EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — It has been four weeks since the Ohio train derailment involving a Norfolk Southern train carrying hazardous materials derailed in East Palestine.
Since the derailment, the small community in Columbiana County has been faced with an unprecedented situation, leaving many residents asking if it is safe to stay inside their homes.
Expanded coverage: Ohio train derailment
Throughout the story below, we explore important dates, moments and events connected to the East Palestine train derailment.
EDITOR'S NOTE: 3News will continue to update this as the situation unfolds.
Friday, Feb. 3: Fiery train derailment
Nearly 50 cars derailed in East Palestine as a train carried various freight from Madison, Illinois, to Conway, Pennsylvania. The derailment prompted an evacuation order and a declaration of a state of emergency in the village as flames covered the area.
Saturday, Feb. 4: State of emergency declared
East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway declared a state of emergency, citing a “train derailment with hazardous materials.” Air quality was being monitored throughout a one-mile zone ordered evacuated.
Sunday, Feb. 5: Remaining residents ordered to evacuate
Ohio. Gov. Mike DeWine issued an "urgent evacuation notice" to anyone who had not yet evacuated within a mile of the train derailment. The warning was issued after a dramatic temperature change was noticed in a rail car in the wreckage of the crash.
Monday, Feb. 6: Crews conduct 'controlled release' of chemicals
After concerns of a potential explosion following the train derailment, officials conducted a "controlled release" of the chemicals inside some of the railroad cars. Many residents were concerned over the presence of vinyl chloride in five of the wrecked rail cars.
- RELATED: Crews conduct 'controlled release' of chemicals amid explosion concerns at train derailment in Columbiana County
- RELATED: Following 'controlled release' of chemicals at Columbiana County train derailment, nearby communities advised to shelter, some schools closed
- RELATED: East Palestine evacuee frustrated with response to train derailment: 'I think they hid things from us'
Tuesday, Feb. 7: Residents remain evacuated from homes
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said that it was unclear when residents would be able to return to their homes following the release and burn of toxic chemicals from the derailed train.
Many residents expressed their concern to 3News about returning home after the controlled release of the chemicals.
- RELATED: 'It's heartbreaking to leave part of your family behind' | East Palestine residents deal with guilt of leaving pets at home during evacuations
- RELATED: East Palestine residents worry about going home, toxic gas from derailment
- RELATED: Residents kept out as air quality checked near site of Ohio train derailment after controlled release of chemicals in Columbiana County
Wednesday, Feb. 8: Evacuation order lifted in East Palestine
Just two days after officials conducted the controlled release, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced during a press conference that the evacuation order had been lifted.
"The safety of the residents affected by the train derailment in East Palestine has been our No. 1 priority throughout," Fire Chief Keith Drabick said. "It is now safe to be in the evacuation area."
During the press conference, NewsNation reporter Evan Lambert was arrested after a live report. Eventually, the charges against Lambert would be dropped.
Despite the evacuation order being lifted, many residents remained concerned and nervous to return home with health concerns being at the top of their minds.
On the same day, a lawsuit was filed against Norfolk Southern Railway as East Palestine plaintiffs seek damages.
- RELATED: Ohio train derailment: Lawsuit filed against Norfolk Southern Railway as East Palestine plaintiffs seek damages
- RELATED: Officials lift evacuation order in East Palestine following train derailment; air quality deemed 'normal'
- RELATED: Citing health concerns, some East Palestine residents nervous to return home after evacuation order lifted
Thursday, Feb. 9: East Palestine officials express frustrations with Norfolk Southern
Less than 24 hours after residents were allowed to return to their homes, officials in Columbiana County held a briefing to express their frustrations.
Friday, Feb. 10: Residents in East Palestine confused over reimbursement payment eligibility
3News' Bri Buckley spoke with many residents who were confused over the eligibility for the inconvenience payments from Norfolk Southern. Two days later, Norfolk Southern told 3News that they would be "providing reimbursements for expenses to any East Palestine resident who evacuated regardless of whether or not they were in the evacuation zone."
Saturday, Feb. 11: Local businesses face consequences
Just over a week after the initial train derailment, many local businesses told 3News how they are financially facing consequences with five days of lost income and payroll.
Despite residents being back in their homes, the East Palestine Police Department warned them of having "at risk" drinking water wells.
Monday, Feb. 13: West Virginia American Water installs secondary intake
West Virginia American Water said that it's going to install a secondary intake on the Guyandotte River in case there's a need to switch to an alternate water source.
Tuesday, Feb. 14: Leaders speak out following train derailment, update on air, water
Ten days after the train derailment, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg broke his silence on the incident. His remarks can be viewed HERE.
