(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The governors of Pennsylvania and Ohio addressed the public Tuesday regarding the recent train derailment in Eastern Ohio.
Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, Mike DeWine of Ohio was joined by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, U.S. EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore, and other state and local officials.
Watch the full news conference in the player above
On Feb. 3, a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, near the Pennsylvania state line. The derailment of the 50 cars caused a large fire and led to an evacuation order and the declaration of a state of emergency.
Some of the train cars had vinyl chloride, a hazardous chemical associated with increased risk of cancers. Other chemicals being transported in the train were ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate and isobutylene.
To prevent an explosion, emergency crews decided to take a controlled venting and burning approach. Now residents are concerned about lingering environmental impacts, and potential impacts to air and water.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now ordering Norfolk Southern to clean up all contamination associated with the train derailment.
Norfolk Southern has been ordered to do the following:
- Identify and clean up contaminated soil and water resources.
- Reimburse 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.
- Attend and participate in public meetings at EPA’s request and post information online.
- Pay for EPA’s costs for work performed under this order.
The EPA will also continue to test air quality in homes, over 550 homes have been tested so far.
Ohio Governor DeWine says the state will be testing water weekly, and will also test private wells.
A health clinic opened at noon Tuesday for nearby residents to visit, free of charge, for any medical concerns. Residents can call 235-564-7755 or 234-564-7888 for more information on the health clinic.
Pennsylvania Governor Shapiro says Pennsylvania continues to see no concerning air or water quality readings following the incident, and that the state will continue to monitor the air, water, and environment.