East Palestine Update - 2/22/23
(EAST PALESTINE, Ohio)— The following is an update on the status of remediation work in East Palestine, Ohio.
Municipal Water Sampling
Last week, test results confirmed that East Palestine’s municipal water was free from contaminants associated with the derailment. Out of an abundance of caution, the Ohio EPA will independently test the municipal water once a week to ensure that this water source remains clean.
Private Well Sampling
The Columbiana County Health Department reports that it has sampled 74 private wells in the East Palestine area. Final testing results are pending. Those whose drinking water is sourced from a private well are encouraged to drink bottled water until testing results are returned. To schedule testing for your private well, call 330-849-3919.
The U.S. EPA reported that they have conducted indoor air testing at a total of 560 homes. No contaminants associated with the derailment were detected. Those living in East Palestine who have not yet requested free air sampling can call 330-849-3919. Outdoor air monitoring is ongoing with 20 air monitors in the area. These monitors have not detected contaminants associated with the derailment.
Surface Water Cleanup
The contaminated section of Sulphur Run near the derailment site remains dammed to the east and west to prevent contamination of other water bodies. Clean creek water at the eastern dam continues to be funneled away before entering the contaminated area and is then released back into Sulphur Run at the western dam.
Aeration, the process of injecting oxygen into the water to treat contamination, also remains underway on Sulphur Run. Aeration drives chemicals to the water's surface, which are then extracted from the water. More than 1.6 million gallons of contaminants and contaminated water associated with the derailment have been removed from the area.
The quality of Leslie Run continues to improve. The most recent test results available, which are from samples taken on February 15, show very low levels of two contaminants, butyl acrylate and ethyl hexyl acrylate. Tests from North Fork Little Beaver Creek show much lower levels of ethyl hexyl acrylate and no traces of butyl acrylate. No vinyl chloride has been detected in any of these waterways.
The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission is no longer detecting contaminates related to the derailment in the Ohio River.
To date, approximately 4,588 cubic yards of contaminated soil have been removed from the immediate area of the derailment.
Bureau of Workers' Compensation Claims
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has created a specialized team to specifically handle any workers’ compensation claims related to the derailment. These claims will be subject to the same standards, rules, and laws as any other claim within the jurisdiction of Ohio but will be administered by staff members with specialized knowledge related to toxic substance/harmful physical agent exposure. All claim-related inquiries may be directed to Sarah Shackelford at Sarah.S.email@example.com or Wilma Rhone-Perez Wilma.P.firstname.lastname@example.org.