The chemicals that spilled were:
- Vinyl Chloride, which is used in making PVC. This was the main chemical that spilled from the derailment.
- Butyl Acrylate is used to make various plastics, polymers, coatings, and resins.
- Ethylene Glycol is used in inks, paint, hydraulic brake fluids, and antifreeze.
- Ethylhexyl Acrylate, which is another one that is used in making plastics and polymers.
So far, they have not stated this spill’s long-term effects, making it hard to do anything to mitigate the possible damages.
They have an ongoing cleanup to remove the soil and water contamination. People are not trusting the government agency, the EPA, and they aren’t trusting a company like Norfolk Southern either, so the testing that is being done isn’t enough to satisfy them that they’re safe. Maybe there needs to be a third party testing these samples to assure people whether or not the water and soil will cause even more long-term issues.
According to EPA, the cleanup is nearly finished at the track area. Once they finish there, they move to other sites impacted by the derailment, such as the wreckage yards and the north and south ditches. They removed over 19 million gallons of liquid wastewater and have excavated more than 14,400 tons of soil awaiting removal. They have already removed 51,000 tons of soil so far.
According to the East Palestine Municipal Water System, there are no more indications of contamination in the drinking water. Sentinel and monitoring well sampling show no sign that chemicals associated with the derailment are moving toward the well fields.
They are erecting a temporary treatment plant for stormwater so it doesn’t come in contact with the derailment site. The water in contact with the derailment site was pumped into tanks and hauled away for disposal. This is only to treat water that is collected from the response site, not for water from other areas. Once it’s done, they will remove the equipment.
With private well testing, they submitted a total of 443 samples. Three hundred forty-two samples showed no detectable contaminates, and 99 detected trace levels below safe drinking-water standards. There was no evidence that any of the tested wells were contaminated with any of the chemicals from the spill. Only two wells have exceeded what they consider “safe” standards. One was from disinfection byproducts, and the other was for dinitrotoluene, unrelated to the derailment. Both wells were later re-sampled, and neither contained any further detections.
Here is a link that they use to post any updates on the progress of cleaning up the area Ohio Emergency Management Agency
In summation of the latest results, plant life near the site shows no signs of contamination from the spill. I got the numbers above, updated since the last installment on the emergency management site, through their Columbus local news agency. They are making progress daily.
Also, this is a link to another site discussing how Norfolk Southern opened a new Family Assistance Center in East Palestine. Family Assistance Center
Another bit of information is how the people gather together and create a list of demands. They are demanding relocation for those who want it that would be paid for by the government and Norfolk Southern. They want the ability to hire independent scientists to complete all testing on water, well, and soil. They also demand that Norfolk Southern pay for all medical testing and long-term care for those that are or will get sick from the fallout. The community wants the waste to be removed from the community rather than kept in it, and I’m not sure how they would get rid of it without it going through other communities that don’t need the exposure. Community Demands
East Palestine first responders have now received hazmat training at Bergen County Police and Fire Academy. Hazmat Training
The National Transportation and Safety Board will conduct a hearing on June 22nd and June 23rd regarding Norfolk Southern’s derailment and subsequent hazardous material release and fires. Hearing
Norfolk Southern will renovate and donate their East Palestine Train Depot for the community to use as they see fit. Train Depot
This is the current EPA link for progress made in East Palestine for those who wish to see what they have to say versus what Norfolk Southern or other East Palestine institutions are saying. EPA on East Palestine progress
I figured knowing what was going on, their progress, and plans for the near future might be a good start. I tried to collect all the data I could and put it here. I am waiting to hear back from someone who lives there so that I may add another comment or two soon.