Giant Eagle, a regional supermarket chain, has chosen to remove all bottled water from their shelves which was sourced from a facility located near East Palestine, Ohio, which is the location of a recent and disastrous train derailment that sparked extreme chemical fallout.
Both local and state authorities previously chose to order the evacuation of all residents that were situated within a mile of the incident area and initiated a controlled burn-off of the corrosive industrial chemicals on the train as a means to reduce the chances of an explosion that could have hurled shrapnel all across the small town. The main chemical which was worrying was vinyl chloride, a highly carcinogenic chemical utilized in the manufacture of PVC, which was released from a total of five train cars in the form of giant plumes of very dark and acrid smoke which were dense enough to see from areas of western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.
As a chain based out of Pittsburgh — with stores all across the Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, and Maryland area — Giant Eagle has stated that the company sources the water for its larger containers from a factory situated close to Salineville, Ohio, which is just a short 25 miles to the southwest of the train derailment site.
“Out of an abundance of caution,” the company has stated in a recent release given to WKBN, “Giant Eagle has made the decision to remove all gallon-size-or-greater Giant Eagle brand spring water product sourced from the Salineville facility from our store shelves until further notice while we continue to evaluate ongoing testing and potential impacts to the spring source.”
This announcement was issued after utilities in both Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati elected to shut down their water intake from the Ohio River easily Sunday morning due to worries about contamination from the industrial chemicals spilled in the train crash. Going further than the release of the vinyl chloride, officials with Norfolk Southern issued a warning to the EPA that a number of other highly volatile chemicals, including both ethylhexyl acrylate and ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, were being carried on the train which derailed. The EPA released a full list of all substances that were present at the site only once the residents were told that the evacuation orders had ended.
The EPA has issued an order to Norfolk Southern late last week to handle the cleanup of the toxic chemical spill they caused. The agency has also issued a threat to “immediately step in, conduct the necessary work, and then seek to compel Norfolk Southern to pay triple the cost” if the company fails to adequately finish all enumerated cleanup actions.