On that same day, the NTSB gave an update on the train derailment, pointing to wheel bearing failure as the suspected cause of the crash.
Gov. DeWine provided an update, saying that the air quality levels have remained normal following the controlled release of vinyl chloride. DeWine also called for the charges against the NewsNation reported to be dropped.
- RELATED: Ohio politicians, organizations react to East Palestine train derailment aftermath
- RELATED: NTSB gives update on East Palestine train derailment investigation, points to wheel bearing failure as suspected cause
- RELATED: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says air in East Palestine is safe following train derailment; people in area advised to drink bottled water
- RELATED: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine calls for charges against NewsNation reporter to be dropped, says he's spoken with Ohio National Guard leader involved in arrest
Wednesday, Feb. 15: Yost considers suing Norfolk Southern, town hall meeting held
Many East Palestine residents were angry after Norfolk Southern skipped the town hall meeting due to the "growing physical threat" to their employees. Following the meeting, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced that he was considering suing Norfolk Southern.
Yost also announced the criminal charges against NewsNation's reporter Evan Lambert were dropped one week after being arrested at a press conference.
- RELATED: What we can VERIFY about the East Palestine train derailment
- RELATED: Ohio attorney general drops criminal charges against NewsNation reporter Evan Lambert following arrest in East Palestine
- RELATED: Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost considers suing Norfolk Southern following train derailment
- RELATED: Ohio train derailment: East Palestine residents angry after Norfolk Southern skips town hall meeting
- RELATED: Erin Brockovich calls on Biden Administration to 'step up' following East Palestine trail derailment
- RELATED: Ohio Democratic officials discuss growing concerns after East Palestine train derailment
Thursday, Feb. 16: Gov. DeWine requests federal help
Nearly two weeks after the train derailment, Gov. DeWine requested federal help as well as CDC medical experts to come to East Palestine. The request came after Sen. Sherrod Brown called upon DeWine to seek government support.
Brown as well as Sen. JD Vance and EPA officials visited East Palestine and met with community members to discuss their ongoing concerns.
- RELATED: Senator Sherrod Brown asking Gov. Mike DeWine to declare a disaster, seek federal government support following train derailment in East Palestine
- RELATED: Ohio Democratic officials discuss growing concerns after East Palestine train derailment
- RELATED: West Virginia says drinking water still clear of toxins from East Palestine train derailment
- RELATED: Ohio train derailment: Gov. Mike DeWine requests CDC send medical experts to East Palestine; emergency response teams preparing for rain
- RELATED: EPA officials, senators visit East Palestine following train derailment
- RELATED: 'It's ridiculous': East Palestine residents continue to express anger nearly 2 weeks after train derailment
- RELATED: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine requests federal help amid East Palestine train derailment
Friday. Feb. 17: FEMA sends team to East Palestine, ODH establishes medical clinic
This proved to be a busy day in East Palestine with many new developments and announcements.
Gov. DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health would establish a medical clinic in East Palestine. DeWine also mentioned that the water in the Ohio River was safe following testing.
Later in the day, NTSB confirmed that the Norfolk Southern train traveled in Cleveland before the crash.
Gov. DeWine also announced that FEMA was sending a team to East Palestine to help after FEMA had previously said that East Palestine did not qualify for their assistance.
- RELATED: Ohio train derailment: NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy issues plea to stop spreading misinformation
- RELATED: Ohio Department of Health to establish medical clinic in East Palestine
- RELATED: 'We will not let you down': Norfolk Southern CEO writes message to East Palestine amid ongoing train derailment concerns
- RELATED: 'Residents deserve an answer': Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, state officials give update on situation in East Palestine
- RELATED: Gov. Mike DeWine says testing shows water in Ohio River is safe amid contamination concerns from East Palestine train derailment
- RELATED: Biden Administration announces federal resources for East Palestine train derailment
- RELATED: FEMA reverses course, will send assistance team to East Palestine following train derailment
- RELATED: Ohio train derailment: What to expect as the chemical cleanup begins in East Palestine
- RELATED: NTSB: Train that derailed in East Palestine passed through Cleveland before crash
- RELATED: US Senate committee to hold hearing 'soon' on East Palestine train derailment
Saturday, Feb. 18: Norfolk Southern CEO Visits East Palestine, state officials call upon EPA
Following criticism from residents and political leaders, Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw visited East Palestine "to support the community."
On Saturday, Senators Sherrod Brown and JD Vance called upon the Ohio EPA and U.S. EPA to monitor East Palestine for dioxins.
Beachwood High School also announced they forfeited a girls' basketball playoff game near East Palestine as a result of "health and safety concerns of our administration girls basketball families and coaches."
