EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WKBN) – The Ohio Department of Agriculture is starting a new series of soil testing in and around the East Palestine area. It’s looking for signs of ground contamination from the train derailment more than two months ago.
Governor Mike DeWine and First Lady Fran DeWine visited a cattle farm a few miles outside East Palestine Monday.
State officials say they are going to be collecting soil and plant samples to determine whether or not volatile chemicals or compounds are still present.
Farmers say they need those results before they try to sell the crops grown on their land or the beef or dairy products from their cows.
“Has to be done, and we have to assure the public and us landowners. The testing is a necessary step,” said Scott Lindsay, with Lindsay’s Pine Hill Jersey Farm.
Inspectors with the Department of Agriculture will send their samples to Ohio State for analysis.
Results should be available in about three weeks.
From the soil to the water, crews cleaning up the creeks running through East Palestine are changing some of their tactics now as the work remediating contamination from the derailment continues.
Those passing by Leslie Run and Sulphur Run will notice the large aeration systems that had been spraying water into the air are gone. Ohio EPA Director Anne Vogel said there are still signs of pollution from butyl acrylate in the creek beds, but workers will now start actively stirring up the sediment to get to it.
“We’re not at the point of dredging, yet, but what we are trying to do is get some of the rocks up that are still holding pockets of the butyl. So, it’s a little more manual. It’s a little bit more intensive, you’ll see people in the creeks doing that,” Vogel said.
Vogel said it’s still too early to know how much longer the cleanup process will take.