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On February 3, 2023, a Norfolk Southern train carrying vinyl chloride 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 hydrogen chloride and phosgene 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 EPA and Summit County Public Health have stated there is no impact to the City of Hudson based on this incident. For more information visit East Palestine Train Derailment.
Federal and State environmental and health officials have stated there will be no environmental impact to the City of Hudson from the train derailment. For more information visit East Palestine Train Derailment.
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 from the north near Lake Erie southward. 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 has emergency operations plans in place to address incidents like a train derailment and toxic chemical spills. As we continue to gather information and monitor the situation in Hudson, we will be:
Learn more by visiting:
East Palestine Train Derailment
Is Hudson Prepared?
The train was reported to be traveling from Madison, Illinois, near the Missouri border, and was headed to Conway, Pennsylvania. There are many routes trains can take between Madison and East Palestine where it derailed. While it is possible the train came through Hudson, Norfolk Southern has not released information on the specific route the train took to East Palestine.
According to PBS Broadcasting, the train that derailed in East Palestine was carrying several industrial chemicals, many of which are classified as highly flammable:
The article can be viewed at: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/what-we-know-about-the-chemicals-aboard-the-train-that-derailed-in-ohio
This information has not been verified by the City of Hudson, but is being provided for informational purposes.
The National Transportation Safety Board investigators have identified and examined the rail car that initiated the derailment. Surveillance video from a residence showed what appears to be a wheel bearing in the final stage of overheat failure moments before the derailment. The wheelset from the suspected railcar has been collected as evidence for metallurgical examination. The suspected overheated wheel bearing has been collected and will be examined by engineers from the NTSB Materials Laboratory in Washington, D.C. For more information visit the NTSP website.
According to the Federal Rail Administration data, there are approximately 40 trains a day passing through Hudson, as of the 2022.08.09 audit. Prior to that in 2020, there were 60 trains a day. To view FRA data, visit: https://railroads.dot.gov/safety-data/crossing-and-inventory-data/crossing-inventory-lookup.
Unfortunately, the City of Hudson has no control of when or how the train tracks are inspected, maintained or repaired. In 2020, Norfolk Southern did replace all the rails on both tracks through Hudson to Macedonia.
The City of Hudson has no jurisdiction to regulation the speed, number of trains, safety inspections, stopped trains or any other part of railroad operations. All railroads are regulated under the Federal Rail Administration.
No, due to the concern for terrorist threat, local municipalities are not notified of hazardous materials on trains passing through local cities.
Revising our Emergency Operations Plan will take some time. It is critical that we gather information from the East Palestine local officials, first responders and other agencies to learn what worked, what didn't work, and what they believe should have been in place in advance to help with their response. Once we have this information, we will begin a thorough review of our plan and determine if improvements can be made based on this incident.