Norfolk Southern opens up wastewater treatment facility in East Palestine
To date, more than 32 million gallons of hazardous liquid waste has been shipped offsite, treated and disposed at about 4 dollars a gallon. The label hazardous also comes with its own price tag...making it a hard sell for other communities looking to cash in by accepting the waste. Now that water will be treated near the derailment site off East Martin Street.
"Most of the water moving forward will be shipped off as nonhazardous waste, it still has to go to a disposal facility at the end but it's going there as nonhazardous as opposed to hazardous.", said U.S. EPA response coordinator Mark Durno.
This would drastically reduce costs and truck traffic while also increasing the amount of communities willing to take in the now non-toxic material. East Palestine could be one of those communities.
"I've made a proposal to our village council to look at the possibility of the village taking this water to our sanitary sewer system and then treating it here.", said East Palestine water superintendent Scott Wolfe, before releasing that treated water into the streams.
Wolfe also tells 21 News this situation presents financial benefits for the residents.
"With the monetary benefit comes upgrades to the plants, usually those come at a cost to residents, but if things work out the way the village would like them to work out, maybe water rate increases wouldn't be in the future with certain projects.", Wolfe added.
Ultimately it's Norfolk Southern that makes the decision on where the waste goes and the EPA would have to approve the community first.
The EPA says the temporary set up will run well into the year 2024 and that they are shipping out about 200,000 gallons of the non hazardous waste a day.