Plans in place to prevent chemicals from East Palestine derailment to wash into waterways during rain
Ohio Governor, Mike DeWine has provided an update on efforts to prevent further spread of toxic chemicals from the recent train derailment in East Palestine.
According to a news release, emergency response teams have put plans in place to prevent contaminants not yet removed from the derailment site from washing into local waterways during rainfall.
Sulphur Run has been damaged both east and west of the site leaving an empty creek bed between the two dams in the area of the crash.
Crews are currently pumping clean creek water from the point of the eastern dam to funnel it away from the dry creek bed area and releasing it back into Sulphur Run at the western dam.
This would allow for clean water to bypass the area of the derailment and prevents clean creek water from picking up contaminants and carrying them into other waterways.
This process will also control any contaminated rainwater runoff which will run into the dry creek bed where it will all be removed and remediated.
In addition, the Governor's news release provided information on some other questions residents may have.
Firstly, residents may have noticed visible emissions coming from the derailment site on Wednesday. This is because the railroad was using steam to heat a damaged rail car containing paraffin wax. This melted wax was transported to another rail car and wasn't exposed to the air.
In terms of where the chemical plume from the controlled release is now, it is currently located near Gallipolis, Ohio and will be near Huntington, West Virginia by Friday.
Test results show the chemical is currently present at levels below three parts per billion, which is below the 560 parts per billion that the CDC considers hazardous. No vinyl chloride has been detected in the Ohio River at this time.
In terms of non-aquatic animals allegedly dying from exposure to these chemicals, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is analyzing tissue samples from a deceased six-week-old beef cattle that died on February 11 and are working to determine a cause of death.
In terms of contaminated soil removed from the derailment site, 3,150 cubic yards of contaminated soil have been removed from the area of the derailment.
This soil has been moved into containers and stockpiled for proper disposal. Once the impacted soil is removed, the remaining soil is covered with mulch to absorb any additional seepage and to absorb the chemicals.
The mulch is regularly replaced to ensure continued absorption. The chemical-laden mulch is then stockpiled for proper disposal. The process to remove contaminated soil and control seepage will continue.
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