East Palestine officials still unsure of when evacuation order will end for residents
East Palestine residents are still in the dark in regards on when they're able to return home after a train derailment released toxic chemicals, known as vinyl chloride into the air.
During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, East Palestine Fire Chief Keith Drabick told residents they will not be allowed to come back home until the Ohio Department of Health, United States EPA in conjunction with the fire department and Norfolk Southern have determined it is safe to do so.
James Justice of the U.S. EPA explained that air monitoring is still ongoing in the evacuation zone to make sure the air is safe for residents.
Once officials are confident that the air is safe and will remain safe, EPA officials will work with Ohio and PA Health Departments to collect data and develop plans for residents to return home.
"I want nothing more than to get my residents back home. I can't do that without that data. I have to know what those numbers are," Chief Drabick said.
Engineers with Norfolk Southern, who conducted the controlled explosion Monday afternoon say the fire pit is cleared and all five vinyl chloride cars are no longer burning.
Norfolk is currently in the process of wrecking these cars. Four of those cars have been cleared from the wreckage already, and Norfolk is currently working to get to the fifth and final car.
From there, the NTSB will inspect those cars and once that's done, Norfolk will cut those cars up and remove them from the site.
EPA officials say air monitoring is still ongoing, and as of right now nothing of significance has been detected outside of the evacuation area. Air monitoring will continue until it is believed to be safe for residents to come home.