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Health Department to Residents: Data Shows E. Palestine Emissions Not Impacting Local Air Quality

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

The Allegheny County Health Department on Thursday issued a public update on its website and social media channels telling residents that it continues to monitor air quality in the wake of the East Palestine train derailment and that data has not indicated that emissions from the incident are a threat to local residents.

Here’s what ACHD published:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Pennsylvania, Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) and Ohio Department of Environmental Protection (Ohio EPA) have been on scene monitoring air quality since the train derailment.

These agencies have not indicated that there are levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hazards air pollutants (HAPs) or criteria pollutants from the train derailment in concentrations that would pose a threat to air quality in Allegheny County. With more than 25 miles from East Palestine to the county border, the ability for these emissions to disperse before reaching the county is very favorable.

The county’s air quality monitors can detect several of the pollutants from the train derailment, like benzene and vinyl chloride.

The Air Quality Program will continue to work with state and federal partners to monitor the situation and provide relevant updates to residents if needed.

The most up-to-date Allegheny County air quality data is shown in the dashboard below.

To learn more about the data we monitor, visit our monitored data webpage.

For anyone seeking additional information, GASP recommends:

The EPA’s official incident response web page. It is simple but dedicated solely to sharing information about the East Palestine train derailment and contains periodic updates, summaries of air monitoring data, important links, and other resources.

This story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It provides in-depth info on what you need to know about air pollutants from the site and associated health concerns.

Twitter handles for local reporters Reid Frazier and Kristina Marusic. Both have been covering the derailment and environmental and health concerns related to the explosion and its aftermath.

This recording of last night’s town hall meeting in East Palestine.

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