East Palestine Hazardous Waste Removal Update

Environmental And Health Concerns Grow In East Palestine, Ohio After Derailment Of Train Cars Containing Hazardous Material

EAST PALESTINE, OH - FEBRUARY 23: U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg (2L) visits with Department of Transportation Investigators at the site of the derailment on February 23 2023 in East Palestine, Ohio. Below where he stands is a pile of ash. On February 3rd, a Norfolk Southern Railways train carrying toxic chemicals derailed causing an environmental disaster. Thousands of residents were ordered to evacuate after the area was placed under a state of emergency and temporary evacuation orders (Photo by Brooke LaValley-Pool/Getty Images)Photo: (Photo by Brooke LaValley-Pool/Getty Images)

(EAST PALESTINE, Ohio)— The following are updates from the State of Ohio regarding remediation work at the site of the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

Surface Water Dashboard

The Ohio EPA on Wednesday launched a new public dashboard to report surface water testing results from samples collected in area creeks and rivers.

The dashboard highlights the 20 surface water sampling locations along Sulphur Run, Leslie Run, Little Beaver Creek, North Fork Little Beaver Creek, and the Ohio River. Test results include readings for vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, benzene, and 2-butoxyethanol.

According to the Ohio EPA, surface water testing results generally vary between minimum chemical detections and declining contaminant levels, but residents should continue to avoid contact with the contaminated water in the derailment area near Sulphur Run.

Surface water from the aforementioned bodies of water is not the source of drinking water for municipal or private wells in the East Palestine area. Human consumption of any untreated surface water from creeks and rivers is strongly discouraged. 

Health Assessment Survey Update

Headache, anxiety, coughing, fatigue/tiredness and irritation, pain, and burning of the skin continue to be the most common symptoms reported by residents in the East Palestine area who have completed an After Chemical Exposure (ACE) survey.

Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA released the initial results of these surveys last week when 168 had been completed. As of the end of day March 6, a total of 320 surveys had been completed, and the top five symptoms had not changed.

Residents complete the surveys either at the East Palestine Health Assessment Clinic operated by the Ohio Department of Health and the Columbiana County Health District or through door-to-door visits conducted by representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The median age of respondents is 58 and most participants are over the age of 18 (95%).

Health Department officials use the information provided to better understand how the derailment incident may be impacting residents and determine appropriate public health response. 

Major Disaster Declaration Time Extension

Last week, Governor DeWine requested that FEMA issue a 120-day time extension for Ohio to request a major disaster declaration for damages occurring as a result of the East Palestine train derailment. FEMA has now approved the request. The extension will run until July 3, 2023, and will allow more time for the State of Ohio to properly assess the impacts of the incident. 

Hazardous Waste Removal

According to the Ohio EPA, approximately 3.96 million gallons of liquid wastewater have been hauled out of East Palestine in total.

  • Approximately 282,000 gallons have been shipped to Vickery Environmental in Vickery, Ohio, to be disposed of through deep well injection.
  • Approximately 3.36 million gallons have been shipped to Texas Molecular in Deer Park, Texas, to be disposed of through deep well injection. 
  • Approximately 320,000 gallons have been hauled to Detroit Industrial Well in Romulus, Michigan to be disposed of through deep well injection.

The Ohio EPA reports that approximately 2,860 tons of solid waste have also left the derailment site.

  • Approximately 400 tons have been hauled to Ross Incineration Services in Grafton, Ohio, to be incinerated.
  • Approximately 1,270 tons have been hauled to Heritage Thermal Services in East Liverpool, Ohio, to be incinerated.
  • Approximately 440 tons have been shipped to U.S. Ecology Wayne Disposal in Belleville, Michigan, to be placed in a landfill.
  • Approximately 750 tons have been hauled to Heritage Environmental Services in North Roachdale, Indiana, to be placed in a landfill.

Hear news updates at the top and bottom of the hour on Newsradio WTAM 1100: HERE

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