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No Significant Local Air Quality Concerns Following Ohio Train Derailment: Tribe Continuously Monitoring Air Quality Indicators

Feb 17, 2023

On February 3, 2023 a train, carrying hazardous materials, derailed and caught fire near Palestine, OH. Emergency responders evacuated local residents after identifying the potential threat of explosion and release of toxic fumes. Due to the unstable conditions, responders prescribed a controlled burn. Materials were diverted to a trench and burned in place—a visible plume of smoke left the site and dispersed into the atmosphere.

EPA conducted monitoring of 459 homes in the area and no results were found above action levels. Monitoring of homes, air quality, drinking water and the environment will continue.

Across the region, and locally, air monitoring stations are continuously looking for indicators of impacts from Palestine, OH. These indicators have not shown any results above action levels.

The Tribe’s Air Quality Program (AQP) works with the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) to continuously monitor air quality. Precipitation samples are sent to an offsite lab for analysis. The AQP also monitors for particulates (called PM 2.5), pH and others. The results can be used to understand possible measurable impacts from the Palestine response.

Primarily due to our distance from the site, the risks for Akwesasne are insignificant. Technology allows us to better track and understand the mechanisms for atmospheric transport. If any substance are detected, they would be described as trace amounts and far below any levels associated with health effects. We are more likely to encounter exposure from local sources such as unlawful burning.

For more information, please contact the Air Quality Program in the Environment Division at 315-358-5937.


East Palestine, Ohio, a village of about 4,700 residents about 50 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

150 cars were on route from Madison, Ill., to Conway, Pa.

NTSB reported that 38 cars derailed and a fire ensued, which damaged another 12 cars.

20 rail cars were reported to have been carrying hazardous materials. Vinyl chloride, butyl acrylate, ethylhexyl acrylate and ethylene glycol monobutyl ethers were released to the air, surface soil and surface waters


Update from Ohio Governor

NTSB Update

EPA Notice of Liability to Norfolk Southern


The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and federally recognized government of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe.