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On March 2, 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an order requiring Norfolk Southern to test for dioxins in East Palestine, Ohio. This decision was made following a February 3, 2023 train derailment in the area. The EPA anticipates that a certified laboratory will need to be used to develop a dioxin fingerprint for East Palestine. The agency has stated that this action is being taken out of an abundance of caution to address any concerns related to potential dioxin releases resulting from the derailment. The rail company has been ordered to begin sampling for dioxins in the affected area as a part of the EPA’s ongoing environmental monitoring efforts.

Since the Norfolk Southern chemical spill, more than a dozen lawsuits have been filed against the company. Not only that, but one non-profit organization filed a claim against federal and state EPAs and Ohio governor DeWin.

EPA Ordered Norfolk Southern to Test For Dioxins

The EPA has ordered Norfolk Southern, a rail company, to conduct testing for dioxins in East Palestine, Ohio. The move has come in the aftermath of a train derailment in the area on February 3, 2023. The EPA has said that the study is necessary to compare dioxin levels in the area before and after the incident.

The EPA has indicated that certified laboratories that specialize in conducting high-quality fingerprinting will be used for the study. Dioxins are a class of dangerous and persistent chemicals that can have harmful effects on human health. The EPA has stated that this move has been taken out of caution and concern for the health and well-being of local residents.

“Over the last few weeks, I’ve sat with East Palestine residents and community leaders in their homes, businesses, churches, and schools. I’ve heard their fears and concerns directly, and I’ve pledged that these experiences would inform EPA’s ongoing response efforts.

In response to concerns shared with me by residents, EPA will require Norfolk Southern to sample directly for dioxins under the agency’s oversight and direct the company to conduct immediate clean up if contaminants from the derailment are found at levels that jeopardize people’s health.

This action builds on EPA’s bipartisan efforts alongside our local, state, and federal partners to earn the trust of this community and ensure all residents have the reassurances they need to feel safe at home once again.”

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan [1]

Norfolk Southern has been instructed to take immediate measures to sample dioxin levels in the area to minimize any potential risks from the derailment. The EPA has emphasized that it is committed to ensuring the health and safety of the community, and the decision to carry out the study is an important step toward that goal.

The EPA has also said that it will continue monitoring the situation closely and take appropriate measures if any potential risks are identified.

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Sources

  1. EPA. (2023, March 2). EPA Requires Norfolk Southern to Sample for Dioxins in East Palestine. EPA. Retrieved March 3, 2023, from https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-requires-norfolk-southern-sample-dioxins-east-palestine