Ohio Leads Nation in Hazardous Waste Spills

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

When it comes to hazardous waste accidents, Ohio is a reluctant No. 1.


The Buckeye State has the dubious honor of leading the nation in spills involving dangerous materials, whether it is from derailed freight trains, overturned trucks or other mishaps, according to an investigation by the Cincinnati Enquirer.


Since 1971, Ohio has experienced 43,891 spills of hazardous materials.


In second place is Pennsylvania (39,939), followed by California (39,673), Texas (39,084) and Illinois (37,524) among the top five.


Ohio’s third largest city, Cincinnati, has dealt with more than 25% of the state’s accidents, and managed to average one spill a day last year.


The Cincinnati area has endured 169 major spills, 94 evacuations, 16 injuries and two fatalities over the last decade, the newspaper reported.


First responders have expressed concern that the area is overdue for another hazardous spill that may affect hundreds of people. Ohio is considered one of the nation’s major transportation hubs, given that it has the third-most railroad miles among all U.S. states, traveled by the sixth-highest number of railroad companies within the state—significant statistics, given the preponderance of rail cars transporting hazardous materials in the country and the increase in hazardous waste accidents.


“We are at our capacity on the highways and in many ways on the railroads as well,” said Richard R. Young, professor of supply chain management for Penn State University-Harrisburg, told the Enquirer. ”This has meant a perfect storm for potential accidents.”

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Danny Biederman


To Learn More:

Hazmat Spills on the Rise in Ohio (by James Pilcher, Cincinnati Enquirer)

292 Unreported Oil Pipeline Leaks in North Dakota in less than 2 Years (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


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