Village of Marathon officials addressed a question earlier this week regarding the East Palestine train derailment in Ohio that occurred Feb. 8, spilling hazardous materials including vinyl chloride into the area.
The spill, which occurred due to a mechanical problem on one of the rail cars' trucks, has been the subject of increased media coverage in the last month. Several railcars burned for more than two days, with emergency crews then conducting a controlled burn of several railcars at the request of state officials.
“I called the railroad, part of it in light of what happened in Ohio,” Mayor Scott Chamberlin said. “I talked with the railroad employees in Cooperstown. They said there are no toxic inhalant chemicals (TIH), there are no poisonous inhalant (PIH) chemicals. No crude oil. The tank cars you see go by are hauling asphalt to and from the Suit Kote plant in Cortland. There is nothing that would cause a situation like what happened in Ohio. Nothing that flammable.”
Village Clerk Laura Padbury worked for Suit Kote for several years.
“What they are hauling is the oil that makes the polymer to make black top asphalt,” she said.
Although it does not have the same volatile risk as the chemicals in the Ohio spill, Padbury said the compound could still be dangerous.
“If it gets in the groundwater there are still potential hazards if the tanks are exposed,” she said.