More than 7 tons of contaminated soil, 1M gallons of water evacuated from Ohio train derailment site

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Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Contaminated soil, water evacuated from Ohio train derailment site
What train company crashed in Ohio? Contaminated water and soil was evacuated from the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment, Norfolk Southern said.

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio -- Fifteen thousand pounds of contaminated soil -- that's seven and a half tons -- and more than 1 million gallons of contaminated water have been excavated from the derailment site in East Palestine so far, Norfolk Southern said in a Monday evening bulletin.

The company said that material "will be transported to landfills and disposal facilities that are designed to accept it safely in accordance with state and federal regulations," ABC News reported.

Meanwhile, a series of pumps are rerouting Sulpher Run around the derailment site, and the affected portions of the stream have been dammed to protect the downstream water, they said.

SEE ALSO | Buttigieg warns Norfolk Southern to support Ohio community after fiery derailment

"Environmental teams" are treating the impacted portions with booms, aeration, and carbon filtration units, and working with experts on soil and groundwater collection, to gameplan any remaining contamination that remains in the banks and sediment.

Norfolk Southern said the "majority" of the hazardous rail cars have been decontaminated, and those cars are being held onsite so that the NTSB can proceed with its investigation, after which the cars will be scrapped and moved off-site for disposal.

Monday night, the company also boasted that their financial assistance to the East Palestine community has "surpassed serving more than 2,200 families."

"Since establishing the FAC Feb. 4, the company has made more than $3.4 million in direct payments to citizens impacted by the incident," the company said.

Norfolk Southern also announced Monday night that they are designating one of their local railroaders who lives in East Palestine a "dedicated community liaison" for the ongoing recovery efforts.

This "liaison" gig is a one-year assignment, the company says -- with a $1 million budget.

The liaison will report directly to Norfolk Southern's CEO, Alan Shaw -- who was in the village over the weekend and had previously said he "went to the home of one of our Norfolk Southern railroaders who lives in East Palestine, where I talked with a group of his friends and neighbors" -- wherein they expressed their concerns about how the company "do the right thing for their community, and I am determined to earn their trust," Shaw said Saturday.

"I want residents of East Palestine to know that Norfolk Southern will be in their community to help for as long as needed. Our new community liaison is a Norfolk Southern employee and resident of East Palestine. He will be an advocate for the community with a direct line to me and our senior leadership team," Shaw said in a statement Monday night.

The company repeatedly touted their financial commitment so far to the village, now at more than $5.6 million, they said, "with more to come":

  • $3.4 million in direct financial assistance to families
  • $1 million community assistance fund
  • $1 million budget for the new community liaison
  • $220,000 reimbursement to fund new equipment for first responders