AP

West Virginia drinking water still clear of derailment toxin

Feb 16, 2023, 11:15 AM | Updated: Feb 17, 2023, 5:04 pm

A tank car sits on a trailer as the cleanup of portions of a Norfolk Southern freight train that de...

A tank car sits on a trailer as the cleanup of portions of a Norfolk Southern freight train that derailed over a week ago continues in East Palestine, Ohio, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia officials have reiterated that the state’s drinking water remains safe following an Ohio train derailment that led to a toxic plume of chemicals being released.

Chemicals that leaked from the derailment are being monitored as they move down the Ohio River, but they are not affecting the supply of drinking water, officials said during a briefing Thursday.

“We have not had any reports of this substance entering the water supply in any of the affected areas and there are no water advisories being issued at this time,” said state Health Officer Matt Christensen.

About 50 train cars, including 10 carrying hazardous materials, derailed in a fiery crash Feb. 3 in East Palestine, Ohio. Vinyl chloride was later released into the air from five of those cars before crews ignited it to get rid of the highly flammable, toxic chemicals in a controlled way, creating a dark plume of smoke.

Residents from nearby neighborhoods in Ohio and Pennsylvania were evacuated because of health risks from the fumes, but have since been allowed to return.

Water samples were collected along the Ohio River on Wednesday from Ravenswood to Parkersburg, West Virginia. Parkersburg is about 170 miles (270 kilometers) southwest of East Palestine. The samples detected butyl acrylate — one of the chemicals from the derailment — at levels below 3 parts per billion, said Scott Mandirola, the deputy cabinet secretary for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Federal guidance for drinking water has limits of 560 parts per billion, Mandirola said.

DEP spokesperson Terry Fletcher said in an email that vinyl chloride is among the compounds being tested for and “no detectable levels have been identified.”

The leading edge of the chemical plume was estimated to be near Point Pleasant and the mouth of the Kanawha River. Mandirola said the influx of water from the Kanawha River should add at least a 25% additional dilution on top of the mitigating effects of Thursday’s rains. The plume is estimated to reach the Huntington area late Friday or early Saturday. Huntington is about 265 miles (426 kilometers) southwest of East Palestine.

“Thus far, there’s no danger to our drinking water,” West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said.

As a precaution, a utility company on Wednesday temporarily switched its water drinking source for the Huntington area to the Guyandotte River after installing pumping equipment and above-ground water lines.

Officials also said that air monitoring stations in the Northern Panhandle haven’t detected problems with air quality from the derailment.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Rudy Giuliani...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani is the final defendant to serve indictment in Arizona fake elector case

Rudy Giuliani has been served an indictment in Arizona's fake elector case for his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

39 minutes ago

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday...

Associated Press

Some in Houston facing no power for weeks after storms cause widespread damage, killing at least 4

Houston storms cause widespread damage on Friday, May 17. Thunderstorms hit the southeastern part of Texas, killing at least four people.

1 day ago

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer...

Associated Press

Man gets 30 years in prison for attacking ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband with a hammer

A man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for attacking the husband of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with a hammer.

1 day ago

audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents blocked...

Associated Press

GOP advances Garland contempt charges after White House exerts executive privilege over Biden audio

The move to release audio from President Joe Biden’s interview about classified documents was blocked on Thursday by the White House.

2 days ago

Asylum processing for new migrants: Changes could come soon...

Associated Press

The Biden administration is planning more changes to quicken asylum processing for new migrants

The Biden administration is planning to quicken the asylum processing for new migrants as an interim step rather than an executive order.

3 days ago

Record-setting rally for U.S. stocks reflects inflation slowing down...

Associated Press

Stock market today: Asian shares advance after another round of Wall St records

The S&P 500 jumped 1.2% to top its prior high set a month and a half ago. This move reflects a record-setting rally for U.S. stocks.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

West Virginia drinking water still clear of derailment toxin