crash site to remove the remaining rail cars, the EPA will continue to keep an eye on air quality.
Whelton said the EPA should continue to monitor 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. The question is, how contaminated is the creek and what will they do to remediate that?”
Anecdotal reports of pets and chickens dying have not yet been confirmed by officials. Mary Mertz, the director of Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources, said Tuesday that there’s no evidence that non-aquatic species have been affected by the spill.
The Ohio EPA’s Office of Emergency Response has reported that crews have excavated and removed nearly 500 cubic yards of impacted material, including soil. The EPA is also blocking off ditches around the contaminated dirt so that it doesn’t contaminate more water.
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.
In addition to the chemicals officials say should break down with aeration and water treatment, environmental officials also need to test for PFAS – a long-lasting and potentially more worrying class of chemicals used to put out chemical fires.
The wake of Nathen Velez: Living in a stranger’s home with strangers is not worth it, but your actions aren’t worth it
A strong smell of chlorine was in the air this week, burning Nathen Velez’ throat and eyes as he and his wife were raising their two children.
The event hosted by East Palestine officials was supposed to include officials from Norfolk Southern. The company backed away from its previous promise of giving an update on the clean-up effort and results from air and water tests later in the day, saying that it was concerned about a physical threat to employees and members of the community surrounding the event.
“We have become increasingly concerned about the growing physical threat to our employees and members of the community around this event stemming from the increasing likelihood of the participation of outside parties,” the company said in a release.
Company officials intended to brief the community Wednesday evening on the steps they are taking to clean the accident site, and provide the latest results from air and water testing.
A community meeting still was expected to go forward Wednesday evening, and plaintiff’s attorneys invited residents to meet with them beforehand to discuss the derailment’s impact.
“Is it OK to still be here? Are my kids safe? Is the people safe? Is the future of this community safe? Glavan spoke to reporters at the meeting. “We all know the severity of that question, and what’s at stake. Some people think they are downplaying; some people don’t think so – let’s find out.”
Velez wrote on Facebook that his wife, a nurse, was not taking any chances exposing him and their two young children to anything new in their town. It is not worth it to try to live in our own home again.
The Long-Term Environmental Impact of the East Palestine Derailment Crisis: Ben and Ben Ratners, Ben, and Michael Regan, Explained to CNN
The governor’s office said that the EPA encourages people who get water from private wells to get them tested, even though those wells may be closer to the surface.
A spokesperson for the company said “some soil is moved around” during the initial response phase. The company is continuing to “remediate the site” including by removing soil, spokesperson Connor Spielmaker added.
Kurt Kohler of the Ohio EPA Office of Emergency Response promised that after the emergency response, the Ohio EPA will remain involved in overseeing the long-term Cleanup of these types 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.
Richard Peltier, an Environmental Health scientist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, told CNN that contaminated soil will continue to leech pollutants up into the air and into the surrounding ground. A flood of new contaminants will enter the system whenever it rains.
CNN asked Norfolk Southern why it had not removed contaminated soil before reopening the site, and if it had filled in areas of contaminated soil and chemicals in order to reopen the rail line.
Ben and his family worry about the longer-term risks of living in East Palestine, he told CNN this week.
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.
The Ratner Family, Norfolk Southern, and the Real Problem of Living in a Los Alamos City, Florida, Even though you can’t afford it, says Velez
“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 is something difficult to comprehend.
Norfolk Southern said Wednesday it was creating a $1 million charitable fund to support East Palestine, saying it was “committed” to the community “today and in the future.”
Velez and his family are temporarily staying in rentals away from the town. He told CNN that when he went to the town Monday he got a chemical smell that burned his eyes and throat.
He said that some of the symptoms of headaches, eye irritation, nose irritation, and other things can be caused by volatile organic compounds. The measured facts include the fact that the air sampling in the area isn’t pointing to an air source for this.
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.
The Ratner family is limiting its water use because of unknown affects, Ben Ratner said. He wrote that his daughter’s bath could potentially be hazardous, and that he worried every time he turned the water on.
He and his family have been Airbnb-hopping 30 minutes from their home since they evacuated, but rental options and their finances are running out, he said, and a friend set up a GoFundMe to help the family.
The sad truth is that 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.”
