Faculty experts discuss East Palestine train derailment during March 10 conversation

Published: March 9, 2023 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University faculty experts Michele Morrone, professor in the College of Health Sciences and Professions, and Natalie Kruse Daniels, professor and director of the Environmental Studies Program in the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service will discuss data of the East Palestine train derailment during a livestream conversation on Friday, March 10, from noon to 1 p.m.

They will share data, talk about the potential short and long-term environmental health effects, and provide a forum to raise questions about the incident.

Kruse Daniels, an expert in water quality will speak on the water quality data that’s been gathered and compare them to the standards, while Morrone, an environmental health expert, will speak to the environmental health issues that are and can arise from the derailment.

“There are many learning opportunities associated with the derailment,” Morrone said. “Multiple disciplines are involved including environmental health, environmental science, risk communication, engineering, and math and statistics.”

The train derailment which occurred in East Palestine, Ohio on Feb. 3, 2023, was a serious incident that led to chemical releases into the environment that can impact the surrounding communities and potentially even more areas at large. The goal of this conversation is to shed light to the general public on the data that has already been collected and put into perspective the potential outcomes of this incident.

“This has put our communities in a national spotlight in addition to the risks of industrial accidents and chemical releases,” Kruse Daniels explained. “I don’t think we know what the long-term impacts will be, but we can help explain to non-experts in these fields the possible outcomes that we could see.”

Morrone hopes that in the end there will be a positive impact such as enhanced regulations that protect community and environmental health because of the conversations people are having about this incident and the national attention it’s drawing.

Online conversations with Ohio University faculty experts on relevant events and topics happen often and are intended to provide insights and expertise on topics of interest to our University stakeholders. What is shared in this discussion represents the expertise and point of view of two of our accomplished faculty members, but we should note that neither of these individuals are actively involved in the collaborative federal, state and community response to the East Palestine incident. As such, the information they will share today may not reflect the latest developments.

Those interested in attending the virtual conversation can register here. For more information, contact Mackenzie Kucharsky at kucharsky@ohio.edu.