Norfolk Southern Updates Environmental Monitoring and Community Assistance for East Palestine

Norfolk Southern Corporation provided, on February 16, an update on environmental monitoring and community assistance for the Village of East Palestine, Ohio. To date, Norfolk Southern has:

  • Completed nearly 500 in-home air tests in conjunction with the U.S. EPA and other governmental agencies. In-home air monitoring has not detected substances related to the incident and does not indicate health risks.
  • Removed 3,150 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the incident area.
  • Removed 942,000 gallons of contaminants and contaminated liquid from the immediate site.

Further, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that their test results from the village’s municipal well sampling show no water quality concerns. Additionally, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s office reaffirmed that municipal water is safe to consume. Norfolk Southern continues to partner with the Ohio and U.S. EPAs to conduct air and water testing. Norfolk Southern has also:

  • Implemented an extensive outdoor air monitoring program in the community. Thousands of data points have been collected, which continue to indicate no risk to health from incident-related substances. Air monitoring is also being conducted in the broader region outside of the Village of East Palestine.
  • Actively sampling the Village of East Palestine’s drinking water supply wells, drinking water system, and private wells in areas potentially impacted by the incident. Completed tests have confirmed that water is safe to drink.

Residents who want air and water testing should contact the Residential Re-Entry Request Hotline at (330) 849-3919. If residents have further questions or concerns, they may call the CTEH Taggart Road Hotline at (234) 542-6474 to speak with a toxicologist.

Today, Norfolk Southern’s President and CEO Alan H. Shaw released an open letter to the village’s residents where he stated, “…we are here and will stay here for as long as it takes to ensure your safety and to help East Palestine recover and thrive.” The letter follows continued direct engagement with the community, including:

  • Distributing over $1.7 million in direct financial assistance to more than 1,100 families and a number of businesses to cover costs related to the evacuation. Those include reimbursements and cash advancements for lodging, travel, food, clothes, and other related items.
  • Establishing a $1 million fund available immediately to the community.
  • Reimbursing the East Palestine Fire Department $220,000 to replace Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) air packs, which allow firefighters to breathe compressed air when responding to fires.
  • Providing more than 100 air purifiers for residents to use in their homes. Air purifiers are also being purchased for the East Palestine municipal building in coordination with the City Manager.

Those in need of assistance should visit the Norfolk Southern Family Assistance Center at Abundant Life Church located 46469 State Route 46, New Waterford, Ohio, or call 1-800-230-7049.

-via Press Release

This article was posted on: February 17, 2023