HARRISBURG, PA – Last week, the Shapiro Administration announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be conducting independent water sampling to closely monitor water contamination risks related to the East Palestine train derailment. On Tuesday, February 21, DEP began proactive outreach to residents and testing of wells within the two-mile radius and in only four days, DEP has successfully collected samples from nearly every private drinking water well within one mile of the Norfolk Southern derailment site.
As of the end of this week, DEP has completed collecting samples from 13 of the 16 known residential wells within a mile radius of the derailment site and is working to schedule testing of wells between one mile and two miles next week. Results from the first round of testing are expected next week.
“The Department of Environmental Protection has been on the scene since the first hours after the Norfolk Southern train derailment, and we will stay in communities like Darlington Township as long as it takes to assure Pennsylvanians their air, water, and environment are safe,” said Acting DEP Secretary Rich Negrin, who visited communities in Beaver County twice this week. “DEP staff is on the ground right now, professionally and efficiently taking independent samples of drinking water near the derailment site so that Pennsylvanians can have the information they need to keep themselves and their families safe.”
DEP is proactively contacting residents within a two-mile radius of the train derailment site to initiate water testing. Concerned residents who are beyond the two-mile radius are encouraged to reach out to DEP to request testing by calling 412-442-4000.
DEP is using its own laboratories to test for volatile organic compounds that were on some of the train cars, including vinyl chloride, ethylene glycol, butyl acrylates, ethylhexyl acrylate, benzene, and ethanol.
More information and updates can be found on the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) online train derailment dashboard. The dashboard is accessible at https://www.pema.pa.gov/derailment.
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