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Risks to Residents of the Upper Ohio River Valley from Railroad Incidents

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In the evening hours of February 3, 2023, an eastbound Norfolk Southern train derailed in the normally quiet town of East Palestine, Ohio, caught fire and spread a variety of hazardous chemicals over a broad area. In the months following this catastrophic failure, the residents in the region have had to deal with contaminated soil, surface water, and air pollution, and deal with the fears that exposure to some of the hazardous materials on that ill-fated 32N train might lead to significant health problems in the years ahead.

Vast quantities of hazardous materials are being moved near people’s homes, in an industry where derailments, collisions, and other incidents are all too regular of an occurrence. Fractracker Alliance has published a report and map quantifying rail incidents, and identifies risks to residents of the upper Ohio River Valley:

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