Local water deemed safe


Local authorities reported Wednesday that Delaware County’s waterways weren’t impacted by the train derailment and hazardous chemical burn that took place in East Palestine, Ohio, last week.

The Associated Press reports that last week about 50 cars of a freight train derailed on the outskirts of East Palestine, a village located on the state’s eastern border. No one was injured in the derailment. Officials seeking to avoid the danger of an uncontrolled blast chose to intentionally release and burn toxic vinyl chloride from five rail cars, sending flames and black smoke billowing into the sky, the AP reports.

Since the derailment and burn, Ohioans have questioned the potential health impacts across the state.

Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPCs) and area Emergency Management Agencies (EMAs) have been monitoring the situation, according to Sean Miller, the director of the Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Miller reported his department is not aware of any airborne impacts for the county as a result of the incident, and he reported there are no anticipated impacts to Delaware County from the Ohio River.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, the City of Delaware addressed questions expressed by citizens over the safety of the city’s water supply.

“This area is well outside our local watershed and poses no risk to our local water supplies,” the city wrote. “We test daily for contaminants and have not seen any changes to our quality.”

According to the post, the city’s source water is not impacted by the Ohio River, and the city has multiple sources, including surface water and wells. The city added it can use different sources of water if one was to become contaminated.

Miller said the LEPC and the EMA update and train on their hazardous materials response plan every year, and both conducted a hazardous materials commodities flow study last fall, which examined the top carried chemicals through Delaware County via the road and railways.

“Such data help to drive hazard analysis and realistic exercise and training scenarios for a potential chemical incident,” Miller said.

More information can be found at delcoema.org.

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