Governor Shapiro: No Long-Term Contamination After Train Derailment

One year after the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, the Shapiro administration says no long-term contamination of the soil and water in the area has been found.

On Friday, February 2, 2024, Governor Josh Shapiro released the results of a soil and water test commissioned by his administration. According to the tests, samples taken from 85 individual private potable water sources, 97 surface soil locations, 18 surface water locations, and 14 crop locations in Beaver and Lawrence counties had no evidence of contamination from the derailment. Results were posted publicly on the DEP’s website.

“Over the last year, my Administration has made clear that we are focused on delivering the help our communities need, protecting the health and safety of Pennsylvanians, and holding Norfolk Southern accountable,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “We organized independent water and soil sampling, and we put the results of that testing online so that our residents could see them for themselves; we already delivered more than $1.4 million for first responders to ensure they could afford new equipment after their old equipment was contaminated from the derailment; and we ensured families were made whole for their losses. My Administration will continue to work with our federal and local partners to support the people impacted by the derailment for as long as it is needed.”

In addition to the soil and water tests, the Shapiro administration says it continues to monitor the health of the local population and the environment. A comprehensive health risk assessment of the area was completed in 2022, and the results showed no significant health impacts to residents from the derailment. The assessment also found that the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) did not identify any long-term health effects on human health from the exposure to toxic substances released during the derailment.

The Shapiro administration says that with no evidence of long-term contamination found in the soil and water, the state will continue to work with Norfolk Southern to complete cleanup activities and support the recovery of the communities impacted by the derailment. The state remains committed to providing funding and technical assistance to help the affected communities rebuild and recover.

Story source: Gettysburg Connection News Team

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