EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — As cleanup efforts continue more than two months after the Feb. 3 toxic Ohio train derailment in East Palestine, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued an update Wednesday to announce Norfolk Southern has started to use the south track with cars running at a slow speed.
“Norfolk Southern plans to resume normal operations on the rebuilt track before removing the rails on the northern track to begin cleanup and restoration work on the soil underneath the northern track,” according to a press release. “People can expect to see rail cars traveling on the south track that runs through the derailment site now that cleanup and restoration there is complete.”
Norfolk Southern is preparing to start soil excavation on the northern track, which is currently scheduled to begin Thursday.
“Air monitoring continues at 23 locations around the community and EPA has approved the use of a similar mobile lab operated by Norfolk Southern for additional air monitoring around the derailment site,” EPA officials noted.
Plans were also announced for a “Soil Sampling Information Session” on Thursday from 6-7 p.m. with EPA Response Coordinator Mark Durno hosted by the First United Presbyterian Church at 109 West Rebecca Street in East Palestine.
“Topics will include who was conducting soil sampling, how sampling was done and how to interpret results,” officials said. “There will be a presentation followed by a question-and-answer portion and a short demonstration."
Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published in a previous story on April 15, 2023.
Response by the numbers (as of April 17):
- 26,000 tons est. (+2,254 tons) of contaminated soil shipped
- 12,362,383 gallons (+477,162 gallons) of liquid waste shipped to date
- 630 indoor air screenings
- 347 private well samples conducted
- The Welcome Center has received 517 visitors