DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is estimating that thousands of aquatic creatures were killed as a result of the East Palestine train derailment.
The organization provided an update Thursday on the aquatic life potentially killed as a result of the train derailment in East Palestine.
ODNR used a calculation endorsed by the American Fisheries Society to estimate the total number of minnows killed in the entire 5-mile span of waterway from the derailment site to the point where Bull Creek flows into the north fork of Little Beaver Creek. Of the estimate, 38,222 were minnows, ranging in size between 1 and 3 inches, according to a release.
ODNR estimates the total number of other aquatic life killed as a result of the derailment, including small fish, crayfish, amphibians, and macroinvertebrates is approximately 5,500.
Although dead aquatic species still remain in the impacted waterways, the entirety of the impact to the aquatic life is believed to have occurred in the first 24-hours after the derailment, the release states.
There is no immediate threat to minnows, fish or other aquatic species. None of the species killed are believed to be endangered or threatened.
“ODNR continues to believe that none of the species killed in this event are in the threatened or endangered category,” Mary Mertz, ODNR Director, said.
“We are awaiting test results of several non-aquatic animals including three birds, and an opossum. We do not believe any of these animals were made sick by the train derailment, but we have submitted those specimens to the Ohio Department of Agriculture and will wait for those test results before making that judgement.”
The organization is continuing to monitor and assess the environmental impact during cleanup.
A recording of the Feb. 23 ODNR meeting can be found here.