On February 3, 2023, at 8:54 p.m. EST a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio. Eleven of the 38 derailed cars carried toxic materials including vinyl chloride. The train cars burned, polluting the air and water in the region. The toxic waste in the form of water and soil was shipped across the country for disposal.
The implications of the train derailment are vast: among them are long-term health and environmental impacts in the region, and questions regarding rail, trucking, oil, plastics industry regulations. As demand for oil and gas for fuel production is decreasing, the industry has shifted to the production of plastics. Texas and Louisiana, including my home city of Lake Charles, are centers for vinyl chloride production. For Derailment I altered a book of maps of the Ohio River published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1966.