February 20, 2023 - 10:39am -- shoemaker.306@o...

To view all related news releases: ema.ohio.gov/eastpalestine

East Palestine Update - 3/13/23

(EAST PALESTINE, Ohio)— The following are updates from the State of Ohio regarding remediation work at the site of the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

Impersonation Warning

Local authorities issued a warning today about individuals who are going door-to-door in East Palestine impersonating personnel from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Norfolk Southern. Currently, neither the CDC nor Norfolk Southern have personnel conducting any door-to-door operations. Some steps you can take to protect yourself and your community are:

  • Verify their identity: Ask for identification and verify it before engaging with anyone who comes to your home unannounced.
  • Don't share personal information: Never give out personal information such as your Social Security number or financial information.
  • Report suspicious activity: If you suspect someone is impersonating a CDC or Norfolk Southern employee, report it to your local authorities immediately.
  • Spread the word: Share the warning with your friends, family, and neighbors so they can be aware of the potential threat and take the necessary precautions.

The East Palestine Police Department can be reached by calling (330) 426-4341. 

Hazardous Waste Removal

According to the Ohio EPA, approximately 6.06 million gallons of liquid wastewater have been hauled out of East Palestine in total. There is currently a pile of approximately 26,800 tons of excavated soil waiting for removal from East Palestine, versus 3,080 tons that have been removed. 

Municipal Drinking Water Results

New data from municipal water samples taken on Feb. 28 show no chemicals associated with the derailment in either the raw or treated water, but contaminants unrelated to the derailment have been identified. All of the chemicals detected in the treated water are well below drinking water standards set by U.S. EPA. 

Ohio EPA East Palestine Municipal Drinking Water Results Homepage

Summary of Detections in East Palestine's Raw Well Water

Summary of Detections in Treated Drinking Water

Meat Inspections

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) today released a new fact sheet outlining the process to ensure that the meat supply is safe following the East Palestine train derailment. ODA’s Division of Meat Inspection continues to follow proper protocols when inspecting animals before and after slaughter at state-inspected facilities.

Ohio Department of Agriculture Division of Meat Inspection Best Practices

Since the derailment, more than 2,750 animals have been inspected at facilities in Trumbull, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, and Columbiana counties. Of the more than 2,750 inspections, no animals have been flagged for symptoms of chemical exposure. 

Soil Sampling

Independent contractors under the oversight of federal and state regulators have sampled the soil at 62 properties to date. Agricultural, residential, commercial, and recreational properties in both Ohio and Pennsylvania are being sampled in locations most likely to have been impacted by the derailment. Test results are pending. 

Air Quality

During the excavation of soil at the derailment site, U.S. EPA and independent contractors are conducting air monitoring within the work zone and throughout the surrounding community. This includes continued air monitoring and sampling at the site and throughout the community as well as the use of EPA’s Trace Atmospheric Gas Analyzer mobile laboratory which is conducting an air monitoring route near the soil excavation area. U.S. EPA does not anticipate exceedances of levels of health concern as a result of the soil removal work.

U.S. EPA has conducted 615 home re-entry screenings to date and continues 24/7 air monitoring at 23 stations throughout the community. No detections of vinyl chloride or hydrogen chloride have been identified. 

Private Well Testing

The first round of East Palestine area private water system sampling in the highest-priority areas is nearing completion. Any resident in this area who has not yet had a sample and would like one is asked to call 330-849-3919.

High-priority areas were determined using the best hydrological information available to allow sampling teams to target the areas of highest risk.

Residents in these areas who have received their first sample are being contacted to schedule a second sample if they are interested. Second-round sampling began today.

Results of 71 verified samples so far have shown no harmful levels of contaminants associated with the train derailment.

The results can be found on the Columbiana County Health Department site at https://www.columbiana-health.org/resources/.

Health Assessment Clinic

The Ohio Department of Health’s Health Assessment Clinic in East Palestine, operating in partnership with the Columbiana County Health District, is operating on a walk-in basis. Residents should arrive at least an hour before closing to ensure there is enough time to be served.

Clinic hours for this week are:

Monday-Tuesday: Noon to 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Noon to 8 p.m.

Thursday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The clinic is located at the First Church of Christ, 20 West Martin St. For information, call the Columbiana County Health District at 330-424-0272.

Coping with Trauma

According to the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, traumatic events, such as the train derailment, can cause intense stress, anxiety, and worry, especially in the first several weeks following the event.

Local certified professionals are onsite at the East Palestine Mobile Health Clinic and are ready to assist anyone who has questions or concerns.  In addition, any resident can call the Ohio CareLine at 1-800-720-9616 at any time of day for free, confidential, emotional support from a trained professional.

For more information about local behavioral health resources and providers, contact the Columbiana County Mental Health & Recovery Services Board at https://www.ccmhrsb.org/

For more information and previous updates, visit ema.ohio.gov/eastpalestine.