Bartow train derailment investigation not done after more than 2 months

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

BARTOW, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- It's been more than two months since the train derailment in Bartow. Dangerous chemicals leaked into the air and hundreds had to evacuate.

Now we're learning the Federal Railroad Administration's investigation won't end until the fall.

It has been several weeks since a train derailed in the Bartow area and for weeks the people of Bartow have been asking what's going on?

News 12 went to agencies to ask where their investigation stands. They say people shouldn't be concerned but somehow that does not alleviate concerns.

You can find a couple of different noises the area where 39 train cars derailed. The sound of clean up is jarring but it's not nearly as loud when it comes to answers.

“They got really quiet about it too. After their first news conference and stuff. you ain't heard nothing else out of them," said Joan Dey.

Joan Dey lives at the home closest to the site, within a half mile.

"I smell my water now too," said Dey.

She's been skeptical for two months now.

“I'd like to know the actual results, the reading of the air every time they had it tested, the creek too,” said Dey.

The EPA says all their off-site air testing came back negative for contamination and emergency management says about 30,000 gallons of chemicals spilled that day but none of it toxic. Meanwhile, crews today are still cleaning and replacing contaminated soil.

“There's been a lot of days, that I would come on my porch, and couldn't even stay out there, because of the strong chlorine smell. And I just don't trust it," said Dey.

She says it was that way up until three weeks ago. We checked, the final train car was moved on March 15th—only five days ago.

73 days have come and gone and everyone is still waiting on three pending investigations. The FRA, EPA, and Norfolk Southern say they still need more time to clear the grounds and clear the air of confusion.