Gov. Shapiro announces that Pennsylvania will take water samples after a train derailment

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — On Thursday, the Shapiro administration announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will take independent water samples following the train derailment in eastern Palestine.

According to the Shapiro administration, the DEP will take independent water samples to closely monitor the risks of water pollution related to the February 3 train derailment in eastern Palestine.

The DEP will also assist affected public water utilities in evaluating their source water at the Beaver Falls Municipal Authority’s surface water abstraction facility on the Beaver River.

“My administration is taking steps to independently verify the safety of Pennsylvanians’ water — and will continue to do so in the coming months,” Gov. Josh Shapiro said. “As we work to learn more about this incident and hold Norfolk Southern accountable, the Commonwealth will also take the lead in ensuring that Pennsylvanians are aware of, and protected from, any threats to their security and resources.” Our independent testing ensures the data we receive is accurate and timely so we can work effectively with local communities to provide the information the people of Pennsylvania need and deserve.”

“The safety of Pennsylvanians is our top priority,” said Rich Negrin, acting secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. “By conducting our own independent testing now, we will have a necessary basis so that we can track any changes to Pennsylvanian water in the months to come. We will continue to do our part to test the waters to determine the impact of this train derailment and keep Pennsylvanians informed and safe.”

According to the Shapiro administration, the DEP will independently collect water samples from sampling sites in Norfolk Southern for testing by the DEP Bureau of Laboratories. The DEP will also take independent water samples in Pennsylvania within a two-mile radius of the derailment site. Samples are taken monthly to look for long-term effects.

After conducting a basic assessment of groundwater flow and geology near the derailment site, the DEP’s Bureau of Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields believes that water wells in Pennsylvania are unlikely to be contaminated.

If you are a local resident and have concerns about private well water, the Shapiro administration recommends that you contact the DEP Southwest Regional Office at 412-442-4000 for more information on well testing.

According to the Shapiro administration, a Beaver Falls Municipal Authority water treatment plant is located 11 miles from the site of the train derailment. The nearest municipal public water supply, PA American Ellwood City, is 10.5 miles from the site.

The DEP will also investigate a small public water supply on the Little Beaver River. This supply uses spring sources.

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Pennsylvania has not received any worrying air or water quality readings since the incident. The DEP has not observed any pollutants of concern within a two mile radius of the derailment site.

The Shapiro Administration said the DEP is coordinating with Ohio EPA, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO), Federal EPA and Norfolk Southern’s contractor, CTEH, to verify the surface water sample information. Gov. Shapiro announces that Pennsylvania will take water samples after a train derailment

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