A truck that was responsible for carrying 40,000 pounds of contaminated soil from East Palestine, Ohio — where a train carrying hazardous materials crashed in February — overturned on Monday. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said that roughly half of the soil that was on the truck ended up spilling along the highway.
The tractor trailer, which had an open top, was traveling north along SR-165 on Monday when the accident occurred sometime after noon local time in Columbiana County. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the vehicle's 74-year-old driver, Phillip Falck, had gone off the right side of the road, hit a ditch and utility pole and overturned. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the truck "on its side, off of the right side of the roadway."
About half of the soil onboard – roughly 20,000 pounds – ended up spilling out of the truck, prompting responses from the local fire department and Ohio EPA, which said that "the spill was contained and is not a threat to nearby waterways."
Falck was "cited for operating a vehicle without reasonable control," the highway patrol said.
The soil onboard the truck was from the site inwhere a Norfolk Southern train went off the tracks on Feb. 3 as it was carrying numerous hazardous substances. Locals were temporarily ordered to evacuate amid concerns that the polyvinyl chloride onboard, as well as other substances, could potentially cause an explosion.
The spill resulted in contaminants leaking into the surrounding environment,. By the end of the month, said that "substantial contamination" in had been removed from the site, which continues to be an ongoing process.
The rail operator said that as of April 10, nearly 20,000 tons of waste soil have been removed from that site, but according to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, there is still more than 17,000 tons of soil that needs to be removed.
The truck crash happened the same day that a new health clinic was opened in East Palestine, a permanent fixture to replace the temporary health assessment clinic that was opened in the wake of the
"The grand opening of the East Liverpool City Hospital East Palestine Clinic represents our continued commitment to this community," Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said in a release. "We realize that the people of East Palestine need long-term support, and they deserve another primary care option close to home. This new clinic will provide that."
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