The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ordered Norfolk Southern over the weekend to temporarily pause the removal and shipment of contaminated waste from the train derailment site in East Palestine, Ohio.
Announcing that the removal would resume very soon, EPA ordered to halt of waste shipments from the site after the Texas hazardous waste treatment and disposal facility said it would not accept any more liquid waste.
Previously, a Michigan hazardous waste treatment and disposal facility returned five trucks to East Palestine after the Ohio governor’s office sent 20 truckloads- or approximately 280 tons – carrying hazardous solid waste to dispose of it there.
Officials in Texas and Michigan, where the wastewater and soil so far have been transported to, have already complained they were not given an adequate heads-up about the disposal of the toxic materials.
Per Gov. Mike DeWine (R)’s office, while additional solid and liquid wastes are being generated as the cleanup progresses, about 102,000 gallons of liquid waste and 4,500 cubic yards of solid waste remain in storage on site in East Palestine.
To prevent further release of hazardous substances and impacts to communities, EPA’s Region 5 administrator Debra Shore stressed that the agency will ensure all waste is disposed safely and in a lawful manner at EPA-certified facilities.
In an effort to support impacted residents – which have been reporting chemical bronchitis and other health conditions they attribute to the Feb. 3 crash – the EPA and CDC went on the ground in East Palestine this weekend to conduct door-to-door visits.
Norfolk Southern Railroad was forced to release and burn the contents of several cars following the derailment of its freight train that was carrying hazardous materials – including the carcinogenic gas vinyl chloride- drawing ire and demands for accountability.
The Biden administration’s response to the toxic train derailment has also prompted multiple House committees to gear up for aggressive hearings.