Officials continue to work to remove contamination from the site of the catastrophic train derailment in Ohio earlier this year. It is important that we continue to stay focused on this issue as the impact will likely affect people in the community for decades.
Truck accident highlights ongoing exposure
A semi-truck driver carrying over 40,000 pounds of contaminated soil lost control of his big rig and crashed on an Ohio highway. The truck tipped over and dumped approximately 20,000 pounds of toxic soil on the highway and surrounding area.
While investigating the crash, officials noted that the truck was travelling uncovered. Anyone that has driven behind an uncovered dump truck carrying gravel, dirt or other small items knows that pieces are constantly flying out. The fact that the contaminated soil was not covered makes it possible that the clean-up efforts actually increased the risk of additional contamination in communities throughout the state.
The news is not all bad, however.
A new healthcare facility opened at the derailment site
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that residents of East Palestine will receive long-term support from a recently opened clinic. A health care group opened the clinic to replace a temporary facility at the derailment site. The move is bittersweet, showing authorities are standing behind a promise to provide support and acknowledging the dangers associated with exposure to the toxins from the derailment.
Removal efforts continue
As noted above, officials, including the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), continue to work to remove toxins from the derailment site. This includes the removal of contaminated water and soil. So far, those in charge report they have removed over 20,000 tons of contaminated soil. They plan to move an additional 17,000 tons of soil.
Am I safe?
We trusted the train company to move their goods through the state safely. Can we trust these officials to remove the contaminated water and soil safely? So far, their attempts to keep you safe may be exposing you to more dangerous toxins. The only way officials and big business owners learn is when they are held accountable for their mistakes.
If you are sick and live near the site of the train derailment or a location where they are taking contaminated soil, you may be able to take legal action against those who are responsible. If you believe you suffer an illness due to such exposure, an attorney experienced in this niche area of civil law can review your case and provide guidance.