The East Palestine Railroad Company, the State of Public Works, and its Responsibility, as a State-Secretary, Protects Public Health, and Public Works
The people gathered to hear the state officials tell them that the local air and water is safe to breathe and that safety testing will continue.
But residents had many questions about health risks and they demanded more transparency from the railroad operator, Norfolk Southern, which didn’t attend the gathering because of safety concerns.
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?” Kathy Dyke said of the railroad. “They’re not out here supporting, they’re not out here answering questions. We didn’t know 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.
“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.
We have been paying for the clean-up activities 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. East Palestine will continue to thrive for the long-term, and we will be in the community for as long as it takes. We are going to learn from this terrible accident and work with regulators and elected officials to improve railroad safety.”
The Administrator of the EPA is in East Palestine to assess the responses to the train wreck. The administrator goes to city, state, and federal leaders and hears about the impact of the crisis, then discusses the EPA’s work with them.
The EPA has the ability to enforce over the crisis, said Administrator Michael S. Regan in a CNN interview.
The company has signed a notice of accountability, meaning they will be responsible for finding and cleaning up the mess. “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.”
Despite the assurances, a chemical odor lingered days afterward and officials estimate thousands of fish were killed by contamination washing down streams and rivers, fueling residents’ concerns about water and air safety.
The Effect of a Weather-induced Storm on the East Palestine Town Hall and the Emergency Response Effort at the East Palestinian Railway Station
Many residents of East Palestine attended a town hall Wednesday to express their distrust and frustration. The train operator had agreed to attend but later pulled out of the event due to safety concerns.
The agency’s move comes as the emergency response effort has now morphed into an environmental cleanup that is the responsibility of the railroad, EPA Administrator Michael Regan said during a Tuesday press conference.
DeWine wants the CDC to immediately help residents who areExperiencing Symptoms by sending expert medical assistance.
In the event of a bad storm, emergency responders have plans in place to prevent contaminants from washing into the local waters, DeWine said in a statement.
The risk of livestock being injured in the train wreck has been kept low by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
“There (were) two options: We either detonate those tanks, or they detonate themselves,” Mayor Trent Conaway told a group of reporters at Wednesday’s meeting. 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 shrapnel all across this town.”
Jami Cozza, a woman who lives near the East Palestine railroad wreck, says she wants to stay there and tell her friends how she feels
“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 and I’m not going anywhere.
The man who lives less than half a mile from the train wreck told CNN on Wednesday night that the company’s absence from the meeting was a slap in the face.
“Most people did not want to go home, but they had to. He said that the people who had to go home complained of headaches, smells and pains in their throats. “I have gone back a few times, and the smell does make you sick. It hurts your head.”
“I was extremely disappointed that they didn’t show up at the town hall meeting last night. The public needs to know, he said. “The public deserves to have the latest information. We have a responsibility as the federal government to hold this company accountable.
Jami Cozza’s family has lived in East Palestine for generations near the contaminated creek, but right now she is staying at a hotel paid for by the railroad due to toxicity from the derailment.
Cozza said that she was told by the railroad company that it would be fine to return to her hometown after the air testing. However, she insisted the railroad company run soil and water tests, and only then did a toxicologist deem her house unsafe.
“Had I not used my voice, had I not thrown a fit, I would be sitting in that house right now, when they told me that it was safe,” Cozza said Thursday.
Environmental Representative Michael Regan meets with residents and officials in East Palestine, Ohio, two weeks after the tragic derailment of a freight train carrying toxic chemicals
“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.
The EPA official told CNN that Michael Regan was going back to the town Tuesday to talk with residents and officials.
The visit came as residents in the small town of 5,000 were beginning to doubt and worry that they could be related to the wreck of a Norfolk Southern freight train and subsequent release of a toxic chemical.
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.
Life in East Palestine is upended as people wonder if their water is safe to drink or if the air is safe to breathe.
We should not say that we are done looking at possibilities of health impacts in this community. Haynes said that people should call the poison control center if they experience health symptoms.
Norfolk Southern installed booms and dams to restrict the flow of contaminated water from Sulphur Run and Leslie Run – two of the locations where fish were found dead, according to EPA.
