EPA Steps In Regarding Hazardous Materials Transport

On February 3, 2023, a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed near East Palestine Ohio with many cars falling off the tracks. Fires erupted from the cars and firefighters used "firefighting water" to put out the flames. Runoff water from fighting the massive fire - a mix of water, chemicals and small amounts of chemical vinyl chloride - was put in containers ready to be shipped to disposal plants. 500 thousand gallons of firefighter water were sent by train to the Texas Molecular, a private, permitted hazardous waste disposal company, near Deer Park. Other toxic materials were sent to a plant in Michigan.

The Environmental Protection Agency is now ordering all the remaining materials be sent to facilities in Ohio, stating that officials representing the area(s) where the disposals were being performed had not been notified of the hazardous materials traveling through their geographic areas.



Smoke rises from a derailed cargo train in East Palestine, Ohio, Photo: Getty Images

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