W.Va. Gov. Justice gives briefing about response to train derailment contamination
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice gave an update on the state’s monitoring of the Ohio River and air quality after the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
“The Emergency Management Division the DEP, the DHHR and the National Guard have all been working with this,” Justice said Thursday.
Scott Mandilora, Deputy Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, said the DEP is coordinating with Ohio and federal agencies to monitor and collect samples from the Ohio River.
“Low levels of butyl acrylate, which is used to manufacture plastics and resins, reached the Ohio River through Little Beaver Creek a small tributary,” Mandilora said. “The leading edge of the plume is estimated to be near mile-marker 264 today on the Ohio River, which is near Point Pleasant and the mouth of the Kanawha River.”
Mandilora said the results are well below health guidance by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry.
“The highest concentration of Wednesday were below the three-parts-per-billion,” Mandilora said. “The plume is estimated to reach the Huntington area by late Friday, early Saturday morning.”
Dr. Matt Christiansen, commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health, shared an update from the West Virginia DHHR on their work with water companies to ensure safe water supplies.
“We have not had any reports of this substance entering the water supply in any of the affected areas,” Christiansen said.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency is conducting air monitoring around the perimeter of the crash site in Ohio and has not found any concentrations of the chemicals above health advisory levels.
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