MONTGOMERY, W. Va. — Response teams with the West Virginia Train Derailment Response Unified Command continue to make progress restoring the environment at the site of the February 16 incident.
As work continues, the response team is transitioning from an emergency phase into a restoration phase of activity. Emergency response personnel have begun leaving the site and some of the large equipment used in the first phase of the incident is being removed.
As of Thursday afternoon, February 26, rail operations through the area had resumed.
Response crews continue to remove excavated soils from the site for disposal at a licensed facility in Charleston, West Virginia. This phase of the cleanup will take approximately two weeks to complete, pending weather conditions.
To date, approximately 102,000 gallons of oily-water mixture have been recovered from containment trenches dug along the river embankment near the derailment site. The mixture will be removed to a disposal/oil recycling facility located in southwestern Pennsylvania. Approximately 82,000 gallons have been taken to the facility so far.
The 172,105 gallons of crude oil recovered from the rail cars that is currently being stored at CSX’s Handley Yard will be transferred into rail cars for transporting off-site.
Air monitoring will continue in work areas as well as along the site perimeter, to help ensure the safety of the community and the workers who continue restoration efforts. All air monitoring results are available for public review on the www.epaosc.org/CSXMtCarbonCrudeDerailment
“Our first priority is the safety of the community and the workers, and we’d like to remind folks who are driving in the area to be mindful of the increased truck traffic near the work zones,” said Dennis Matlock, Federal On-Scene Coordinator. “There will be flagmen working to help direct traffic for a few weeks.”
After visits by more than 1,000 area residents, CSX has closed the local Outreach Center that has been operating since February 17. CSX continues to be available to compensate any residents who evacuated their homes or who experienced an extended power outage due to the incident. Residents can request compensation by mailing a letter that includes name, home address (P.O. Boxes are not accepted), phone number, social security number and a photocopy of his/her driver’s license to the following address:
Attention: Mount Carbon Accident Response Team
Huntington, WV 25701
CSX will respond with an information package including further instructions, how to provide additional wage information and paperwork for itemizing damages. Compensation through mail usually takes approximately 4-6 weeks.
Residents with questions can call CSX at 1-877-TellCSX (1-877-835-5279).
The Joint Information Center will close at 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 28. Media questions can be directed to the Public Information Officers listed below for additional information.
For environmental questions, please contact:
• Trish Taylor, U.S. EPA Public Information Officer, at: (215) 814-5539
• Kelley Gillenwater, WV DEP Public Information Officer, at: (304) 561-8996
For information about the investigation into the derailment, please contact:
• Kevin Thompson, Assoc. Administrator for Communications and Legislative Affairs, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), at (202) 309-6403
For railroad operation questions, please contact:
• Rob Doolittle, CSX Director, Communications and Media Relations, at: (202) 626-4939
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