ODNR: Over 38,000 fish killed after East Palestine Train derailment
Officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources met late Thursday morning to provide an update on the impact the East Palestine train derailment has had on local wildlife.
ODNR Director, Mary Mertz says the morning after the derailment, ODNR along with environmental consulting firm, EnivroScience Inc. surveyed the waterways and found an estimated total of 38,222 small fish, referred to as minnows potentially killed as a result of the derailment.
In addition another 5,550 other aquatic species were found to have been potentially killed as a result. Investigation concluded that species were killed over a five-mile span between Sulphur Run and Leslie Run.
"The survey of the four survey sites pulled up 2,938 aquatic species ... About 2,200 of those were minnows. Once we applied the calculation to determine a total estimated killed, the total we arrived at is a little over 43,000, so 43,785 aquatic species," Mertz explained.
Since the initial investigation, no additional signs of distress in aquatic life has been seen. None of the species killed in the disaster are endangered.
When 21 News asked ODNR if the the fish will ever be restocked, Assistant Chief, Pete Novotny told us that normally stream sizes this small would not normally stock any impacted species.
No evidence of chemical poisoning was found in non-aquatic animals so far, but if your pets show any symptoms of illness, you should contact your local vet.
Mertz says as far as she is aware, cleanup for the waterways is complete, but ODNR will continue monitoring to see if anything else needs done.