On February 27, 2023, the U.S. EPA announced that Norfolk Southern had contracted with Heritage Environmental Services (HES) to dispose of contaminated soil containing low levels of butyl acrylate and vinyl chloride at a hazardous waste landfill in Roachdale, Indiana.
Operating since 1981, the HES Roachdale facility is permitted to handle hazardous waste and is bound by strict state and federal laws regarding hazardous waste disposal. It is not within IDEM’s regulatory authority to prevent hazardous waste disposal facilities from accepting materials for which they are permitted to handle and dispose. The HES Roachdale facility began receiving soil from East Palestine on March 1.
On March 2, Governor Eric Holcomb directed the State of Indiana to contract with a nationally recognized laboratory to begin rigorous third-party testing for dioxins on the material being transported from East Palestine. Dioxins form when chlorine-based chemicals like vinyl chloride are burned and can settle into soil.
Results of the Sampling
Starting March 4, Pace Labs conducted testing on soil samples from the loads that arrived in Indiana that same day to prove expedited results. On March 8, Pace Labs completed and shared the full results of its third-party dioxin testing ordered by Governor Holcomb.
These results indicate that the material tested does not contain any harmful levels of dioxins compared to acceptable levels as established by the U.S. EPA.
Furthermore, these results demonstrate that the site operator is lawfully permitted to dispose of that material at its site in accordance with the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 40 CFR 268.48 and 40 CFR 268.49. These results were shared with the site operator and the U.S. EPA.
Read IDEM's Technical Memo [PDF] on the sampling results.
Read the entire Pace Labs sampling results and methodology [PDF].
The U.S. EPA has announced that any further materials scheduled for shipment from East Palestine will undergo dioxin testing before leaving the site in Ohio.
Governor Holcomb has also ordered continued third-party dioxin testing of any and all subsequent loads of soil coming to Indiana from the East Palestine crash site.