KENT STATE RESEARCHER REVIEWS EAST PALESTINE CLEANUP; Kent State Today; February 16, 2023
On Feb. 3 in East Palestine, Ohio, dozens of Norfolk Southern rail cars derailed, 11 of which contained hazardous materials. In an effort to start repairing the situation, Arcadis, an international company hired by the railroad company, has developed a plan to clean the air, ground and water in the village.
On Feb. 14, WFMJ-TV in Youngstown, Ohio, invited Kuldeep Singh, Ph.D., assistant professor in Kent State University’s Department of Earth Sciences, to review Arcadis’ cleanup plan.
Singh told WFMJ-TV that he feels the air and ground portion of the cleanup has gone well, but he is more concerned about the water near the village. Thankfully, the water table concerns are not expected to go very far from the incident, he said.
“After 10 days, the hazardous contaminants from the spill will eventually make it into the groundwater table,” Singh told WFMJ-TV. “There are lots of variables that impact the rate of contamination in water, including the soil type, drainage along with rain or snow melt. And once the contaminants reach the water, cleanup becomes more challenging. It will flow and spread, potentially impacting significant areas around the spill.”
Moving forward, it appears to be a race against time. Some of the cleanup requires more dense particles to be removed, and rain will cause the contaminants to drop quicker in the soil.
Singh reported it would only take days for water to seep up to 10 feet into the soil.
“The concern for the spread of contaminations is a long-term health concern and could be harmful to farm animals and people,” Singh told WFMJ-TV.
WRITTEN BY: JORDAN BRYSKI, FLASH COMMUNICATIONS