Houston, March 1 (IANS) A waste disposal site in south central US’ Texas state will continue receiving hazardous liquid from East Palestine, Ohio, where a train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed early February, the office of Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said.
“The EPA (the US Environmental Protection Agency) just informed us that due to heavy rain at the derailment site and capacity limitations in other facilities, transportation of the firefighting water from East Palestine will resume to Harris County today,” Hidalgo said in a statement.
“The EPA explained to me that the residents of East Palestine need this firefighting water to be properly stored and disposed of rather than for it to be exposed offsite,” Hidalgo was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.
The rest of the waste and some of the firefighting water will be transported to other facilities in Ohio and Indiana, according to the statement.
Earlier, the EPA briefly paused shipments from the site to Texas after concerns were raised by local residents and county officials.
Residents and workers near the derailment site have been diagnosed with bronchitis and other conditions that doctors and nurses suspect are linked to chemical exposure, according to an NBC News report.
Apart from breathing issues, some local residents have reported headaches, nausea and rashes, the report said. These can be symptoms of chemical exposure, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than three dozen freight cars, including 11 carrying hazardous materials, derailed near East Palestine on February 4. Responders later released and burned 115,580 gallons of vinyl chloride from five rail cars to avoid an uncontrolled explosion.
Vinyl chloride exposure is associated with an increased risk of a rare form of liver cancer as well as primary liver cancer, brain and lung cancers, lymphoma, and leukemia.