Easter Spring Fling Will Proceed in East Palestine

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio – Following test result announcements by the Environmental Protection Agency, some annual springtime events will go forward as normal in the village, even while the cleanup continues.

The annual Spring Fling, including the Easter egg hunt in the park, have been given the blessing of the EPA, which released an announcement late Thursday that the park is safe for the enjoyment of the community.

An independent review by Technical Assistance Services for Communities of samples from March 9 and 10 at seven locations in the park, which included two samples at each location – one at the surface and the second below the surface – showed that any detected chemicals occurred at levels below what is considered unsafe for people. Additionally, it was noted in most cases the levels were well below safe levels.

The Spring Fling will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday with Breakfast with the Easter Bunny at the Park Community Center and the Easter egg hunt following at 11 a.m. on the tennis and basketball courts, which were cleaned by the railroad. Through the Chamber of Commerce, East Palestine businesses will have prize giveaways at the Spring Fling headquarters at the Municipal Building, and various businesses will have sales and special events.

The Ward and EP Girls Invitational track meet, which had also been of concern, will take place Saturday. EPA test results of air, water and soil quality sampling are linked on East Palestine Schools’ website to reassure those competing and attending about the safety of the school hosting the annual meet, which generally draws more than a dozen competing schools.

Cleanup of the train derailment site, which is further than 1.5 miles from the school, continues with work nearing completion for the south track backfill and restoration work. Planning is underway for the north track removal, and Taggart Street remains closed as heavy trucks continue to remove contaminated soil and liquid from the areas near the tracks.

At this point, 15,638 tons of contaminated soil has been shipped, along with 10,132,751 gallons of liquid waste. Air monitoring continues, and the first phase of soil sampling is scheduled to be completed this weekend.

The EPA also announced stream contamination mitigation of Sulphur Run and Leslie Run are nearing completion.

Pictured at top: The gazebo at East Palestine City Park.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.