On American tracks, yet another train wrecked, dumping deadly chemicals.
This time, the accident involved a Canadian Pacific (CP) train, happened in a rural area of North Dakota, and the pollutants included petroleum used in the manufacture of asphalt. Officials and the corporation, however, insisted that nobody was hurt and that the spill would not endanger public health.
The spilled materials will be completely cleaned up, and the environment at the site will be restored, according to CP spokesperson Andy Cummings, as The Washington Post reported.
The derailment happened around 11:15 p.m. on Sunday about a mile to the southeast of the North Dakota hamlet of Wyndmere, according to Valley News Live. A damaged rail was first blamed for the incident in which 31 out of 70 carriages off the rails. At least seven of them included autos that contained dangerous substances. These substances were:
- Liquid Asphalt: This is a viscous liquid or semi-solid form of petroleum typically sourced from the heaviest parts of crude oil and used to pave roads, according to the Virginia Asphalt Association. It spilled from four cars.
- Ethylene Glycol: This is a synthetic liquid that absorbs water and is often used as an antifreeze, according to the National Library of Medicine. Because it is liquid, it spreads easily in the environment and needs to be stopped before it seeps into groundwater or drinking water. It is currently produced from fossil fuels, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It spilled from two cars.
- Propylene: This is an extremely flammable fuel gas that is typically obtained while refining gasoline, according to Linde. One car holding it was punctured, releasing some of the gas, but the puncture was then contained, Cummings told Valley News Live.
Fortunately, the chemicals that leaked did not cause a fire, and the event did not take place close to any waterways, according to officials. The corporation is collaborating with the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, Wyndmere, Richland County first responders, and others to clean the site, which should take seven to ten days.
I’ve spoken to individuals about the railroad, cleanup, and other related topics. In addition, environmental monitoring and similar concerns will continue for the remainder of the year, according to Edd Goerger, owner of the property where the derailment occurred, in a statement to Valley News Live. To restore the roads, we must ensure that we cooperate with the railroad and that there is substantial traffic on them during this critical time of some thawing.
Read More: 22 People Are Killed by Tornadoes in Mississippi and Alabama.
The Feb. 3 derailment of a train in East Palestine, Ohio, which required 1,500 to 2,000 people to flee the site of a spill that included the plastic-production and liver-cancer-linked chemical vinyl chloride, has made the country more aware of the risks of moving hazardous chemicals by rail.
Norfolk Southern, the company that operated the train, and the U.S. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the town is now safe, but independent scientists, activists, and locals are less certain, according to a piece in The Guardian.
Greg Mascher, a local who claims he left the town soon after the disaster but claims he still struggles to sleep at night owing to coughing, wrote in The Guardian on Monday, “I don’t accept the government or railway company’s statements that our town is safe.” It pains you to admit it, but they are lying.
Other notable incidents since the East Palestine derailment have included a BNSF derailment in the middle of March that spilled about 5,000 gallons of fuel onto a Swinomish Reservation in Washington State and a Norfolk Southern derailment in early March in Ohio that fortunately did not release any chemicals.
Read More: Navajo Nation’s Requests in The Colorado River Litigation Heard by The Supreme Court.
A Union Pacific iron ore train derailed in San Bernardino County, California, also on Sunday, although there was no danger to the public or the environment, according to The Washington Post.
The East Palestine derailment has led to a bi-partisan push for rail safety legislation, but it s important to note that many of the recent derailments have involved chemicals either derived from fossil fuels or used to produce plastic, a petroleum product. In doing so, they offer one additional justification for the phase-out of fuels whose burning is substantially to blame for the current climate disaster.