Derailment in Ohio: the railway company forced to pay for the cleanup
Some 3,500 fish died as a result of vinyl chloride spilling into waterways in East Palestine.
The U.S. government on Tuesday ordered a rail company, whose train carrying toxic chemicals recently derailed, to clean up pollution that resulted from the crash and take financial responsibility for the damage. operation by threatening to charge her “triple” the fees if she did not comply.
On February 3, the derailment in the community of East Palestine, Ohio caused a huge fire and the evacuation of hundreds of people. Among other things, the train was carrying vinyl chloride, a carcinogenic and highly flammable chemical used in the manufacture of plastic.
The railway authorities had carried out controlled releases of vinyl chloride to avoid a possible explosion, which had released toxic fumes.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in a statement that it has asked Norfolk Southern to clean up contaminated soil and water resources and reimburse the EPA for services cleaning that will be offered to residents and businesses to reassure them even more. This is a binding order, according to the EPA.
The Agency said it would approve a plan which details all the measures necessary to clean up the environmental damage caused by the derailment. If the company fails to carry out the actions ordered by the EPA, the agency will intervene immediately, do the necessary work and then seek to compel Norfolk Southern to pay triple the cost, the EPA said. .
“Let's be clear: Norfolk Southern will pay to clean up the mess it has created and to lessen the trauma it has created. it inflicted on this population.
— EPA Chief Michael Regan
Asked by Agence France-Presse (AFP), the company said it recognized having a responsibility. We have so far paid for the cleaning operations and will continue to do so. We are committed to cleaning the site thoroughly and in a safe manner. We are in the process of reimbursing residents for disruption to their daily lives, Norfolk Southern said.
We will learn from this terrible accident and will work with regulatory bodies and elected officials to improve rail safety, she added.
The administration of the President Joe Biden struggled to reassure the public after the derailment as residents expressed their anger and concern over the pollution and potential health consequences.
Some have reported to media that they have had various symptoms, including headaches, and said they fear they will end up with cancer in a few years. An estimated 3,500 fish also died in surrounding waterways, according to the local natural resources agency.
Authorities said the air was safe and municipal system water testing found no pollutants, but residents are skeptical and some have already filed complaints against the railroad.