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Train Derailment: Pennsylvania Update: May 16, 2023

As the Shapiro Administration continues to assist local communities in recovering from the Norfolk Southern train derailment on February 3 in East Palestine, the Pennsylvania Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP), Health (DOH), and Agriculture (PDA) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) are providing updates on state actions and resources for residents of Beaver and Lawrence counties.
Work is ongoing to provide individuals, businesses, and communities the information and resources they need to stay safe and healthy. Please feel free to share this information with your family, friends, and communities. 
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Shapiro Administration to Hold Small Business Resource Fair in Darlington Township on May 17 

The Shapiro Administration will hold a Small Business Resource Fair on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, in Darlington Township to assist small businesses, farmers, and residents as they recover from the impacts of the Norfolk Southern train derailment.
The DEP Small Business Ombudsman Office will be joined by representatives from the Pennsylvania Departments of Agriculture and Community and Economic Development (DCED) to connect residents and small businesses with information on grant and loan opportunities and other state resources. In addition, information on local and federal resources will be available.
“We want to help the residents of this community get their lives back to what they were before the Norfolk Southern train derailment,” said Acting DEP Secretary Rich Negrin. “We want to reinforce the Shapiro Administration’s commitment to the people affected by the derailment. From environmental sampling, to health screenings, and now small business assistance, the Commonwealth is standing behind Beaver and Lawrence counties.”
Small Business Resource Fair – open to the public
Wednesday, May 17 | noon–5:00 PM

Darlington Township Building
3590 Darlington Rd.
Darlington, PA 16115
Help spread the word: from small business grants to energy upgrade incentives to community and economic development funding and more, there are many resources available to help businesses, farms, and residents. Find more information on DEP's Small Businesses website.

DEP Adds Groundwater-Monitoring Wells to Water Sampling

The Department has added groundwater-monitoring wells to its sampling.
Norfolk Southern drilled groundwater-monitoring wells in three locations in Beaver County within a half mile of the derailment site. DEP began sampling them on April 21 and to date has taken two rounds of samples from each of the three wells.
Samples are being tested for chemicals of concern identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Unified Command. Results will indicate whether contaminants from the Ohio derailment site are moving through the groundwater toward Pennsylvania. 
Results from soil and groundwater monitoring well sampling will guide DEP determinations regarding monitoring private drinking well and soil locations beyond the two-mile radius of the derailment site.
Water and soil monitoring in Beaver and Lawrence counties has been ongoing in response to the derailment. Groundwater sampling adds to private well water, public water supply, surface water (lakes, streams, rivers), and soil sampling. Locations and final results of monitoring are publicly available on this DEP interactive map:

More Than 100 Data Points Added to DEP Interactive Map of Water and Soil Sampling

More than 100 new data points have been added to the DEP interactive map of water and soil sampling: 98 soil locations, 21 private well locations, 17 surface water locations, and three groundwater-monitoring well locations.
Final results will be added as they become available. Samples are being tested for chemicals of concern identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Unified Command. The map also includes a time-lapse feature to show where and when samples were collected.
The DEP interactive map can be found at
Train derailment map

Plant Tissue Sampling Underway by Department of Agriculture and Penn State

During the last week of April, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) took plant tissue samples at 15 properties with Darlington, Enon Valley, and New Galilee zip codes, including 13 of the original Pennsylvania sites where soil was tested.
Plant tissue is being tested to see whether plants have taken up any toxins related to the derailment from soil or water. Penn State Extension, with funding from PDA, is testing the tissue samples for the same substances soil and water were tested for in relation to the derailment. PSU labs will verify the results in conjunction with PDA. Results of this sampling are expected to take a few weeks.
The Shapiro Administration is committed to continuing to support farmers and agricultural producers impacted by the derailment. In addition to plant issue sampling, PDA works with the DEP to have soil tested on request, as well as working closely with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and DEP to monitor air and water sampling.

For Derailment-Related Health Concerns, Call 877-PA-HEALTH

Pennsylvania residents who have health concerns related to the derailment can call the state Department of Health hotline to request a referral to address their health concerns. Staff will connect you to the appropriate local health care services, with access to care open to all, regardless of someone’s insurance or transportation situation.
This hotline and resource network replaced the Health Resource Center that had been operating at the Darlington Township building, which served nearly 600 people during its operation.

Health and Other Resources Contact Information on One Page

If you have questions or concerns about potential impacts from the derailment, you’ll find a list of many state and federal resources and their phone numbers, websites, and email addresses in this new Resource Sheet from Pennsylvania state agencies. Print and keep it on hand, and share with your family and friends, too.
Scan this QR code to access the Resource Sheet

Online Dashboard Provides Information and Resources for Pennsylvanians

The online Train Derailment Dashboard from PEMA provides links to many resources and updates from state and federal agencies for Pennsylvanians affected by the derailment.
Visit the dashboard online at

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Weekly Newsletters

As of May 9, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that excavation continues on the north track. Sampled and cleared areas will be backfilled with clean material. These areas are still subject to further sampling and evaluation.
You can find more news on EPA activities at and around the derailment site, as well as answers to common questions, in a weekly newsletter EPA publishes online and mails to surrounding communities, including Darlington. To see the current newsletter, visit this EPA web page.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
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