EPA cleanup order comes following state-led emergency response to train derailment in USA.
- February 23, 2023
- Posted by: Sinead Sprigg
- Category: Companies, Environmental, Global, Water Issues, North America
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Norfolk Southern to conduct all cleanup actions associated with the Ohio train derailment in East Palestine which occurred on Friday, February 3rd.
EPA will continue to work with local, state, and federal partners to ensure the health and safety of the community.
The order comes as a state-led emergency response transitions to environmental cleanup phase. If the company fails to complete any actions as ordered by EPA, the Agency will immediately step in, conduct the necessary work, and then seek to compel Norfolk Southern to pay triple the cost.
EPA’s Regional Administrator, Debra Shore, said on February 14th that: “EPA Region 5 is also working closely with Ohio EPA to determine what impact the spill has had on surface and ground water. State and local agencies are conducting sampling throughout the Ohio River to ensure drinking water intakes aren’t affected, and EPA is continuing to assist the state with sampling efforts at water treatment intake points along the Ohio River.”
EPA will offer cleaning services to area businesses and families. Under the terms of the order, Norfolk Southern will reimburse EPA for the costs of these cleaning services.
EPA has assisted with indoor air monitoring of more than 550 homes under a voluntary screening program offered to residents. No detections of vinyl chloride or hydrogen chloride were identified above levels of concern. “The Norfolk Southern train derailment has upended the lives of East Palestine families, and EPA’s order will ensure the company is held accountable for jeopardizing the health and safety of this community,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan.
More details about how community members can request this service will be available this week.