MOUNT CARBON, W.Va. — The state Department of Environmental Protection said it has yet to determine the full scope of the environmental impact of Monday’s CSX oil train derailment at Mount Carbon in Fayette County.
DEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said the focus Wednesday continued to be containment. She said the top priority continues to be making sure no crude oil gets into the Kanawha River. An additional boom was installed in a containment trench Wednesday.
Gillenwater said once the burned cars and other debris is removed, soil testing and soil evacuation will begin.
The oil that has leaked thus far into Armstrong Creek has been caught by ice and booms. Gillenwater said 5,000 gallons of an oil-water mix was vacuumed Tuesday night. Water samples of the river continue to be non-detect.
Residents of the community of Boomer, across the Kanawha River from the derailment site, were allowed to return home Wednesday. The evacuation order continues for Mount Carbon and Adena Village.
The U.S. Coast Guard announced Wednesday a unified command response involving the Coast Guard, DOT, EPA, CSX, state DEP, DMAPS, the National Guard and other agencies.
“The top priorities for response personnel remain the safety of the community and responders, and mitigating the impact to the environment,” said Capt. Lee Boone, Federal On Scene Coordinator for the West Virginia Train Derailment in a prepared release.
The Federal Railroad Administration said fires at the derailment site continued to burn Wednesday but it was more controlled than Tuesday.
CSX also released the following information Wednesday:
–detailed car count- 27 cars derailed with 19 of those were involved in the fire.
–oil transfers from the derailed cars have not begun, and no estimate of when the tracks will be restored.
–CSX will inspect the derailed cars more closely to determine how they and other debris will be removed.
–inspections will determine if the cars can be repaired or whether they will be scrapped.
–the cause of the derailment remains under investigation.