Editor’s Note: This report has been updated to include detailed target areas identified by the U.S. EPA.
EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – A Sept. 7 work plan report for the cleanup involving the train derailment shows that more work and testing are in the works.
The report was submitted by engineering and consultation company Arcadis on behalf of Norfolk Southern Railway.
The scope of the cleanup is large and could grow.
The 544-page report lists the various procedures used, equipment and personnel as well as steps taken to keep workers safe during the process.
The report details the grid of soil sampling and points to areas that have yet to be tested and other areas that will be tested again following other excavation work.
Some of the areas included ditches, portions of the main line where firefighting took place, storage tank container areas, and other areas impacted by the derailment, including wetlands and underground features.
The soil grid testing was broken up into three major categories: Category 1 – Likely impacted by the derailment and removal action ins required; Category 2 – Areas that may have been impacted by the derailment and immediate response; Category 3 – Areas that may have been impacted by the derailment, but the degree of impact is uncertain and likely lower than other areas.
The Category 1 areas are obvious. The rail cars, nearby ditches, staging areas for waste, Bacon Avenue, Park Drive, the main line area and places where storage tanks were placed.
Category 2 areas would be places such as nearby wetlands and underground areas.
Category 3 areas would be other portions of Park Drive used an area while cleaning up Sulphur Run, wastewater areas and where standby tanks were placed
Other areas could be marked for sampling if it’s determined that intrusion from either the derailment or cleanup could have an impact.
This assessment is a “double-check” to ensure that contamination did not spread as a result of response activities, according to the U.S. EPA.
It’s important to note that, although areas at and near East Palestine Park will be assessed, thereU.S EPA
has been no evidence of spills in that area, other than known contamination in creek sediments.
A previous assessment of East Palestine Park conducted in May did not show any contamination
above background levels for combustion-related chemicals.
The primary locations of investigation will include:
- Both tracks and the centerline between tracks
- Locations impacted by the derailment, where there was direct contact between soil and
cars carrying hazardous materials during wrecking and scrapping operations and also includes ditches that may have conveyed spilled product or firefighting water
- Locations where waste containers and cleanup equipment were staged
- Locations in the derailment zone where there is no apparent impact, but need to be
checked because they are in between locations that are currently being cleaned up
- Any areas not currently identified if additional impacts are discovered.