Business claims contaminated East Palestine soil is being dumped by its property

(WKBN) — First News has heard your concerns about where contaminated soil is being taken. A business on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border claims it’s being dumped right behind their property.

This is the scene behind State Line Tavern in East Palestine. It’s located just outside East Palestine Village limits.

The owners say trucks have been moving soil from the derailment here for over two weeks.
Much of it is covered up.

New fences are keeping people away from the tracks. The work behind the tavern has closed it for almost three weeks now.

Owner Terry Berresford says he has not been told when to reopen.

“Looks like it might be two more weeks. Well, that’s a lot of trucks in a parking lot. There’s not one kid in the road shut down downtown. Come on, this way — the road is shut down. Taggart street towards Pa., so you couldn’t get here anyways from Espousing,” Berresford said.

Berresford says soil and water tests have been taken near the tavern. He is still waiting for the results. He has not heard of when the dirt will be taken away.

First News reached out to Norfolk Southern and the Ohio EPA about the matter.

The EPA responded with the following statement:

The process to remove the contaminated soil from the site of the Norfolk Southern derailment began today. Under the direction of the Ohio EPA, Norfolk Southern brought in large dump trucks to move contaminated soil to U.S. Ecology Wayne Disposal, a licensed hazardous waste disposal facility in Michigan. This will be a continuous effort to properly manage and safely dispose of the waste. So far, 4,832 cubic yards of soil have been excavated from the ground and more may be removed as cleanup proceeds. When the process begins to dig up the tracks and remove the soil underneath, that soil will be hauled away immediately and taken to a proper disposal facility.

A total of 1,715,433 gallons of contaminated liquid has also been removed from the immediate site of the derailment. Of this, 1,133,933 gallons have been hauled off-site, with most going to Texas Molecular, a hazardous waste disposal facility in Texas. A smaller amount of waste has been directed to Vickery Environmental in Vickery, Ohio.