On Thursday, Texas Molecular told CNN it had been hired to dispose of potentially dangerous water from the Ohio train derailment. They said that they had experts with over four decades of experience in managing water that 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 East Palestine Railroad Station and Transportation Safety Board. The State of the Art, Environmental Protection, and Environmental Protection During the 1994-97 Fragment Disaster
All of the rail cars except for the 11 cars held by the National Transportation Safety Board have been removed from the site, which will allow excavation of additional contaminated soil and installation of monitoring wells to check for groundwater contamination, said Anne Vogel, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
“There’s been a concern by citizens, very understandably, that the railroad started, got the tracks back on and started running and the soil under the tracks had not been dealt with,” DeWine said. “So, under the administrator’s order, that soil will be removed. So the tracks will have to be taken up and that soil will have to be removed.”
Some local business have seen fewer customers despite calls to return to normal life as skepticism about the air and water spreads.
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.
People are not willing to come to our area so many businesses are already suffering.
A number of officials, including US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, have demanded accountability and called for greater safety regulations after the toxic derailment.
Shaw said a comprehensive testing program was implemented to ensure the safety of East Palestine’s water, air, and soil.
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.
The Essex-Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Agency’s response to the East Palestine Autonomous Vehicle (EPA) Collision
February 23 is when the order will take effect. If the rail company fails to complete any actions ordered by EPA, the agency says it will immediately step in, conduct the necessary work and then seek to compel Norfolk Southern to pay triple the cost.
“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.”
The company said it has committed to doing what is right for the residents of East Palestine.
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.
In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, CEO Alan Shaw responded to criticism from Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, saying the company invests more than $1 billion a year in “science-based” safety solutions, including maintaining tracks, equipment and technology.
“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 and what we can do better.”
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.
A Correspondence between the EPA, the NTSB and the FRA: Norfolk Southern and Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro Revisited
Shaw declined to comment in the CNBC interview on potential causes, citing the investigation. He also said Norfolk Southern is fully cooperating with the NTSB and the Federal Railroad Administration to determine the cause.
“This is because people want to be able to get some answers about their medical issues, so we are going to give them the opportunity to go somewhere and do that,” he said.
President Joe Biden called the EPA’s order “common sense” Tuesday. This is their mess. They should clean it up,” the president said of Norfolk Southern in an Instagram post.
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 on his side of the border would also monitor water.
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 governor of Pennsylvania said that the train operator gave officials inaccurate information andfused to explore or articulate alternative courses of action after the toxic wreck.
Alan Shaw said that his company has been part of the effort to clean up after the train wreck in East Palestine.
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.”
When the Toxic Accident Spikes: “We’re Not Just Talking about Safety Measures, but We Do… Have We Learned a Little More”
The toxic accident sparked calls for better rail safety and caused questions regarding the movement of toxic substances.
Vice President Biden accused the Trump administration of limiting the ability to strengthen rail safety measures, and called on congress to help implement rail safety measures.
Biden wrote in a post that this was more than a train wreck or a toxic waste spill, it was the years of opposition to safety measures coming home to roost.
A new health clinic was opened for East Palestine residents to deal with reports of symptoms such as headaches and nausea.
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 think people think they are 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 diminishing what people are experiencing at all. We just want them to get medical help while we do our investigations.
Conaway said at a news conference that residents need to feel safe in their homes. “That’s the number one thing. If you don’t feel safe in your home, then you’re never going to feel safe anywhere.
What Do Pulmonologists Tell Us About Burnings and Respiratory Instability in America? An Interview with Nicholas Proia
Who is he? Nicholas Proia is a professor of internal medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University and has expertise in pulmonology.
What are people saying? Proia said pulmonary doctors in the area were bracing for a rise in patients after the derailment and controlled burn, but that he hadn’t experienced it.
Respiratory illness has not been seen much in this country. What we have heard, mostly through the media, and a few patients will say, perhaps a rash or a foul smell. There has not been a connection between this and overt breathlessness or respiratory failure.
Remember that you are only going to find what you are looking for, that is the caveat. After a fire with a bunch of different chemicals, it’s not clear what else is out there.
All of the wells on the Pennsylvania side and the public water system have been authorized by me to be tested to make local residents aware of what’s coming out of the tap. We’ve seen no concerning readings yet, but we’re going to continue to test for months and months and months, if not years.
Investigations of the Evaporation of a Train Station on a Little Town, Fla., in connection with an Air Quality Facility at Sulphur Run
Officials issue a shelter-in-place order for the entire town of roughly 5,000 people. There was a risk of an explosion, and an area within a mile of the train crash was ordered to be evacuated.
