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  • Writer's pictureJoe Lyons

East Palestine Update - 3/4/23

(EAST PALESTINE, Ohio)— The following are updates from the State of Ohio regarding remediation work at the site of the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

Dam Modification for Water Overflow

The dam at the confluence of Sulphur Run and Leslie Run continues to work as expected. Although it may have appeared that the dam in this area was breached on Friday evening, the overflow of water was part of the mitigation plan to address the increase in water caused by heavy rains. The dam did not fail.

As surface water accumulated in the flood plain area at the confluence of Sulphur and Leslie Runs, the dams there were modified to allow for water overflow. According to the Ohio EPA, the contractor created a depression in the dam to relieve the overflow and lower the water level, and vacuum trucks were then used to pull up the released water.

This mitigation work allowed the contractor to control the runoff in the derailment area, and the Ohio EPA does not believe that any visible contaminated waste was released into the streams. In fact, the water from the dammed area that was allowed to overflow had been tested daily prior to the storm and had shown very low or non-detectable dissolved contaminant levels.

Out of an abundance of caution, the ponded rainwater that was released was sampled before it was collected for disposal. Test results are expected in two to three days. Ohio EPA will continue daily stream monitoring.

Track Soil Removal

The track panels were removed from the south line yesterday and the excavation of the track area began today. Crews began removing the ballast (stone) to expose the underlying clay. Due to wet conditions from overnight rain, the excavation of the clay will be delayed until conditions are favorable to securely remove and sample the material. The work is proceeding from the east side of the derailment west toward Pleasant Drive.

Municipal Water Open House

The East Palestine Municipal Water System held an open house today at the village’s water treatment plant. Plant employees explained where the village's wells are located, presented ground water and source protection maps, and answered questions about the water system. All sampling of East Palestine's municipal water wells to date have shown no contaminants associated with the derailment.

Photo from today's open house event.

Hazardous Waste Removal

According to the Ohio EPA, approximately 2.7 million gallons of liquid wastewater have been hauled out of East Palestine in total. (Note: Yesterday's reported estimate of 3.2 million gallons should have read 2.5 million.)

Approximately 230,000 gallons have been shipped to Vickery Environmental in Vickery, Ohio, to be disposed of through deep well injection.

Approximately 2.1 million gallons have been shipped to Texas Molecular in Deer Park, Texas, to be disposed of through deep well injection.

Approximately 320,000 gallons have been hauled to Detroit Industrial Well in Romulus, Michigan to be disposed of through deep well injection.

The Ohio EPA reports that approximately 1,970 tons of solid waste have also left the derailment site.

Approximately 290 tons have been hauled to Ross Incineration Services in Grafton, Ohio, to be incinerated.

Approximately 800 tons have been hauled to Heritage Thermal Services in East Liverpool, Ohio, to be incinerated.

Approximately 440 tons have been shipped to U.S. Ecology Wayne Disposal in Belleville, Michigan, to be placed in a landfill.

Approximately 440 tons have been hauled to Heritage Environmental Services in North Roachdale, Indiana to be placed in a landfill.

Negley Townhall

Ohio EPA took part in a town hall meeting in Negley, a community just south of East Palestine, on Saturday. The Columbiana County EMA brought representatives together from several agencies, including Norfolk Southern, to answer residents’ questions. The community asked about several issues including private wells, air quality, and long-term monitoring.

Health Assessment Clinic

Hours for the Ohio Department of Health’s Health Assessment Clinic in East Palestine this week are:

Monday-Tuesday: Noon to 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Noon to 8 p.m.

Thursday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Health Assessment Clinic is located at the First Church of Christ, 20 West Martin St. Walk-ins are welcome, or appointments can be made by calling 234-564-7755 or 234-564-7888.

Coping with Trauma

According to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, traumatic events, such as the train derailment, can cause intense stress, anxiety, and worry, especially in the first several weeks following the event.

Local certified professionals are onsite at the East Palestine Mobile Health Clinic and are ready to assist anyone who has questions or concerns. In addition, any resident can call the Ohio CareLine at 1-800-720-9616 at any time of day for free, confidential, emotional support from a trained professional.

For more information about local behavioral health resources and providers, contact the Columbiana County Mental Health & Recovery Services Board at

More Information and Previous Updates:

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