Harrisburg, PA – Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced today that samples from crops in Beaver and Washington Counties show no contamination stemming from the East Palestine, Ohio Norfolk Southern train derailment on February 3, 2023. Area producers requested testing of plant tissue to understand the full impact of the derailment on their agricultural products.
In late April, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture technicians took tissue samples from triticale, grass, hay, spelts (grain), garlic, and blueberry bushes to determine levels of 26 semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs) present. Penn State University scientists tested the samples and found no compounds present above reportable limits for that substance. Results indicate that plant tissue is an unlikely source of exposure to SVOCs.
"These test results give additional reassurance that contamination from the derailment has not spread into crops grown in the region," said Sec. Redding. "The Shapiro Administration will continue monitoring soil and water quality in the area, working with experts at Penn State to provide tangible evidence to producers and consumers that the products they depend on are safe."
Test results supplement environmental sampling done by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Complete plant tissue test results appear along with final sample results from DEP's soil and water testing on the interactive map launched in April on DEP's website.
Pennsylvania farmers and producers who were impacted by the derailment and have questions or concerns can contact the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture hotline at 855-777-6735.
Find an FAQ, along with details of Pennsylvania's ongoing response to the derailment on the PEMA Train Derailment Dashboard.
Media Contact: Shannon Powers – 717.603.2056, firstname.lastname@example.org
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