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.
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. EPA and Norfolk Southern contractors collect surface water samples for analysis.
The EPA continues to work with Norfolk Southern and others to develop procedures for safely reoccupying the evacuated areas.
The EPA is investigating a complaint of odors from a 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 removing the product after being notified of the spill.
Despite officials deeming the air and water samples safe, some residents still have concerns. The officials said at the press conference that residents should get their homes cleaned and seek medical attention if necessary.
EPA is assisting with voluntary residential air screening appointments offered by Norfolk Southern, the agency says. A total of 46 homes have been screened for air quality. There are many requests for indoor air screening left.
The East Palestine Water Crisis: EPA, State, and Local Officials Rejoinded by Residents and Concerns with Community Safety and Water Quality
Residents in East Palestine are going to hold a meeting at the high school gymnasium to talk about the current state of their community, CNN reports.
Local leaders take questions from residents upset with the officials who expressed distrust, such as at the transport company’s decision to skip 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. Test results from the village’s municipal well sampling showed no water quality concerns, the state says.
The village of East Palestine has no issues with water quality, according to the EPA. The Columbiana County General Health District continues to sample private water wells. Fifty-two wells have been tested in Ohio, and three across the border in Pennsylvania, the agency says.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office is Investigating the Decay of the Pennsylvania Trajectory Train Derailment Using a Criminal Referendum from Environmental Protection
This community is in dire need of access to good health care. We’ve learned that there is a health clinic opening there this week, which means that residents who have been complaining about myriad health ailments in the aftermath of the disaster can have their symptoms monitored. The step will be taken more than two weeks after the accident.
• 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,
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office says it will investigate the train derailment following a criminal referral it received from the state department of environmental protection, according to a statement from 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. We can fine them up to $70,000 a day, the EPA chief said.
We can charge them 3 times of the cost of the federal government if we recover our total costs. That is what the law provides.”
The East Palestine Railroad Accident That Happened in April of February 3, 2011: Environmental Concerns and a Possible No-Go Theorem
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 expressed in the commentary are of her own. CNN has more opinion on it.
The people of East Palestine are still trying to figure out what happened after the train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed and caught fire in their town.
Many people in East Palestine say they still have concerns about the environmental impacts of the Feb. 3 disaster, which led officials to carry out an intentional release of vinyl chloride to prevent a more catastrophic explosion.
The accident that took place in East Palestine has been covered by the press, but some people who live in the area say they have been ignored for their complaints about headaches, rashes and other ailments.
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.
The weekend announcement came just days after the EPA announced it was assuming control of the cleanup efforts in East Palestine following the train derailment earlier this month, which resulted in the release of hazardous chemicals into the soil and air and prompted health and safety concerns from residents in the town and nearby.
More recent tests by ORSANCO indicate that butyl acrylate is no longer being detected, probably due to dilation and chemical breakdown, as it is well known for being volatile. But levels are likely below the limits of the water tests. The scientists did not find any vinyl chloride or total volatile chemicals in the samples.
East Palestine and the Ohio Railroad Derailment – The Case for a Safe Environment and a Public Health Care Act: The Role of the Environmental Protection Agency
The health impacts on the residents of East Palestine are something that is giving me pause, but could happen in time.
Eric Beckman, a co-founder of the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, explained last week that what occurred in East Palestine amounts to an “uncontrolled chemical reaction.”
So far, inexplicably, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has failed to issue a disaster declaration. A spokesman for the governor has said he might revisit the idea if the circumstances warrant it. Residents of East Palestine have to pay out of pocket for hotel lodgings because of the toxic chemicals that they continue to be exposed to.
The community of East Palestine needs our support right now — as do other affected towns downstream, and communities across our nation through which trains carrying highly volatile hazardous chemicals will continue to run until robust safety measures are put in place.
These communities were unprepared for this disaster. Every person living in this country, regardless of zip code, income or race, has the right to live safely in their communities without the risk of toxic chemicals polluting their air, water and soil.
That should be the case even — and perhaps especially — when their community is being used as a thoroughfare for hauling unchecked cargo across hundreds of miles of railway tracks.
