The Gallia County Health Department (GCHD), Environmental Health Division, has remained vigilant to the East Palestine Train Derailment. Our staff have been in contact with partnering organizations to ensure the safety and well being of the residents of our community. Several national and state agencies (including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Department of Health) are closely monitoring the situation in Ohio. At this time, the GCHD has not been made aware of any immediate threats to Gallia County residents. If any advisories or immediate concerns arise, the GCHD will share the information on our Facebook page and with local media outlets.
According to the City of Gallipolis, All of the City of Gallipolis water supply wells are ground water wells that are at least 1/4-1/2 mile from the Ohio River. We have been in contact with the Ohio EPA and were assured that ground water sources were safe. While we regularly test our water supply, we are taking extra precautions and testing VOC and other chemical levels to be vigilant. Should any of the chemicals show in our testing, we will alert all proper authorities as well as our community.
According to Gallia Rural Water, Gallia County Rural Water has been receiving many calls from customers concerned with the train derailment in East Palestine, OH and the safety of their drinking water. We understand the concerns and hope to address them. This is a serious accident with many environmental consequences. Fortunately, Gallia Rural’s water supply is from 10 wells that draw groundwater from the aquifer, not from the Ohio River: therefore, this event has no effect on the quality of water produced and treated at our water plant.
Hopefully this answers many of the questions/concerns from this incident.