(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) has launched a dashboard for residents in Western Pennsylvania who are concerned about the recent train derailment in Ohio.
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. More than 38,000 fish have been found dead since the derailment.
The site has been visited by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, former President Donald Trump, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and environmental activist Erin Brockovich.
The new PEMA dashboard was launched in coordination with state agencies to keep to residents informed, a PEMA announcement said.
“As clean-up efforts continue, our agency wants to make sure residents had an easily accessible online resource containing accurate and relevant information to refer to if they have questions,” said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. “Our priority continues to be ensuring that every concerned resident has the information and resources they need to make important health and safety decisions for their families.”
The online dashboard is available online or by visiting the PEMA homepage and clicking on “Train Derailment Dashboard.”