The U.S. EPA shares an update on its soil testing results in East Palestine since the derailment and controlled burn in February.

In phase one of soil testing across 148 locations, the EPA found semi volatile chemicals and dioxins at average levels in preliminary results.

The EPA is encouraged by its initial findings.

"The vast majority of the data we've collected are not showing any indications of increased compounds in the these areas," Mark Durano said, response coordinator with the U.S. EPA.

"Dioxins and semi volatile organics are present in the environment, they're present in all areas of the environment, nothing indicates that we have appreciable levels from the burn so far, but we're not done."

Dioxins can be formed as a by-product of a controlled burn. Right now the preliminary results show dioxins are at an average level of 4.5 parts per trillion. To compare, Durano says the standard average is 4.8 parts per trillion.

The EPA collected "split samples" at 20 percent of the locations to verify accuracy by an independent lab.
In its tests, the EPA compares the top inch of soil to soil that is lower by about 5 inches.

Durano says using parks, playgrounds and your yards or farmland is safe.

"We collected enough samples there that we can conclusively say that, that park is ready to be a playground, ready for people to swim, ready for people to use the tennis courts." Durano.

Durano stresses that the EPA still has more testing to do throughout the village, with a full assessment expected to wrap up by the end of May.

The EPA is still urging people to stay away from the derailment site, Sulphur Run, Leslie Run, as all of those areas are still contaminated.

At the derailment site, the clean up continues. Durano says this summer he expects long term monitoring will begin, which could continue for years.