Friday, February 16, 2024

DEP: Interim Report On A Full Year Of Sampling Finds No Evidence Of Contamination In Western PA Related To Norfolk Southern Train Derailment

On February 16, the Department of Environmental Protection said
an analysis of a year of sampling by DEP and its independent contractor found no evidence of water or soil contamination related to the Norfolk Southern train derailment in Ohio in Pennsylvania’s private water wells, surface water, and soil. 

The contractor also evaluated and verified sampling data, compared data to Pennsylvania’s environmental standards, and made recommendations for additional sampling.  

DEP’s contractor also conducted, and continues to conduct, split sampling at three sentinel monitoring wells installed in Pennsylvania by Norfolk Southern near the train derailment location. 

The wells were installed between the derailment site and private properties in Pennsylvania and are used for early detection of groundwater contamination that could have migrated from the derailment site. 

Groundwater in this area has not been impacted by contamination from the derailment. 

Additionally, the monitoring well data evaluated by DEP indicates that groundwater around the monitoring wells on the Pennsylvania border is flowing towards Ohio and away from Pennsylvania residents in the area. 

The full interim summary report can be found on DEP’s webpage on the derailment along with an interactive mapping tool of sampling conducted to date. 

DEP’s independent contractor is in the process of conducting the fourth round of private well sampling and has completed all soil and surface water sampling. 

To date, samples have been taken at 85 individual private potable water sources, 97 surface soil locations, and 18 surface water locations within the Commonwealth, totaling hundreds of samples. 

“DEP’s response to the Norfolk Southern train derailment started just over a year ago, and we continue to be on the ground in Beaver and Lawrence counties supporting local communities,” said DEP Interim Acting Secretary Jessica Shirley. “DEP will continue to work with local partners and its independent contractor to uphold Pennsylvanians’ right to clean air, pure water, and the preservation of natural resources. Under the leadership of the Shapiro Administration, DEP will remain committed to addressing residents' concerns, following the science, and taking action when warranted.”  

Marking the one-year anniversary of the derailment, Governor Josh Shapiro outlined Pennsylvania’s response, including efforts he directed state agencies – including the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, State Police, Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, and DEP – to take immediately following the derailment and since. 

The Shapiro Administration is committed to serving Pennsylvanians impacted by the derailment, and will continue to work with local, state, and federal partners.

For more information on environmental programs in Pennsylvania, visit DEP’s website, Report Emergencies, Submit Environmental Complaints; Click Here to sign up for DEP’s newsletter; sign up for DEP’s eNotice; visit DEP’s BlogLike DEP on Facebook, Follow DEP on Twitter and visit DEP’s YouTube Channel.

NewsClips - Derailment:

-- DEP: Interim Report On A Full Year Of Sampling Finds No Evidence Of Contamination In Western PA Related To Norfolk Southern Train Derailment  [PaEN] 

-- WPXI: No Evidence Of Contamination Found In PA From Norfolk Southern Train Derailment, DEP Says

-- PennLive: A Year After Norfolk Southern Train Derailment, Pair Monitor Waterways: ‘There’s Still Something Going On’

-- TribLive: Hostile Reaction Greets Biden During Norfolk Southern Train Derailment Visit

-- Biden Visits Norfolk Southern Train Derailment Site, But Doesn’t Declare Disaster

-- The Center Square: Biden: Norfolk Southern Train Derailment ‘An Act Of Greed’

-- AP: Biden Praises ‘Herculean Efforts’ To Rebuild At Site Of Norfolk Southern Train Derailment

-- Post-Gazette: Biden Commends Ohio Community’s Strength Since Norfolk Southern Train Derailment

-- Washington Examiner - Salena Zito: From Afghanistan To Norfolk Southern Train Derailment, Hawaii Wildfires, Biden’s Pattern Of Behavior Lacks The Empathy He Promised

-- Post-Gazette: Biden Should Use Norfolk Southern Train Derailment Visit To Push Bipartisan Rail Safety Reform

-- Post-Gazette: Norfolk Southern Boosted Lobbying, Political Giving After Ohio Train Derailment

-- The Allegheny Front: EPA Refuses To Test Inside Homes Near Norfolk Southern Train Derailment Site

PA Oil & Gas Industry Public Notice Dashboards:

-- Pennsylvania Oil & Gas Weekly Compliance Dashboard- Feb. 10 to 16 [PaEN]

-- PA Oil & Gas Industrial Facilities: Permit Notices, Opportunities To Comment - February 17 [PaEN]

-- DEP Approves PennEnergy Resources 1.5 Million Gallon/Day Water Withdrawal For Shale Gas Drilling From Big Sewickley Creek In Beaver County  [PaEN]  

-- DEP Posted 109 Pages Of Permit-Related Notices In February 17 PA Bulletin  [PaEN]  

Related Articles - DEP:

-- Sen. Comitta: Let's Work Together To Address Climate Change, But Stop Rehashing The Same Old Arguments Against RGGI That Are Not Protecting Our Planet And Our People  [PaEN]

-- PA Taxpayers To Give $130.9 Million In Tax Credits To Subsidize Shell Petrochemical Plant In Beaver County; Total Expected To Be $1.17 Billion Thru 2042; No Regard For Environmental Compliance Record  [PaEN]

-- DEP Invites Comments On Mariner East II Natural Gas Liquids Pipeline Chapter 102 Permit Amendment For An Area In West Goshen Twp., Chester County  [PaEN] 

-- DEP Invites Comments On MarkWest Project To Expose 4 Natural Gas Pipelines For 5,500+ Feet Ahead Of Longwall Mining In Donegal Twp., Washington County  [PaEN] 

-- DEP Sets March 20 Hearing [If Requested] On Air Quality Permit Change For The Eastern Gas Transmission Punxsutawney Compressor Station In Jefferson County  [PaEN]

-- Public Comments Invited On State Air Quality Plan Amendment For PEI Power Corp Natural Gas-fired Power Plant In Lackawanna County  [PaEN]

-- DEP Invites Comments On Air Quality Permit For Encina Plant For Chemically Recycling Plastics In Northumberland County  [PaEN] 

-- DEP Hosts March 4 Hearing On Proposed Core5 Warner Road Warehouse Project In Pocono Twp., Monroe County  [PaEN] 

-- DEP Now Accepting Applications For Section 902 Act 101 Local Recycling Implementation Grants  [PaEN]

-- DEP Took Action On 1,141 Permits, 93% Within Permit Decision Guarantee Deadlines; Conducted 1,496 Inspections; Responded to 17 Emergencies In The Week Ending Feb. 11 

[Posted: February 16, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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