Following the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, in February and the resulting environmental impact, the Hopewell Township Office of Emergency Management has enhanced communication with residents regarding our own mitigation plans and safety protocols.
There are an average of 1,704 train derailments per year across the country, most of which are quickly fixed, and without injury to people or the environment. Hopewell Township does have an active train corridor with trains operated by CSX, which is why these important plans have been put in place.
In the unlikely event of a train derailment, both CSX and David Berez, from the Office of Emergency Management Coordinator for Hopewell Township (HTOEM) and the Executive Coordinator for the entire Hopewell Valley, have established an effective process including Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery for the Hopewell Valley Community.
“Hopewell Valley has the technical training, regional assets and communications tools to respond to a rail or other emergency,” says Berez. The Valley OEM employs FEMA’s Whole Community Approach, which employs various stakeholders; local officials; local police, fire and emergency management; county, state and federal agencies; and local communities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Interagency training between HV first responders and CSX is being planned.
If you would like to learn more, an Office of Emergency Management presentation to the Hopewell Township Committee regarding the CSX Rail line will take place on May 1, 2023. Keep an eye on the meeting agendas for further information. If you have questions for David Berez, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Of course, in an emergency, call 9-1-1.