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Tipsheet

Texas, Michigan Were Unaware Hazardous Waste From Ohio Train Derailment Was Taken to Their Areas

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Contaminated soil and water from the East Palestine, Ohio freight train derailment were being taken to areas in Michigan and Texas without officials knowing. 

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According to a spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency, Norfolk Southern is responsible for the disposal of the waste, ordering the hazardous waste to be shipped to Michigan and Texas, which is now on pause. 

"Within 24 hours of being notified, EPA instructed Norfolk Southern to immediately pause waste shipments from the East Palestine train derailment site. Waste disposal plans, including disposal location and transportation routes for contaminated waste, will be subject to EPA review and approval moving forward. EPA will ensure that all waste is disposed of in a safe and lawful manner at EPA-certified facilities to prevent further release of hazardous substances and impacts to communities," the spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News Digital. 

About two million gallons of firefighting water from the train derailment site were expected to be disposed of in Harris County, Texas, with nearly half a million gallons already there. 

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-OH) said some hazardous waste has already been taken to the locations. 

"Of the twenty truckloads (approximately 280 tons) of hazardous solid waste hauled away from the derailment site, 15 truckloads of contaminated soil had already been disposed of at the licensed hazardous waste treatment and disposal facility in Michigan. Five truckloads of contaminated soil were returned to East Palestine. The licensed hazardous waste treatment and disposal facility in Texas will dispose of liquid waste that has already been trucked out of East Palestine. Still, no additional liquid waste will be accepted at the Texas facility at this time," DeWine said. 

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102,000 gallons of liquid waste and 4,500 cubic yards of solid waste will remain in storage on-site in East Palestine, not including the five truckloads returned. 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) was also unaware of the situation, according to Wayne County Executive Warren Evans. 

"It sounds in all intents and purposes that we were sandbagged," Evans said. "I don't know how you do that without contacting local officials so that we can, number one, know how to respond to our communities, and two, to give advice about what routes to take and those sorts of things. In the phone call just a few minutes ago, I talked with the governor and important folks with the EPA, but to my satisfaction - and I'd like to say the governor's office also got last-minute bits and pieces of information. They weren't hiding anything from us. They were trying to get information just like we were."

The same day, a second Norfolk Southern freight train derailed in Lexington, North Carolina. 

According to a Norfolk Southern spokesperson, a train derailed on Saturday morning. However, no danger to the public or a hazmat situation has been reported. 

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"One of our trains traveling through Lexington derailed this morning. Of the train's 132 cars, one has derailed. There are no reports of a hazmat situation or danger to the public. Our crew is safe, and additional personnel is on their way to begin cleanup. We appreciate the public's patience and care near this area during the cleanup work," the spokesperson said in a statement to Fox News. 

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