The US Environmental Protection Agency is ordering Norfolk Southern to handle all necessary cleanup after its train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, more than two weeks ago. - CNN
The agency said it intends to force Norfolk Southern to pay and if it falls short, the company will be significantly fined, the agency said.
If the company fails to complete any actions as ordered by EPA, the agency will immediately step in, conduct the necessary work and then seek to compel Norfolk Southern to pay triple the cost, the agency said.
The EPA said it will exercise its strongest authority against the train's operator under CERCLA – the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act.
Latest on Citizen Compensation
Norfolk Southern told FOX News Friday that since the Feb. 3 accident — which caused toxic substances including vinyl chloride and butyl acrylate to spill onto the ground and sent a plume of smoke into the air — the company has paid out more than $2.2 million in direct financial assistance to more than 1,530 families and a number of businesses to cover costs related to the evacuation of the area.
That number includes reimbursements and cash advancements for lodging, travel, food, clothes, and other related items for residents whose lives have been upended due to the incident.
Local residents say the freight carrier is offering anyone with the East Palestine zip code of 44413 a $1,000 check, referring to the payments as an "inconvenience fee" which will not bar residents from bringing suit against the railway company in the future.
In addition to the direct payouts, Norfolk Southern says it has made progress in remediation efforts. The company says it has removed some 3,150 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the incident area near the Ohio-Pennsylvania border as of Friday, along with 942,000 gallons of contaminants and contaminated liquid from the immediate site.
Norfolk Southern also says that so far, it has completed nearly 510 in-home air tests at houses near the disaster site in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other governmental agencies. The company reports that the in-home monitoring has not detected substances related to the incident and does not indicate health risks.
Rail company Norfolk Southern ran scared of a town hall meeting in East Palestine tonight because officials 'were afraid for their safety' following the chemical train derailment disaster.
Representatives were due to attend to help explain what happened and how they could repair the devastation - and soothe fears of potential long term health problems including cancer.
But the town's mayor Trent Conaway revealed just before the packed meeting at the local high school: 'The people want answers. I want answers.
'Norfolk Southern didn't show up.'
Asked why, he said: 'Because they are scared for their safety.'
Ohio River Contamination Update
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – Louisville’s drinking water is safe to drink, and scientists continue increased monitoring to keep it high-quality.
The Ohio River water that is upriver from Louisville does not contain any quantifiable amounts of butyl acrylate or other chemicals that could be attributed to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. Our sampling confirms there is no water quality concern.
Based on our calculations, the Ohio River water that would have contained remnants of the train derailment spill will flow by Louisville today. Because we have no detections in our sampling, this means there are no quantifiable levels in the river water.
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