Watchdog Report: Independent experts point to gaps in water testing in East Palestine
Ahead of a U.S. Senate hearing on Thursday, independent experts are pointing to several gaps in EPA data when it comes to water testing around East Palestine
"What that doesn't let us see is how things are moving through the stream system, or between the stream and the sediment--and the sediment and the stream.", said Natalie Kruse-Daniels, professor and director of environmental studies at Ohio University.
Kruse-Daniels also questions if the remedial actions being taken are working, she would also like to see more consistency as the last soil testing results were posted on February 10th, and the last sediment tests were posted February 8th, just five days after the derailment.
Dr. Andrew Whelton at Purdue University says they aren't testing for enough chemicals.
"What we found are some chemicals in the creek water that officials and responders are not testing for.", Whelton said after he and colleagues at the university took samples back to the laboratory and analyzed them.
He also says they found chemicals in the water that responders have detected in the air, but are not testing for those same chemicals in the water like Acrolein.
"Acrolein is a small organic compound that has a chlorine atom on it, and was likely produced during combustion when the vinyl chloride was set on fire.", Whelton concluded, along with other chemicals.
Whelton says the university submitted its findings and calls for action to the U.S. Senate, prior to Thursday's Environment and Public Works hearing. At Kent State, Dr. Kuldeep Singh says random sampling and surface water testing isn't enough, and that sampling needs to be strategic and even the ground water needs tested.
"A sample of shallow soil after a rain may appear to be clean if the contamination has already moved downwards as an example. We need to collect the core, a sediment core with depth that we can say even with depth there is no contamination.", said Dr. Singh, who also wants to see more sampling locations.
21 News reached out to U.S. EPA officials for a response to these concerns but as of this hour, have not heard back.