The railroad company responsible for the East Palestine train derailment and ensuing chemical spill, Norfolk Southern, has been ordered by the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend future toxic waste shipments from the crash site in East Palestine.
NPR reportedly said that the EPA instructed Norfolk Southern to not ship any other toxic materials from its site “until federal officials could review the routes and disposal facilities.”
The mandate came a few days after the EPA proclaimed it would take over cleanup efforts in East Palestine following the hazardous train crash earlier this month, which led to numerous dangerous chemicals spilling into the surrounding soil and air, causing many residents to be concerned for their health and safety.
EPA regional administrator Debra Shore commented that the agency has instructed Norfolk Southern to temporarily pause, adding that officials would soon start shipping contaminated waste to approved throwaway sites “very soon.”
“Moving forward, waste disposal plans, including disposal location and transportation routes for contaminated waste, will be subject to federal EPA review and approval,” she said.
Northfolk Southern has faced a large amount of scrutiny in past weeks over the derailment, which dumped toxic chemicals in East Palestine, causing an environmental catastrophe and leading to a mandatory evacuation. The Transportation Safety Board appeared to blame the railroad company with its recently posted analysis of the derailment.
The report found that a wheel bearing overheated, leading to the crash.
“This was 100% preventable. … There is no accident. Every single event that we investigate is preventable,” safety board chair Jennifer Homendy said during a news conference Thursday. “The NTSB has one goal, and that is safety and ensuring that this never happens again.”
NEW: "This was 100% preventable."
NTSB officials give update on hazardous train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. "We call things 'accidents,' there is no accident. Every single event that we investigate is preventable." https://t.co/2LBQU7sxb1 pic.twitter.com/YdgEkiXa4B
— ABC News (@ABC) February 23, 2023
RedState reported that about 102,000 gallons of liquid waste and 4,500 cubic yards of solid waste are currently being held in East Palestine.
Another five truckloads of tainted soil previously shipped to Michigan were brought back to the town, according to the office of Ohio governor Mike DeWine.
In a statement given to NPR, the rail company wrote, “we are working with the US EPA to resume removing waste from East Palestine as soon as possible.”