AP

Contaminated waste shipments from Ohio derailment to resume

Feb 26, 2023, 12:53 AM | Updated: 2:55 pm

A view of the scene Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, as the cleanup continues at the site of of a Norfolk Sou...

A view of the scene Friday, Feb. 24, 2023, as the cleanup continues at the site of of a Norfolk Southern freight train derailment that happened on Feb. 3 in East Palestine, Ohio. (AP Photo/Matt Freed)

(AP Photo/Matt Freed)

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (AP) — Shipment of contaminated waste from the site of a fiery train derailment earlier this month in eastern Ohio near the Pennsylvania state line will resume Monday to two approved sites in Ohio, according to federal environmental authorities.

The announcement came a day after the Environmental Protection Agency ordered Norfolk Southern to “pause” shipments from the site of the Feb. 3 derailment in East Palestine to allow additional oversight measures about where waste was shipped. Some liquid and solid waste had already been taken to sites in Michigan and Texas.

EPA-certified facilities able to accept some of the waste had been identified, which meant shipments could restart Monday, Region 5 administrator Debra Shore, of the Environmental Protection Agency, said Sunday.

Some of the liquid waste will be sent to a facility in Vickery, Ohio, for disposal in an underground injection well, Shore said. Norfolk Southern will also begin shipping solid waste to an incinerator in East Liverpool, Ohio, and additional solid waste disposal locations were being sought, she said.

“All of this is great news for the people of East Palestine and the surrounding community, because it means cleanup can continue at a rapid pace,” she said.

The Ohio governor’s office said Saturday night that five of the 20 truckloads (approximately 280 tons) of hazardous solid waste had been returned to East Palestine after 15 truckloads were disposed of at a Michigan hazardous waste treatment and disposal facility. Shore said material shipped out to sites in other states, but later returned to East Palestine, would now be shipped to the two Ohio sites.

All of the rail cars except for the 11 cars held by the National Transportation Safety Board have been removed from the site, which will allow excavation of additional contaminated soil and installation of monitoring wells to check for groundwater contamination, said Anne Vogel, director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

No one was injured when 38 Norfolk Southern cars derailed in a fiery, mangled mess on the outskirts of town, but as fears grew about a potential explosion due to hazardous chemicals in five of the rail cars, officials evacuated the area. They later opted to release and burn toxic vinyl chloride from the tanker cars, sending flames and black smoke billowing into the sky again.

Federal and state officials have repeatedly said it’s safe for evacuated residents to return to the area and that air testing in the town and inside hundreds of homes hasn’t detected any concerning levels of contaminants. The state says the local municipal drinking water system is safe, and bottled water is available for those with private wells. Despite those assurances, many residents have expressed a sense of mistrust or have lingering questions about what they have been exposed to and how it will impact the future of their families and communities.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

16 hours ago

Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

2 days ago

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

3 days ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

4 days ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

4 days ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

5 days ago

Contaminated waste shipments from Ohio derailment to resume