Six months later: East Palestine community to discuss continuing impact of derailment
Six months to the day that a fiery train went off the tracks in East Palestine, members of the community are gathering to talk about what the incident has done to their lives and businesses.
Congressman Bill Johnson, whose district includes East Palestine, is hosting a roundtable Thursday morning to talk about the response from Norfolk Southern Railroad and government agencies since the night of the February 3rd derailment, chemical spill, and fire in that community. According to a news release from Johnson’s office, the congressman will relay messages from participants to Norfolk Southern, the U.S. EPA, or Ohio EPA.
The event is being coordinated by Councilwoman Linda May who is scheduled to attend the roundtable as well as East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway and Columbiana County Commissioner Tim Weigle.
Johnson’s office tells 21 News that others expected to attend are small business owners including a local auto detailer, a teacher, a school board member, a representative of a group that helps those with developmental disabilities, and a drinking water consultant that serves rural communities.
The roundtable is scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m., on Thursday, August 3, at the East Palestine Community Center; 31 Park Drive, East Palestine.
Cleanup efforts continue in the area. According to the latest update from the U.S. EPA, contaminated soil, debris, and contact water continue to be removed for off-site treatment or disposal.
An estimated 85,811 tons of solid waste have been shipped from the derailment site, and 27,451,464 gallons of liquid waste have been removed.
Water samples have been collected from 783 private wells.
The air is being monitored each day at fifteen locations in the community. In addition, air monitoring around the perimeter of the derailment area is being conducted by two mobile units.
The EPA says data indicates that air quality has remained below screening levels.