The Lead

Pa. Health Dept. extends health resource center near derailment site

By: - March 10, 2023 1:34 pm
Aerial view of the train derailment wreckage in East Palestine. (Screenshot from NTSB B-roll recorded Feb. 5, 2023)

Aerial view of the train derailment wreckage in East Palestine, Ohio, Feb. 5, 2023. (NTSB).

The Pennsylvania Department of Health said Friday it would extend operations of a health resource center in Darlington Township, Beaver County through March 16. 

The center opened on Feb. 28, and offers treatment to residents in Beaver and Lawrence counties who may have health concerns following the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train in nearby East Palestine, Ohio. 

The train was carrying hazardous chemicals when it derailed, and the railroad conducted a “controlled release” of vinyl chloride in the days following the incident.

The center will be open March 13 to March 15 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on March 16. Staff from both the state Health and Agriculture departments, and the Department of Environmental Protection will be on site to address residents’ questions. 

According to a statement from the health department, the center at 3590 Darlington Road has served 466 people as of March 9, including providing soil and water quality testing, medical evaluations, emergency behavioral health evaluations, and answering questions about pet and farm animal safety.

The health department will continue to conduct Assessment of Chemical Exposure (ACE) surveys, asking both residents and first responders to the derailment site about any symptoms or concerns.

In addition, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency has an online dashboard available for information about water and air testing, health resources, cleaning service and contact information for Norfolk Southern. 

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Kim Lyons
Kim Lyons

Kim Lyons is a veteran western Pennsylvania journalist who has covered people and trends in politics and business for local and national publications. Follow her on Threads @social_kimly