How would our water be impacted by hazardous material/train derailment?

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.-The chemical train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio has sparked conversations about the transportation of hazardous material throughout our region.

News 40 reached out to CSX for comment.

“Safety in our communities and for our employees is the highest priority for CSX…. more than 99.9% of all hazmat moved by rail reaches its destination without a release caused by a train accident….” said a representative for CSX. 

While there are health concerns in Ohio, Bowling Green has not seen any effects from the incident. 

“The Ohio train derailment has actually not had any impact on the water here for BGMU,” said BGMU Treatment Plant Supervisor Doug Kimbler. 

But what would happen if a train derailment carrying hazardous material like that occurred here?

“The first thing we would do if there was a car derailment in our area is we would shut down production and make sure that everything was safe for our people,” said Kimbler. 

They do have treatment options on site if there were contamination concerns. 

“We do maintain a supply of powder activated carbon which is an absorbent that we could use if there was some organic material in our water but again the railcars are actually going to be downstream of our treatment plant so the water wouldn’t be able to migrate back down to our facility so that’s a little bit of safety for us,” said Kimbler. 

We don’t know what hazardous materials go through our town. CSX does not disclose train schedules or materials because of safety and security reasons. 

They said, quote, “we work closely with first responders across our network and regulatory agencies to ensure proper planning and safety protocols are followed….we provide density studies to first responders as well as state and federal officials that identify the hazardous materials that we carry through a given community and the quantities we move….”