EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – Concerns continue to mount about the soil removal process in East Palestine after the train derailment last month — not just with state and federal lawmakers, but also with village residents.
One homeowner says a giant pile of soil was placed near her backyard last week and is still there. She believes it is contaminated.
“They said they were going to move the soil and dig everything up and then I came here and there it was,” said homeowner Amy Dettmer.
Dettmer thought it was going to stay there, at most, three days. Now, she’s worried the elements will affect other areas if it is contaminated.
“If it’s contaminated soil, it’s getting into everybody’s houses. When the wind blows, when it snows, when it rains, it’s getting into the soil,” Dettmer said.
She believes it’s going to be a long-term problem.
“We’re not going to be able to grow things. We’re not going to have flowers. Everything is going to be contaminated in the soil. Nothing is going to be able to grow in East Palestine,” she said.
Dettmer is pleased that this issue is being addressed by lawmakers. Last week, Governor Mike DeWine shared his concerns about the removal process, along with Senator JD Vance earlier today.
“I feel better that they are addressing it because if I just address it, I’m not going to be able to get as far. But I would encourage a lot of people to start voicing their opinions and voicing their concerns,” Dettmer said.
Dettmer told us last month that she wants to sell her home. She lives right by the tracks where the derailment happened. Now, she worries that if the soil pile continues to sit there, it will make selling the house harder.
“Who is going to want to buy a contaminated home that had a heaping pile of soil in their backyard for over a week now? And it’s still here. It’s not even being moved, yet,” Dettmer said.