East Palestine: What’s Happening?

By Lily Stuart

On Feb. 3, a train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, after a railcar axle failed due to a mechanical defect. 11 of the total cars impacted contained hazardous materials. Safety crews performed a controlled burn of the material, which released a black plume of smoke into the air.

Hazardous chemicals have found their way into East Palestine’s water supply. A network of streams stretching roughly 20 miles connects the area of the derailment to the Ohio River, and from there, the Ohio River basin extends to nine other states. As a result, water contamination spreading to other, connected states remains a concern.

Cleveland City Council and the Cleveland Water Department have confirmed that Cleveland’s water supply is safe to drink and will continue to be tested. The city’s water is supplied from Lake Erie and its watershed, which is entirely separate from the affected Ohio River and its watershed. The Division of Air Quality within the Cleveland Department of Public Health is continuing to test air quality to ensure safety.

Those interested in monetarily supporting East Palestine can do so through The Brightside Project, a Salem-based nonprofit, whose website offers a multitude of donation options. The American Red Cross has also been on the ground at the site of the derailment since the day it occurred.

Sources: Cleveland City Council, USA Today, WKYC.

Image via Ideastream.