Sunday, Feb. 19: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg warns Norfolk Southern to support East Palestine
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg sent a letter to the CEO of Norfolk Southern, warning that the freight rail company must “demonstrate unequivocal support for the people” of East Palestine, Ohio, and surrounding areas after a fiery train derailment led to the release of chemicals and residents expressing concerns about their health.
Tuesday, Feb. 21: President Biden speaks out on Norfolk Southern train derailment, officials visit East Palestine
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, President Biden affirmed that it will be up to Norfolk Southern to handle the responsibility of cleaning up the aftermath of the train derailment. EPA also ordered Norfolk Southern to clean up the mess as well on Tuesday.
Biden's tweets came just hours after a busy day in East Palestine. On Tuesday, the Ohio Department of Health and Columbiana County Health Department opened a Health Assessment Clinic for residents.
As many call for U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to visit East Palestine, Buttigieg tells 3News that he is "planning to come" at some point as well.
- RELATED: President Biden on Norfolk Southern derailment responsibility in East Palestine: 'This is their mess. They should clean it up.'
- RELATED: EPA orders Norfolk Southern to clean up aftermath of Ohio train derailment
- RELATED: Health Assessment Clinic opens in East Palestine after train derailment
- RELATED: Ohio train derailment: US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says he plans to visit East Palestine
Wednesday, Feb. 22: Former President Donald Trump visits East Palestine
As the village of East Palestine continues to clean up from the train derailment that took place nearly three weeks ago, former President Donald Trump visited with residents and first responders.
Prior to Trump's arrival, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that he will be visiting East Palestine on Thursday.
- RELATED: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to visit East Palestine following Ohio train derailment
- RELATED: 'You are not forgotten': Former President Donald Trump visits East Palestine after train derailment
- RELATED: Amazon, Coca Cola, Salvation Army among those providing support to East Palestine residents following train derailment
- RELATED: Ohio Department of Health expands services at East Palestine assessment clinic
- RELATED: East Palestine train derailment: River Valley Organizing to host community meeting on Thursday
- RELATED: More class action lawsuits filed against Norfolk Southern following East Palestine train derailment
Thursday, Feb. 23: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visits East Palestine, NTSB releases initial findings
Following Trump's visit, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited the Columbiana County town. During his trip, he toured the train derailment site and spoke with members of the community. Buttigieg said the resiliency and decency of the East Palestine community "has been inspiring."
During a press conference to discuss the initial findings of the train derailment investigation, the NTSB announced that they will hold a 'rare' investigative field hearing in East Palestine this spring.
- RELATED: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visits site of Ohio train derailment: Here's what he had to say
- RELATED: NTSB releases preliminary report on East Palestine train derailment, blames wheel bearing failure for crash
- RELATED: 'I'm angry': East Palestine resident talks with Norfolk Southern CEO in CNN town hall amid Ohio train derailment concerns
- RELATED: Norfolk Southern CEO says company will rip up the tracks, remove soil where chemicals spilled in East Palestine
- RELATED: Ohio train derailment: NTSB to hold 'rare' investigative field hearing in East Palestine
- RELATED: NTSB: No alert for Norfolk Southern train crew until just before derailment in East Palestine
- RELATED: Ohio Department of Natural Resources estimates over 38,000 fish killed following East Palestine train derailment
- RELATED: White House pushes back on criticism of President Biden not visiting train derailment site in East Palestine
- RELATED: Ohio train derailment investigation: Norfolk Southern issues statement after NTSB preliminary report on East Palestine incident
Friday, Feb. 24: Environmental activist Erin Brockovich holds town hall
A week filled with visitors concluded in East Palestine as environmental activist Erin Brockovich hosted a town hall. On Friday, President Biden also ordered that federal agencies begin doing door-to-door checks in the village to see how residents are doing.
- RELATED: Environmental activist Erin Brockovich holds town hall in East Palestine 3 weeks after train derailment
- RELATED: 3News Investigates: Railway experts weigh in on axle inspection after East Palestine train derailment
- RELATED: Ohio train derailment: President Biden orders federal agencies to do door-to-door checks in East Palestine
- RELATED: Ohio train derailment: Researchers raise health concerns due to several toxic chemicals in East Palestine
- RELATED: Gov. Mike DeWine: Ohio is getting help it needs from federal government with East Palestine train derailment
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Saturday, Feb. 25: EPA orders 'pause' of derailment contaminated waste removal
During a press conference with federal, state and local government officials, Debra Shore, the regional administrator for EPA Region 5 announced that waste disposal plans, including disposal location and transportation routes for contaminated waste, will be subject to federal EPA review and approval.
