U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan hosted a webinar Friday morning regarding the East Palestine train derailment disaster.

Regan says as of Thursday, March 16, nearly half of the total excavation of contaminated soil from under the tracks has been completed and that the EPA is making "significant progress" in soil excavation and removing soil off site.

21 News reported on Thursday that soil removal on the south track has been completed and soil is now being tested. Regan says he expects work on the north track to be completed by early April.

"Approximately 6.8 million gallons of liquid waste and more than 5,400 tons of solid waste have been transported out of East Palestine to designated waste facilities with 1,600 tons having been moved in just the last 48 hours alone and roughly 35 trucks hauling waste out of the community this week," Regan said.

Regan says he's "optimistic" about the removal process and that he expects cleanup of the site to take approximately three months, but this could change based on weather and site conditions. 

Despite this optimism, Regan expressed concern that disposal facilities in some states are refusing to take the contaminated waste.

"Let me be clear. We ordered Norfolk Southern to clean up the mess it made and no one should be impeding, preventing or getting in the way of cleaning up this site and returning East Palestine to the beautiful community residents know it to be," Regan said.

That's why Regan has issued two notifications Friday morning; one to Norfolk Southern CEO, Alan Shaw and another to EPA's co-regulators across the country to remind both of their obligations.

"EPA has not imposed any conditions that have prevented shipments of waste to appropriate facilities. At the same time, some states may have sought to block acceptance of waste from the cleanup site. Some have even taken misinformed and misguided shots at EPA in the process, but it's the people of East Palestine who have been hurt, and EPA will not stand for it," Regan said.

"We've been abundantly clear with our state partners that waste from East Palestine has been subject to more testing and more analysis with more characterization than many other similar waste regularly accepted at facilities nationwide. States have no basis to prevent receipt of out of state waste from East Palestine while allowing similar waste to be disposed of in their states," he continued.

Regan is ordering waste disposal companies to honor their contracts with Norfolk Southern, ordering Norfolk Southern to pursue legal actions to force them to do so if they do not.