The Environmental Protection Agency gave the green light to restart shipments of the contaminated waste to the two EPA certified sites in Ohio.
Until Friday, Norfolk Southern had been “solely responsible” for disposing of waste from the train derailment, but waste disposal plans “will be subject to federal EPA review and approval moving forward,” Shore said.
She noted that waste disposal plans will be subject to federal EPA review and approval in the future.
State and Local Laws in East Palestine, Michigan, Following the July 11, 2012, Trapper Collision at 6:45 a.m. ET
“We were not informed about this reported action before it was reported,” Michigan’s Debbie Dingell said in a statement. “Our priority is to always keep the people we represent safe.”
In Texas, the chief executive said that she was frustrated that she didn’t learn about the water shipments from the news media or the company hired to dispose of the water.
The office said that 102,000 gallons of liquid waste and 4,500 yards of solid waste were being stored in East Palestine, and five truckloads of contaminated soil were returned to the town.
“Some of the liquid wastes will be sent to a facility in Vickery, Ohio, where it will be disposed of in an underground injection well,” Shore said. Norfolk Southern will be shipping solid waste to the Heritage Incinerator.
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.
Every aspect of transporting and disposing of the hazardous waste material “from the moment trucks and rail cars are loaded until the waste is safely disposed of” will be closely regulated and overseen by federal, state, and local governments, Shore said at a Sunday news conference.
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 start shipments to two EPA-certified facilities in Ohio on Monday, according to the EPA regional administrator.
There are extensive requirements for everything from waste handling and packaging to shipping documents that provide information about the waste and where it is going.
The Harris County Sheriff’s Office contacted by CNN to complain about the firefighting water from the Eisenstein-Bogoliubov train wreck
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.
A White House official told CNN that President joe Biden ordered federal teams to door-to-door in East Palestine to check in on residents as an additional measure of reassurance.
There is a group from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that is collecting information about residents who have experienced symptoms since 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. As the Cleanup progresses, more Solid and Liquid Wastes are being generated.
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 requested the location of the remaining 581,500 gallons which were removed, but not hauled off-site. The agency has yet to give a response.
The waste from the train wreck will be taken to two approved locations in Ohio on Monday.
The hazardous waste material sent to Michigan and Texas is being processed now according to the regional administrator of the EPA.
The mayor of EastLiverpool, who is one of the towns that will incinerate the waste, said he is worried about the process but that the EPA has assured him that they are following the guidelines.
“We have a 2-year-old daughter and of course that’s a concern,” Mayor Gregory T. Bricker said. I believe that 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.”
The East Palestine Derailment Site is Up for a New Look: Monitoring Wells to Determine Where the Ground Water Is Contaminated
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.
The monitoring wells will aid in understanding the ground water flow in the area, according to DeWine’s office.
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.
The investigation so far shows the crew did not do anything wrong before the crash, though Homendy said last week that it was preventable.
EPA-certified facilities able to accept some of the waste had been identified, which meant shipments could restart Monday, Region 5 administrator Debra Shore, of the Environmental Protection Agency, said Sunday.
“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.
Scientists from two universities analyzed the EPA pollutant readings and found that nine of the dozens of chemicals it has been monitoring are higher than normal.
The scientists said that if the levels of some chemicals remain high there could be a problem with the residents health over time. The chemicals may be released into the atmosphere by high winds or temperature changes.
The EPA is holding that waste disposal to an “extremely rigorous standard,” US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told “CNN This Morning” on Tuesday.
Comments on the Environmental and Transport Safety Impact of Trapped Waste on Coalescing Floating Trains and Freight Containers in Ohio and Ohio
It is used to control plants, algae and rodents. It is a clear liquid at room temperature and is toxic. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that it can cause inflammation of the skin and respiratory tract.
Albert Presto is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon and works on the university’s energy innovation project.
The agency approved two sites in Ohio to handle the safe disposal of the waste.
Beginning Tuesday, contaminated waste will be received at Heritage Environmental Services in Roachdale, Indiana, and Ross Incineration Services in Grafton, Ohio.
The US Transportation Department favors increasing the cap on fines for safety violations for rail companies, and speeding the process for bringing in tank cars that are less likely to spill, according to Buttigieg.
He called on the CEOs of major freight rail companies to join a close call reporting system that protects whistleblowers who spot issues that could lead to accidents.