OSHA opens 2 inspections of clean-up practices in East Palestine

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 8:12 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2023 at 3:28 PM EST
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COLUMBIANA COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced Wednesday they have opened up two inspections so far into the safety of clean-up practices for workers at the toxic train derailment site in East Palestine.

Crews have spent weeks cleaning up the mess left behind from the Feb. 3 Norfolk-Southern train derailment and controlled explosion of five train cars carrying the chemical vinyl chloride.

Earlier this month, a rail worker union representative sent a letter to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine claiming lack of protective gear for workers, among other issues.

“OSHA personnel on the ground, including the Health Response Team and compliance officers, are coordinating with interagency partners to address this evolving situation. The agency is prepared to take action where employers are not upholding their legal responsibilities to protect clean-up workers,” stated an OSHA official.

According to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as of Tuesday evening, approximately 3.6 million gallons of liquid wastewater and approximately 2,650 tons of solid waste has been hauled out of East Palestine.