NS announces additional funds to keep EP water safe | News, Sports, Jobs

EAST PALESTINE — Norfolk Southern announced on Thursday an additional $3.638 million contribution to keep the East Palestine municipal water safe, bringing the total to nearly $4.3 million in funds allocated to water protection following February’s Feb. 3 train derailment in the village.

“We made a commitment to invest in the protection of East Palestine’s drinking water for the long term, and we are making significant strides toward fulfilling that,” said Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw. “We worked with community leaders and their outside experts to develop the best path forward. Thanks to their feedback, these infrastructure upgrades will help ensure clean drinking water remains accessible for East Palestine’s current and future generations.”

According to a press release, upgrades to the municipal system will include new engineering and carbon filtration systems meant to improve the village system with state of the art technology. The $4.299 million commitment from Norfolk Southern includes $661,481 already reimbursed to East Palestine for new carbon filters and initial engineering. Those funds include construction costs of a 101-by-42-foot structure to house the new water-filtration system which is underway and expected to last five months. The carbon-filter project is a precautionary protection for the municipal water supply. Council first announced plans to install the carbon-filtration system during a March 27 meeting. No contamination has been detected in the water supply and, when the project was first announced, Water Superintendent Scott Wolfe said that carbon filters were the direction the village was headed before the derailment and stressed the filters, which comply with the new federal per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) guidelines, were a proactive approach taken by the village.

The $3.638 million contribution announced on Thursday is to fund additional engineering and new filtration technology and infrastructure.

Norfolk Southern said it will continue conversations with the village to determine if additional work is needed.

“This technology will drastically improve water quality in the village,” said East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway. “Our current system, like other municipal systems across the country, is focused on eliminating heavy metals like lead, but these upgrades go deeper and broader, using the leading methods for ensuring the quality of drinking water.”

Municipal water continues to be sampled and monitored by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, along with a team of independent scientists. Test results, which are available on ema.ohio.gov, continue to show no water quality concerns as a result of the derailment. Norfolk Southern said these upgrades will help protect against future water quality concerns and reminded residents that private-well testing can be requested by an independent consultant by calling (330) 849-3919.

NSmakingitright.com reports that, to date, Norfolk Southern has committed $74.3 million to East Palestine and the surrounding communities.

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