Tekmar Talk Blog

One year after the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment

Posted by Amy Nutter on Mon, Mar 11, 2024 @ 02:57 PM

large-One Year After OH Train DerailmentIt has been about one year since the Feb. 3, 2024, toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, where 20 cars carrying hazardous substances, including vinyl chloride, spilled onto the surrounding area. Vinyl chloride is a toxic material used in plastics production. Since then, a complete remediation of the contaminated soil and water has taken place and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Anne Vogel says they now will be focusing on the restoration phase.

Hilary Flint, a resident of a town about four miles away from East Palestine, says she and her neighbors would like “comprehensive indoor air testing” and updates on “the long-term plan for monitoring our wells.” Over the past year, the Ohio EPA has been making sure that the contamination hasn’t and doesn’t reach the groundwater. They have established a network of monitoring wells to alert them if the contamination reaches the groundwater, leading to a contamination of the town’s drinking water.

Director Vogel is confident this will not be a long-term issue, with contamination from the derailment affecting human health and the environment in the future. Vogel and EPA Administrator Michael Regan reassured the public that most of the remediation phase was out of an abundance of caution and Norfolk Southern would be held accountable if any contaminant is found. Vogel also mentioned the restoration phase is set to be completed by June and she hopes the town’s stigma will go away when the process is complete.

A report issued by the advocacy group Toxic Free Future “indicated up to 36,000 pounds of vinyl chloride are being conveyed across a rail corridor from Texas to New Jersey at any given time.” As I mentioned in a <LINK to U.S. EPA prioritizing two VOCs used in Purge and Trap analysis for risk evaluation>previous blog</l>, the U.S. EPA is prioritizing two VOCs used in Purge and Trap analysis for risk evaluation, including vinyl chloride, which is being reviewed for its safety over a multi-year risk evaluation.

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Sources: https://wtov9.com/news/local/ohio-epa-director-reflects-on-east-palestines-recovery-a-year-post-toxic-train-derailment

‘This story isn’t over’: Anniversary of East Palestine train crash brings little closure | The Hill

Tags: VOC, vinyl chloride, P&T, Purge and Trap

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