Why Toxins From Ohio Train Derailment Are A Concern For Louisiana
Social media has been constantly buzzing about the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio since local media reports first surfaced. On February 3rd, 2023, a Norfolk Southern train with derailed in the small Ohio community. There were 50 train cars that derailed, and at least 1/5 of them contained toxic chemicals.
This led to an explosion, fire, and plume of toxic chemicals that could be seen for miles around. There are even reports that planes flying by could see the toxic plume through the lower cloud deck.
That plume of toxic chemicals wasn't all an accident either. Crews involved in the response to the derailment decided to conduct a "controlled release" of the toxins, which helped lead to the black cloud of toxic chemicals. This apparently took place while residents were evacuated from their homes. However that evacuation was lifted just days later, and when residents returned they immediately started suffering from "burning sensations" in their eyes, and a strong odor/taste in the air. This has led to residents filing lawsuits.
However, the concerns are not limited to the community of East Palestine. Because their community, the train derailment, and toxic release are all in close proximity to the Ohio River and Ohio River Basin.
In the immediate aftermath, residents have been reporting multiple different species of animals becoming ill, and dying, along the Ohio River Basin. That includes thousands of fish in the river who have died. This is causing major concerns further down river.
The Ohio River is a main tributary to the Lower Mississippi River, which is a major part of the Louisiana ecosystem. If the toxic contaminants continue to flow down from the Ohio River, its only a matter of time until those toxins reach Louisiana.
While some are downplaying the environmental impact of this toxic release, its hard to argue with thousands of fish dying, a massive black cloud of toxic chemicals, and a burning sensation being felt by local residents. Now that is flowing towards Louisiana.