Governor Eric J. Holcomb Thursday announced he directed his administration to contract with 3rd party provider Pace Labs to immediately conduct testing of the hazardous materials being shipped from the East Palestine train derailment to an Indiana facility. Gov. Holcomb offered the following statement:

“Effective immediately, I have directed our administration to contract with a nationally recognized
laboratory to begin rigorous 3rd party testing for dangerous levels of dioxins on the material being transported to the Roachdale facility from the East Palestine train spill.

As I indicated in an earlier statement, it was extremely disappointing to learn through a press conference held on Monday, Feb. 27, 2023, confirming that the EPA had chosen Indiana as a location to deposit and remediate the waste from East Palestine, Ohio. This was made after our administration directly conveyed that the materials should go to the nearest facilities, not moved from the far eastern side of Ohio to the far western side of Indiana. As you can expect, I expressed as much to the EPA administrator when we spoke on the phone Tuesday, Feb. 28.

All of us can agree that we should do everything within our control to provide assurance to our communities. This testing is the next necessary step. Since making this decision, we have informed the EPA and the site operator urging them to coordinate closely with this 3rd party laboratory to carry out this important testing. Sampling is scheduled to begin tomorrow, Friday, March 3,” Gov. Holcomb said.