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Some Hoosiers near landfill OK with soil coming from Ohio train derailment

RUSSELLVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Some residents in Russellville were less concerned about the toxic soil going to the small town’s Heritage Environmental Landfill from the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment after learning Wednesday that testing found the level of dioxin was low enough to be safe at the facility.

About a dozen patrons were in the Harrison Street Tavern on Wednesday night, and those people who talked with News 8 did not object to the soil coming to the facility. Jessica Gordon lives about 3 miles outside of Russellville. “This facility has been here for 30-plus years. If the facility could not handle the material, it would not have come here in the first place.”

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a statement after test results came back. The governor also provided an online link to the soil sampling text results.

Gordon said, “The statement that the governor put out this evening, it’s been tested the dioxins are low. What is … I don’t understand why everybody is still up, in an uproar over the whole situation. Nobody has had any kind of issue ever, the locals that live here.”

Gordon said most of the people who are against the soil coming to the landfill are not from the Putnam County town. “A lot of them have been out-of-towners. There have been a couple people from Russellville, in-town Russellville, that had some negativity toward it.”

Here is the governor’s full statement issued Wednesday:

“Pace Labs has completed and shared the full results of their third-party dioxin testing I had ordered and expedited last week. Initial samples were taken on Saturday morning, March 4, and testing began that same day at their Minneapolis laboratory.

“These results indicate that the material tested does not contain any harmful levels of dioxins when compared to acceptable levels established by the EPA. Furthermore, these results demonstrate that the site operator is lawfully permitted to dispose of that material at its site. We have informed the EPA and the site operator of these testing results.

“We will have Pace Labs continue to test samples of any future loads that may arrive in Indiana from East Palestine to confirm that none of the material contains harmful levels of dioxins.”