CT DEEP: Ohio train derailment not the cause of sooty residue left on parked cars

DEEP says based on an analysis of wind trajectories from the site of the derailment, it does not believe that to be the cause of the "soot."

News 12 Staff

Feb 17, 2023, 9:07 PM

Updated 466 days ago

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There have been reports of mysterious residue found on parked cars in Connecticut Friday morning.
Along with the dusting, some said there was an odor that was similar to chlorine. 
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection says it has not seen any evidence that the Feb. 3 Ohio train derailment has had any impact on air quality in Connecticut.
DEEP says based on an analysis of wind trajectories from the site of the derailment, it does not believe that to be the cause of the "soot."
The agency says it is aware of local reports regarding "sooty" matter on parked cars but has not been able to determine any singular source, such as a forest fire, power plant or transportation-related emissions.
DEEP says air flows over the past day have followed the I-95 corridor into Connecticut.
One Connecticut resident wondered if there was a link between the odor and the residue, and the incident in Ohio, so he decided to test the pH level of the residue from his car, which had a pH level of 10.5.
"pH 10 is pretty high, so it would not be dissimilar to an ash produced in your fireplace," said Dan May, a biology and environment sciences professor.
May says state agencies are likely monitoring what's going on.
"If there was a hazardous air pollutant in the air that was of immediate danger to life and health, Connecticut's EPA monitoring system would have picked it up," said May.


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