ODA, OSU say plant tissue from East Palestine-area crops is not contaminated

Plant tissue from crops in East Palestine, Ohio is not contaminated with “semi-volatile organic compounds” associated with the train derailment, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Ohio State University.

Producers in the area have expressed concerns about the planting season and potential ag impacts caused by the Norfolk Southern train derailment that took place Feb. 3.

The department says plant health inspectors used U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved methods to collect plant tissue samples from 16 farms within five miles of the accident. Sites were selected with the help of Columbiana Soil and Water Conservation District, Columbiana County Farm Bureau, OSU Extension, and Ohio EPA. Samples included winter wheat, pasture grasses, malting barley, and forage covers.

Samples were also collected further from the site to serve as a baseline comparison.

According to analysis from Ohio State University, there were no reportable levels of the compounds “in the inner or background radius zones attributable to the train derailment.”

ODA and OSU say the data is intended to support the “immediate needs of the local ag community” and supplement results from the EPA’s ongoing soil sampling plan.

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