Utility companies situated in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati have officially closed off water intake valves from the Ohio River as of early this past Sunday morning over extreme concerns about contamination by corrosive and hazardous materials from the train which derailed and crash in East Palestine, Ohio.
The two companies, Greater Cincinnati Water Works (GCWW) and Northern Kentucky Water District (NKWD), stated that they are now taking high levels of precautions as testing found at least low levels of chemicals from the toxic spill in quite a few places at various intakes along the waterway amid reports of fish dying off en masse in local waterways and the residents of East Palestine reporting ailments such as rashes, sore throats, and headaches.
In the wake of the Norfolk Southern freight train derailment which took place on the 3rd of February, crews carried out what authorities stated was a controlled burn of highly hazardous materials from cars that had a possibility of exploding, prompting the local residents to temporarily evacuate and sparked a large plume of acrid black smoke over the tiny town along the border of Pennsylvania.
“Emergency responders were able to quickly respond and contain most of the chemicals,” explained NKWD in a press release. NKWD stated that one of the chemicals spilled, butyl acrylate, “was detected at low levels in the Ohio River far upstream of our water supply intakes.”
The chemical butyl acrylate “is a clear liquid with a sweet odor used in arts and crafts, adhesives, flooring, sinks, bathtubs, to name just a few of the uses of the chemical,” explained NKWD.
GCWW explained that these low levels of butyl acrylate were thought to have “seeped” into the Ohio River via a tiny creek roughly 300 miles to the north of Cincinnati.
As of this Sunday evening, GCWW reported “2-Ethyl-1-hexanol was detected. This compound is commonly used in industrial applications including for flavorings and fragrances.”
BREAKING: Greater Cincinnati Water Works is keeping its intake CLOSED after reportedly detecting a compound upstream.
“2-Ethyl-1-hexanol was detected. This compound is commonly used in industrial applications including for flavorings and fragrances.”
— Danielle Dindak (@danielledindak) February 19, 2023
NKWD and GCWW, who reportedly serve multiple hundreds of thousands of customers each, stated that they will continue their copious amount of testing while working alongside the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission and assured the public that they already had plans for treatment processes in place. The utilities stated that they will rely on their own reserves until regulators are entirely sure that water from the Ohio River is entirely clean and safe to deal with.
Norfolk Southern has stated that it was working with local, state, and federal leaders and the community affected by the derailment in East Palestine. That has not stopped a large number of lawsuits which has built up as the outrage builds, spurred on by various videos going viral which show an oily sheen from harsh chemicals in local waterways.
Visited a local creek in East Palestine today. These waterways are still very polluted. It’s time for Norfolk Southern to finish the cleanup. Check this video out: pic.twitter.com/4lsHBmrMJj
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) February 16, 2023