Norfolk Southern, the operator of the railroad line and train that crashed in East Palestine, Ohio and contaminated the soil and water with vinyl chloride and other dangerous chemicals, just made major news by announcing the massive amount of “contaminated” soil and water it has so far removed from the scene of the accident. Specifically, a press statement released by the company said:
“The company said an estimated 4,500 cubic yards of contaminated soil have been excavated and 1.5 million gallons of contaminated water have already been collected from the derailment site. The material will be transported to landfills and disposal facilities that are designed to accept it safely in accordance with state and federal regulations.
“Additionally, a series of pumps have been placed upstream to reroute Sulphur Run around the derailment site. The affected portion of Sulphur Run has been dammed to protect water downstream. Environmental teams are treating the impacted portions of Sulphur Run with booms, aeration, and carbon filtration units. Those teams are also working with stream experts to collect soil and groundwater samples to develop a comprehensive plan to address any contamination that remains in the stream banks and sediment.
“The majority of the hazardous rail cars have been decontaminated and are being held on-site to allow the National Transportation Safety Board to continue its investigation. Once that is completed, the cars will be scrapped and moved off-site for disposal.”
Despite that removal operation, State. Sen. Michael Rulli begged those nearby to avoid drinking or bathing in the water, saying “Anyone within ten miles, I am begging you not to drink the water. I am begging you not to bathe in the water. It is not safe.”
Continuing, he added “Now that we’ve had this disaster, and fortunately for us, no one got killed on the initial explosion, but we got to worry about cancer in the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years.”
Rulli then said “So what I’m suggesting is that everyone goes as far away as you can and get a hotel room. We got people that are fighting with Norfolk Southern. Norfolk says they’re going to pay for it. We got to hold their feet to the fire.”
Rulli also slammed FEMA for not getting involved, saying “In all fairness to the governor, he sent some really nice crews down there that were working on it, but the feds were nowhere to be found. We’re day 14 and [Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)] just comes yesterday, and then the FEMA guy came the day before and he’s telling everyone to drink the water. I mean, give me a break. These are my people. These are the people I go to church with.”
Chuck Callesto tweeted about the matter, saying: BREAKING REPORT: Over 1 Million Gallons of CONTAMINATED WATER Has Been Excavated From Ohio Train Derailment Site – State Sen. Michael Rulli warns ‘NOT TO DRINK THE WATER or bathe in it’.. MEDIA SILENT…
BREAKING REPORT: Over 1 Million Gallons of CONTAMINATED WATER Has Been Excavated From Ohio Train Derailment Site – State Sen. Michael Rulli warns 'NOT TO DRINK THE WATER or bathe in it'..
— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) February 21, 2023
Norfolk Southern also announced that it is providing financial assistance to the residents of East Palestine and has designated a community representative for the town, saying:
The company’s FAC surpassed serving more than 2,200 families over the weekend. Since establishing the FAC Feb. 4, the company has made more than $3.4 million in direct payments to citizens impacted by the incident.
Last week, the company announced that it has expanded eligibility to all East Palestine residents in the 44413 ZIP code at the request of Mayor Trent Conaway. The FAC will also review individual requests for those outside the 44413 ZIP code. For example, inconvenience payments have been made to Beaver County, Pennsylvania residents who were evacuated.
[…]Today, the company announced that a Norfolk Southern railroader who lives in East Palestine has accepted a one-year assignment as a dedicated community liaison. The position will report to CEO Alan Shaw’s chief of staff and will work directly with Shaw to ensure the community’s concerns are heard. The position will oversee a budget of $1 million for community needs and improvements.
“I want residents of East Palestine to know that Norfolk Southern will be in their community to help for as long as needed. Our new community liaison is a Norfolk Southern employee and resident of East Palestine. He will be an advocate for the community with a direct line to me and our senior leadership team,” said Shaw.
This brings the company’s financial commitment to East Palestine to more than $5.6 million to date, with more to come. That includes:
- $3.4 million in direct financial assistance to families
- $1 million community assistance fund
- $1 million budget for the new community liaison
- $220,000 reimbursement to fund new equipment for first responders
By: Will Tanner. Follow me on Twitter @Will_Tanner_1
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