Sunday, Feb. 26: Contamination cleanup
Officials announced the removal of contaminated soil and liquid from the derailment site will resume on Monday, February 27.
Monday, Feb. 27: Update after President Biden's order to check on residents
A White House official says teams from FEMA, the EPA and the CDC had visited approximately 350 hours during the weekend after President Biden ordered the door-to-door checks late last week.
FEMA, meanwhile, will also hold daily press conferences to provide updates on the East Palestine situation.
Tuesday, Feb. 28: Grafton prepares for toxic waste from East Palestine
Residents in Lorain County expressed their worries to 3News as it has been chosen as one of the four places to dispose of toxic waste from the train derailment.
Meanwhile, EPA Administrator Michael Regan visited East Palestine again and held a roundtable discussion with teachers and students at the high school.
Wednesday, March 1: Cleanup efforts continue
As many individuals clean up the site of the train derailment, a rail union leader says many of the Norfolk Southern workers have fallen ill.
Additionally, lawmakers united on Wednesday to introduce bipartisan legislation, which would increase safety on railroads following this incident.
Thursday, March 2: Erin Brockovich returns, residents express frustration
Environmental activist Erin Brockovich returned to East Palestine on Thursday, where she met with residents and spoke at a town hall.
Residents joined Brockovich during a press conference expressing their frustrations and fears as they call on officials to give them answers.
- RELATED: Residents voice frustrations to environmental activist Erin Brockovich at town hall in East Palestine
- RELATED: Angry East Palestine residents confront Norfolk Southern over health fears
- RELATED: Ohio train derailment hazardous waste disposal: East Liverpool residents express concerns
- RELATED: President Biden plans to visit site of East Palestine train derailment 'at some point'
- RELATED: Ohio train derailment: EPA requiring Norfolk Southern to test for dioxins in East Palestine
Friday, March 3: One month since the train derailment
It has been one month since the train derailment in East Palestine. 3News' Emma Henderson looked at the health impacts of the derailment and spoke with residents who expressed concerns.
Saturday, March 4: "We should be telling them how we want our town fixed"
An East Palestine resident spoke with 3News regarding his ongoing frustration with Norfolk Southern and the amount of control it appears they have with the subsequent cleanup.
Just over one month after the train derailment, another Norfolk Southern train derailed in Springfield Ohio, marking the company's second train derailment in Ohio since Feb. 3.
Sunday, March 5: Updates after train derailment in Springfield, Ohio
According to an update posted on Clark County's official Facebook page Sunday morning, "There is no indication of any injuries or risk to public health at this time."
The update also said that crews from Norfolk Southern, the county hazmat team and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency each examined the site and found "no evidence of spillage."
In a press conference on Sunday, Ohio EPA Director Anne Vogel said that one PVC pellet car has affected the soil. EPA plans to remain on site as Norfolk Southern removes the derailed cars to ensure that the soil under the ground is not impacted.
Monday, March 6: Norfolk Southern announces six-point safety plan
You can see full details of their six-point plan HERE.
The EPA also announced that Norfolk Southern has agreed to provide additional financial assistance to impacted residents. You can see what they're offering HERE.
Tuesday, March 7: Deadly incident in Cleveland
Unrelated to the derailment in East Palestine, a Norfolk Southern conductor was killed early this morning after a collision involving a dump truck and train in Cleveland. We're following the latest updates HERE.
Following the incident, the NTSB opened a special investigation into Norfolk Southern's safety practices and culture following Ohio train derailments.
Wednesday, March 8: First responders training center announced
Gov. Mike DeWine and Norfolk Southern announced that they are creating a first responders training center in Ohio following the recent train derailments. A team of attorneys also held a meeting for residents in East Palestine.
Thursday, March 9: Norfolk Southern CEO Alan Shaw testifies at Senate committee
Norfolk Southern's CEO apologized before Congress on Thursday and pledged to help East Palestine residents. Democrats and Republicans grilled Alan Shaw on specific questions, including the health of residents. Read full remarks from the hearing HERE.
In East Palestine, leaders from the Ohio Department of Agriculture met with farmers to learn the impacts they are facing following the train derailment.
Friday, March 10: Frustration continues
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine expressed his frustration after the removal of solid waste from the toxic train derailment in East Palestine seems to have come to a halt.
Monday, March 13: Scammers target East Palestine residents
Officials issued a warning to alert East Palestine residents of door-to-door scammers who are impersonating employees from the CDC and Norfolk Southern.
Tuesday, March 14: Ohio files lawsuit
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announces a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern.