EPA Wants To Move Chemical Waste From Ohio Train Crash To Landfill In Another State

Indiana Republican Governor Eric Holcomb denounced a plan from the Environmental Protection Agency to move chemical waste from the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, to a landfill in the western portion of the Hoosier State.

Local and state authorities previously evacuated all residents within one mile of the February 3 derailment and started a controlled burn of industrial chemicals on the vehicle to decrease the risk of an explosion, which could have sent shrapnel throughout the small Ohio town. Vinyl chloride, a carcinogen used to manufacture PVC, was emitted from five train cars in the form of massive plumes of black smoke visible throughout eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania.

Officials from the EPA revealed on Monday that contaminated waste from the disaster would be transported to an incinerator in Grafton, Ohio, and a landfill in Roachdale, Indiana, according to a report from Fox 59. The former city is 103 miles from East Palestine, while the latter is 402 miles from the small rust belt community.

Holcomb revealed in a Tuesday press release that he disagrees with the decision to transport chemical waste from the disaster site on the eastern border of Ohio to the far western portion of Indiana, effectively crossing the breadth of both midwestern states.

“There has been a lack of communication with me and other Indiana officials about this decision,” Holcomb said. “After learning third-hand that materials may be transported to our state yesterday, I directed my environmental director to reach out to the agency. The materials should go to the nearest facilities, not moved from the far eastern side of Ohio to the far western side of Indiana.”

Holcomb added that he requested to speak with EPA Administrator Michael Regan about the decision and “what precautions will be taken in the transport and disposition of the materials.”

Norfolk Southern, the company at the center of the derailment, warned the EPA that a number of other volatile chemicals beyond vinyl chloride, including ethylene glycol monobutyl ether and ethylhexyl acrylate, were present at the site. The EPA released the full list of substances only after residents were told they could safely return to their homes.

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Dumping 1M gallons of radioactive water in Hudson is ‘best option,’ per Indian Point nuclear plant owner

The owner of the defunct Indian Point nuclear facility says it’s planning to dump about 1 million gallons of radioactive water into the Hudson River. The move, which the company describes as the “best option” for the waste, could happen as early as August.

A Feb. 2 meeting of the Indian Point Decommissioning Oversight Board heated up when the plant’s owner Holtec International disclosed the plan as part of its lengthy closure process. The contaminated water could just naturally — and safely — decay in storage onsite.

Environmental groups and residents are also concerned this could harm their community, as the Hudson River is already a federally designated toxic Superfund site. Rich Burroni, Holtec’s site vice president for Indian Point, agreed to give the community at least a month’s notice before any radioactive discharge into the Hudson River begins.

But Holtec is well within its legal rights and permits to discharge waste at the same rate as it did when operating, and it does not need federal, state or local approval to dump the contaminated water. This practice is standard for nuclear plants.

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5 unanswered questions on East Palestine derailment after preliminary NTSB report

The National Transportation Security Board (NTSB) issued its first preliminary report Thursday on the Feb. 3 derailment of a train carrying hazardous chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio.

While the report seemingly faults an overheated bearing for the derailment, the NTSB investigation is ongoing, and a number of questions remain.

Here are five remaining questions about the train derailment…

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Another, Possibly Deadlier, Ohio Eco-Disaster Still Festers Near Train Derailment Site

Some 200 miles from the toxic train derailment site in East Palestine, Ohio, another environmental disaster still festers due to years of neglect by the U.S. government.

This other environmental disaster in Piketon, Ohio, the home of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant, also known as PORTS.

In the Cold War era, the U.S. government used PORTS to enrich uranium for nuclear bombs. Then, in the 1990s, the site was likely the recipient of polluted uranium from Russia in the 1990s due to a Bill Clinton-era program called “Swords to Ploughshares,” which entailed the United States converting Soviet Union nuclear warheads to uranium that could be used to power U.S. nuclear reactors.

Now, Piketon has a cancer problem—more than 500 cases per 100,000, or about 10% above state average, according to the Ohio Cancer Atlas.

Former PORTS worker Jeff Walburn told Headline USA that the disaster in Piketon could be worse than even what the people in East Palestine are dealing with.

“Here’s the difference: You saw wreckage of a train, you saw an explosion, you saw fire, and you see dead fish. Nuclear material is silent, invisible, and it’s a deadly killer. And the chemicals being transported outside of the plant to the community are just as deadly, but you’re not seeing the explosion or fire,” he said.

As someone who’s tried to hold the companies and federal agencies responsible for poisoning his community accountable for decades, Walburn also has advice for the residents of East Palestine.

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Which Countries Pollute The Most Ocean Plastic Waste?

Millions of metric tons of plastic are produced worldwide every year. While half of this plastic waste is recycled, incinerated, or discarded into landfills, a significant portion of what remains eventually ends up in our oceans.

In fact, many pieces of ocean plastic waste have come together to create a vortex of plastic waste thrice the size of France in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.

Where does all of this plastic come from? In this graphic, Visual Capitalist’s Freny Fernandes and Louis Lugas Wicaksono used data from a research paper by Lourens J.J. Meijer and team to highlight the top 10 countries emitting plastic pollutants in the waters surrounding them.

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The Biden Administration Is Helping Norfolk Southern Block Workers’ Lawsuits

Alooming Supreme Court decision could end up making it easier for the railroad giant whose train derailed in Ohio this month to block lawsuits, including from victims of the disaster.

In the case against Norfolk Southern, the Biden administration is siding with the railroad in its conflict with a cancer-stricken former railworker. A high court ruling for Norfolk Southern could create a national precedent limiting where workers and consumers can bring cases against corporations.

The lawsuit in question, filed initially in a Pennsylvania county court in 2017, deals with a state law that permits plaintiffs to file suit against any corporation registered to do business there, even if the actions that gave rise to the case occurred elsewhere.

In its fight against the lawsuit, Norfolk Southern is asking the Supreme Court to uphold the lower court ruling, overturn Pennsylvania’s law, and restrict where corporations can be sued, upending centuries of precedent.

Oral arguments in the case were held last fall, and a ruling is expected from the Supreme Court in the coming months.

If the court rules in favor of Norfolk Southern, it could overturn plaintiff-friendly laws on the books in states including Pennsylvania, New York, and Georgia that give workers and consumers more leeway to choose where they take corporations to court — an advantage national corporations already enjoy, as they often require customers and employees to agree to file litigation in specific locales whose laws make it harder to hold companies accountable.

Limiting lawsuits is exactly what the Association of American Railroads (AAR), the industry’s primary lobbying group, wants. The organization filed a brief on the side of Norfolk Southern in the case, arguing that a ruling in favor of the plaintiff would open up railroads to more litigation.

It is also apparently what the Biden administration wants — the Justice Department filed its own brief in favor of Norfolk Southern.

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‘Trust the Government’ EPA Chief Tells Worried East Palestine Residents

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) went to the scene of the freight train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, on Thursday and told the community he was from the government and was there to help in the wake of the disaster.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan saw a creek that still reeks of carcinogenic chemicals following the toxic train derailment in the town earlier this month. He sought to reassure skeptical locals the water is fit for drinking and the air safe to breathe in surrounds where just under 5,000 people make their homes near the Pennsylvania state line.

“I’m asking they trust the government. I know that’s hard. We know there’s a lack of trust,” Regan said, according to AP “We’re testing for everything that was on that train.”

Regan’s visit came in the wake of Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) who discovered what appeared to be residual contamination in the water of a creek in the same area, as Breitbart News reported.

“So I’m here at Leslie Run, and there’s dead worms and dead fish all throughout this water,” Vance said in a video posted to his Twitter account on Thursday. “Something I just discovered is that if you scrape the creek bed, it’s like chemical is coming out of the ground.”

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Biden admin turns down Ohio’s request for disaster assistance after toxic derailment

The Biden administration turned down a request for federal disaster assistance from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine in the aftermath of the train derailment in the state earlier this month that led to a large release of toxic chemicals.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) told Ohio’s state government that it was not eligible for disaster assistance to help the community recover from the toxic spill, Dan Tierney, a spokesperson for DeWine, told Fox News Digital on Thursday. Tierney explained that FEMA believed the incident didn’t qualify as a traditional disaster, such as a tornado or hurricane, for which it usually provides assistance.

“The DeWine Administration has been in daily contact with FEMA to discuss the need for federal support, however FEMA continues to tell Governor DeWine that Ohio is not eligible for assistance at this time,” DeWine’s office said in a statement earlier in the day. “Governor DeWine will continue working with FEMA to determine what assistance can be provided.”

FEMA said that its team is in constant communication with DeWine’s office, but didn’t comment on the request for federal relief.

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Ohio Residents Bear Witness to Environmental Disaster Cover-Up

Residents of the Ohio town of East Palestine say authorities have kept them in the dark about the risks of a chemical spill on a nearby railway line, while they suffer unexplained health problems and witness wildlife dying out.

Two residents of the US state of Ohio have born witness to the government cover-up of an unfolding environmental disaster.

A train hauling tanks of the flammable, cancer-causing chemical Vinyl Chloride derailed near the small town of East Palestine, Ohio, on Friday February 3, causing an explosion that created a huge black mushroom cloud over the area.

Firefighters later conducted a controlled burn of the remaining chemicals, releasing tons of acidic hydrogen chloride and phosgene — an extremely toxic, heavier-than-air gas used as a chemical weapon in the First World War — into the environment.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials evacuated some residents from the area on the Pennsylvania border, between Cleveland and Pittsburgh. The agency later told them to return home, claiming there was no long-lasting or dangerous contamination.

But locals say the spill has left hundreds of wild animals dead around the town.

Authorities have been reticent to answer questions about the accident. Journalist Evan Lambert was even wrestled to the ground and handcuffed at a press conference with Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.

“The governmental regulators are saying everything’s fine, guys just go home,” Misty Winston, a political activist, told Sputnik. “And that’s absurd.”

“The chemicals that were in these railcars are no joke,” she stressed, pointing out that vinyl chloride, used to make PVC, boils at eight degrees Fahrenheit (-13 Celsius) and that hydrogen chloride combines with water — including vapour in the atmosphere — to form hydrochloric acid.

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Derailed train spills about 2,000 gallons of diesel near Yaquina River

A train derailment at the Georgia-Pacific Mill in Toledo, Ore. spilled about 2,000 gallons of diesel Friday and state officials said some of it entered a slough that feeds into the Yaquina River. 

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality responded to the emergency Friday. Officials said some of the spilled diesel may have entered a storm drain that flows into the nearby Depot Slough, which feeds into the Yaquina River.

The Oregon DEQ does not know how much fuel entered the storm drain or how much was absorbed into the ground near the spill site. 

“This is a difficult number to calculate because there is no easy [way] to measure how much fuel is in soil or how much fuel was recovered from the stormwater system versus how much made it beyond the containment measures,” Oregon DEQ spokesperson Dylan Darling explained. 

On Friday, crews placed a barrier in the slough to prevent the fuel from spreading. They also used an oil-absorbing boom and other absorbent materials within the barrier and around the spill site to prevent additional fuel from spreading. 

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