In early February, the derailment of a train carrying chemicals in East Palestine, Ohio, caused a massive fire and the evacuation of hundreds of people from the area.

The train was carrying, among other things, vinyl chloride, a carcinogenic and highly flammable chemical used in the production of plastic.

The train’s cargo and toxic waste from the firefighting operations contaminated the soil and consequently the water table, causing enormous environmental damage to the area.

The environmental devastation in the region has caused a tremendous upheaval among the citizens while activist Erin Brockovich (played by Julia Roberts in the movie about a similar cause) arrived in Ohio and spoke to the people of East Palestine about the effects of the train derailment.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Norfolk Southern railroad company responsible for the accident will transport most of the contaminated soil to hazardous waste disposal facilities near Houston and Detroit.

“EPA will ensure that all waste is disposed of in a safe and legal manner at EPA-certified facilities to prevent further release of hazardous substances and impacts on communities,” said EPA Administrator Deborah Shore.