East Palestine Train Derailment
On February 3, 2023, a Norfolk Southern train carrying toxic chemicals derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, approximately 67 miles from Summit County. Emergency crews conducted a controlled burn of the spill on the request of state officials, which released hazardous chemicals into the air. As a result, residents within a 1 mi (1.6 km) radius were evacuated, and an emergency response from agencies across three states was initiated.
The incident has generated questions from Hudson citizens about the impact to the water and air quality in Hudson. The Ohio EPA and the Summit County Public Health Department have stated there is no impact to the City of Hudson based on this incident.
Photo source: NTSB.gov. Credit: Via REUTERS.
The EPA and Summit County Public Health both have stated that release of hazardous materials in East Palestine will not impact water quality in Hudson. This is due to a number of reasons, including:
- Hudson is in a different watershed from East Palestine, and water does not flow from East Palestine to Hudson.
- The wind pattern blew the plume eastward toward Pennsylvania, and Hudson was not in its path.
- Hudson's water comes from groundwater sources and not from surface water sources. Surface water typically is more prone to environmental impacts.
The City of Hudson is not in the same watershed as East Palestine, Ohio. Whether you receive City of Hudson, City of Akron, City of Stow, or City of Cleveland water, your water comes from the Lake Erie Watershed and it flows toward the lake. We do not receive water from the East Palestine area.
East Palestine is in the Ohio River Watershed, the water flows from East Palestine into Beaver Creek to the Ohio River and south to the Mississippi River.
Hudson Air Quality
The EPA and experts do not believe Hudson's air quality has or will be impacted by the train derailment in East Palestine. The wind direction blows in a westerly direction toward Pennsylvania and not toward Hudson.
What is Hudson Doing in Response?
City staff has reached out to state, federal, environmental, and public health agencies for as much information as we can gather. Obviously these agencies are very busy handling the immediate issues in East Palestine, but are providing us with information as quickly as possible.
Thus far, there has been no indication we have been impacted, but we are working on doing precautionary air and water testing in Hudson to confirm there has been no impact.
Are We Prepared?
- Emergency Operations Plan. We have an Emergency Operations Plan in place that is updated every few years. The plan cover a many potential hazards, from pandemics and terrorist attacks to tornadoes, floods, winter storms, transportation incidents and hazardous materials spills. Each incident is different, requiring varying degrees of emergency management and mitigation. Our plans must be adaptable to meet any and all situations that would occur. We plan for all possibilities, and adjust our response to the specific incident accordingly.
- Emergency Preparedness Training. Our staff is trained in incident management topics such as hazardous materials and mass evacuation techniques, for example. Police, Fire and EMS regularly attend emergency management training. We also work closely with Summit County, the State of Ohio, and the federal government during emergency incidents, calling in additional resources as required.
- Source Water Protection Plan (SWPP). Our Source Water Protection Plan (SWPP), which is required by the EPA, is an Emergency Operations Plan specific to water operations. This plan identifies activities or projects needed to mitigate existing and future threats to source water quality and to improve the resilience of the water supply.
- Risk and Resilience Assessment (RRA). Provided to the EPA, this assessments evaluates the vulnerabilities, threats, and consequences from potential hazards involving our water system.
As we continue to gather information and monitor the situation in Hudson, we will be:
- Performing air and water quality testing in Hudson as a precaution.
- Learning from the event, the emergency response, and the lessons learned by those responding to the East Palestine incident, we will be updating our Emergency Operations to include this new information.
Hudson is not in the same watershed as East Palestine, Ohio. Our water comes from the Lake Erie Watershed and flows from the north near Lake Erie southward. Read on...
On February 3, a Norfolk Southern train carrying vinyl chloride derailed in East Palestine, OH. Read on...
- Norfolk Southern Q&A
- What is Norfolk Southern's Safety Record - Akron Beacon Journal
- City of Akron/Summit Co. Health Joint Statement
- State of Ohio Emergency Response
- Ohio EPA
- Norfolk Southern Railroad
- Norfolk Southern Derailment Updates
- State Senator Statement
- State Representative Statement
- Letter to Governor DeWine from Senator Sherrod Brown
- Senator Vance Statement
- Gov. DeWine says Congress must act after train derailment (Columbus Dispatch)
- National Transportation & Safety Board (NTSB)
- Ohio EPA Public Interest Center: (614) 644-2160
- CTEH Toxicologists hotline: (234) 542-6474 @(Model.BulletStyle == CivicPlus.Entities.Modules.Layout.Enums.BulletStyle.Decimal ? "ol" : "ul")>