EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – According to an update Wednesday from the EPA, the cleanup of the waterways contaminated by the train derailment is nearly complete.

Surface water continues to improve as workers are forcing air into the water at Sulphur and Leslie runs to help break down chemicals. In addition, work continues to vacuum the water to remove contaminants.

The Ohio EPA’s website has an interactive map with sampling results that shows the effectiveness of the work.

An air monitoring bus (TAGA bus) continues to check the air quality near the derailment site and in the surrounding community. New maps of TAGA’s daily routes have been published, and the bus has been active since early March roaming nearly every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Response By the Numbers:

  • More than 14,000 tons est. of contaminated soil shipped
  • Over 10 million est. gallons of liquid wastewater shipped
  • 627 indoor air screenings
  • The Welcome Center has received 448 visitors

Restoration work at the sight involving backfill of the train track and soil removal continues. In addition, Taggert Street remains closed due to heavy truck traffic.

Crews will complete the majority of Phase 1 soil sampling by April 8, 2023.

The air quality in the community remains safe, according to EPA, and “the health of residents continues to be protected.”

Wastewater is generated after rain falls on contaminated soil and is collected from cleaning and washing trucks before they leave the site. That water is collected.

Preliminary soil tests show that dioxin levels are “similar to typical background levels,” and final results will be available in the coming weeks.

EPA and Norfolk Southern contractors continue to take soil samples at agricultural, commercial, recreational and residential properties in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. To date, 129 properties have been sampled.