Officials want answers after Ohio train derailment waste sent to Michigan for disposal
Michigan witnessed its own train derailment in Van Buren Township earlier this month.
State and county officials are upset over the decision to ship toxic chemicals from an Ohio train derailment to Michigan.
Cancer-causing vinyl chloride is among the chemicals being shipped to facilities near Belleville, Mich. for disposal. Residents in East Palestine, Ohio have complained about burning eyes and nose bleeds since the train went off the tracks earlier this month.
Wayne County Executive Warren Evans says county and state officials were kept in the dark.
“I’m not here to say anybody was attempting to do anything nefarious, but I can say that the outward effect of it looks like we’re being sandbagged,” says Evans.
Roughly 218,000 gallons of a 1% vinyl chloride solution were set to be put in the ground at the U.S. Ecology site in western Wayne County. It’s one of three sites nationwide that are licensed to handle toxic chemicals like vinyl chloride. Contaminated soil and groundwater have already been transported to the disposal sites.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell says the move doesn’t make sense.
“I…think it’s incredibly stupid to deliver contaminated soil from one degree ailment site to another site that was the site of a derailment only a week ago, and chose a lack of any kind of political sensitivity,” says Dingell. “And it was Norfolk Southern that had the derailment in Van Buren last week.”
Along with the EPA, the Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy are monitoring the disposal of the hazardous water and soil.
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