Air Was Polluted After Ohio Train Derailment

( – The aftermath of the February 3, 2023 trail derailment in East Palestine, Ohio is proving to be an ongoing hazard to the area. Researchers from prominent Universities are studying the effects of the disaster and are finding hazardous chemicals lingering in the air even months after disaster.

The EPA has also been monitoring and measuring the air but found levels within their accepted range. The clean-up process is ongoing and contaminants within the soil are still likely to be unearthed upon deep clean-up.

The 50 car train derailed and five tankers released toxic material into the trench that caught fire and produced a massive black plume of smoke resulting in evacuations of the 4,700 people in East Palestine. The N.T.S.B. released their report on February 23 that a wheel bearing had excessive heat and the heat alarm failed to notify crew of the danger. The N.T.S.B. has confirmed that this disaster was entirely preventable.

More than 700 tons of contaminated soil and two million gallons of liquid were collected from the derailment site but there remains much more to clean up according to Ohio officials. Experts indicate that while primary clean-up will take years, the effects will be everlasting to both people and wildlife in the area.

Norfolk Southern has agreed to pay for full clean-up and under the Federal Superfund law they must complete the task or pay the EPA three times the cost to clean it up. Both Pennsylvania and Ohio have been traumatized by this disaster, in both immediate and long-term ways. Both governors previously indicated that if criminal charges are needed, they will be lodged, as this avoidable disaster has forever scarred East Palestine and the surrounding areas and ecosystems.

If there can possibly be an upside to this avoidable disaster it’s that other lines, other states and agencies are considering if the risk is worth it.

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