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Environment


Willard residents will remain evacuated into Thanksgiving
About 12,500 gallons of styrene spilled from a CSX car, and cleanup is not yet complete; crews will remain through the weekend
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
In The Region:

The evacuation of some 400 households in the northern Ohio town of Willard will continue into Thanksgiving, as EPA and CSX rail crews continue to clean up a spill of thousands of gallons of the chemical styrene. 

Spokesmen for the town, railroad and state and federal EPA say they still don’t know what caused the derailment of the tanker car at about midnight last night. It took more than three hours to stop the styrene leaking from the car, and by that time some 12,500 gallons had spilled.

The EPAs are monitoring how far the chemical – which is used in plastic and rubber products – spread both in the air and on the ground. 

Kevin Klaus of the Ohio EPA says it appears the actual chemical has been kept close to the spill site, cleaning that up – as well as what’s left in the tanker car – will take time.

LISTEN: Klaus on what's next

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“We’ll continue to be doing air monitoring throughout the night as long as this removal action  takes and we will have our responders on scene 24 hours a day throughout the holiday weekend.”

CSX has set up a Thanksgiving dinner for the community at the Willard High School, where some of the evacuees were taken. The rail company also is paying for hotel rooms and restaurant meals. 

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