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Ohio train derailment: Should New Englanders be worried about air quality? - - Usa - Canada - state Ohio - Palestine - county Atlantic - state Maine
Ohio train derailment: Should New Englanders be worried about air quality?
the disastrous train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, officials in Maine have been collecting data to see what impacts — if any — the plume of smoke and chemicals will have on air quality in the New England area. Wind patterns in and around New England often travel from west to east and many states are located downwind of Ohio, which usually means whatever pollutants Ohio gets, most of New England could eventually receive as well. "We have been often referred to, euphemistically, as the exhaust pipe for the nation because the way typical weather patterns move across the country, and if there’s any kind of pollution event that occurs elsewhere, it eventually finds its way to the East Coast, and more often than not, because of the way weather systems move in this area of the country, we get the last of it before it exits into the Maritimes of Canada or the Atlantic Ocean," said Andy Johnson, director of the air quality assessment division for the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.Smoke and flames rise after the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, United States.CREDIT: US Environmental Protection Agency / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images RELATED: What we know about the Ohio train derailmentBut will a train derailment and subsequent chemical smoke from hundreds of miles away have the capability of reaching as far east as Maine? According to Johnson, it’s not very likely. "When the train derailed, and the cars were on fire, and then they did intentionally vent some of the tanks to prevent explosions in the area, those emissions that got released into the air at that time, would have reached here in a day, two at the most," Johnson said.