Giant Eagle removes bottled water produced by company using spring in same county as East Palestine train derailment
The grocery chain said it has stopped selling the water “out of an abundance of caution.”
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Out of an abundance of caution, Giant Eagle has removed gallon-sized bottles of water produced for the chain by a company using a spring near the site of the East Palestine train derailment.
Creekside Springs is a bottled water company that sells everything from spring, to distilled, to purified water to wholesalers, supermarkets and convenience stores.
The company’s website explains it has two facilities: one in Ambridge, PA and another in Salineville, OH, which is located in Columbiana County.
By distance, the Ohio facility is located about 25 miles from East Palestine, where a Norfolk Southern train hauling hazardous chemicals derailed and caught fire Feb. 3.
“Creekside Springs’ spring water comes straight from our propriety, protected natural springs, located on lands adjacent to our Ohio facility,” the company’s website explains.
Spring water, by Ohio law, must be taken from water that is naturally occurring and comes to the surface without the use of drilling or mining.
One of Creekside Springs’ biggest customers is the grocery store chain Giant Eagle, which sells the water under its own label.
Giant Eagle operates more than 400 retail locations throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana, according to the company’s website.
After a request from Cleveland 19 Tuesday morning, Giant Eagle issued the following response:
“We at Giant Eagle have been closely monitoring the ongoing community and environmental impact of the February 3 train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. We have offered direct support to Team Members who may live in the area and have partnered with regional food banks to make product donations to others in need. Additionally, we conducted a thorough review of select varieties of Giant Eagle brand spring water sourced from a facility in Salineville, Ohio, which is located approximately 25 miles southwest of East Palestine. Importantly, the only Giant Eagle brand products sourced from the Salineville facility and sold in our Giant Eagle, Market District and GetGo stores are varieties of spring water packaged in gallon-size-or-greater containers. Giant Eagle has been in daily contact with representatives from the facility and has learned that the water used in these products comes from a protected spring located at a higher elevation than East Palestine and is not near ground water sources directly impacted by the incident. The Salineville facility also informed us that a third-party lab has been regularly testing Salineville’s raw water sources and finished products and has not found any evidence that the water has been negatively impacted by the February 3 incident. As we continue to receive these assurances from our Salineville water vendor, we also recognize that regional and national health officials continue to send resources to East Palestine to learn as much as possible about the potential impact to the health of the community. Out of an abundance of caution, Giant Eagle has made the decision to remove all gallon-size-or-greater Giant Eagle brand spring water product sourced from the Salineville facility from our store shelves until further notice while we continue to evaluate ongoing testing and potential impacts to the spring source.”
19 News has made several attempts to reach Creekside Springs via phone and email to gets answer to a growing list of questions consumers have about their water.
- Where exactly in Columbiana County is the spring located? Or at least a proximity to East Palestine?
- Is Creekside Springs currently bottling water from the same spring?
- Is the water from the spring being tested for chemical toxins connected to the train derailment?
- If so, what chemicals are they testing for and what are the results? If the answer is, “It doesn’t meet a level of concern,” can you tell us if any chemicals have been detected, on any level?
- Has any water from the Columbiana County spring been bottled and shipped since the Feb. 3 derailment? If so, where was that water shipped?
On the Creekside Springs website, the company has a chart breaking down the treatment process. The chart, however, does not indicate if that process could handle volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that could have reach the spring after the derailment.
While contaminants have been detected in surface water near the derailment site, the U.S. EPA said continued testing of East Palestine’s municipal well water show no quality concerns. According to the agency, a total of 56 wells have been sampled to date: 53 in Ohio and 3 in Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday, the U.S. EPA said Norfolk Southern is legally required to identify and clean up all soil and water resources contaminated after the derailment.
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