apathyEndsNow OP t1_j8x70c3 wrote

You are absolutely correct. However, in order to model the potential plume transport, I specified a persistent chemical to represent the mix. Excluding deposition (both wet and dry) and complex chemical interactions, this model shows where the atmosphere may have transported the plume during the dispersion process. It's not perfect, but it does provide insight into who may have been affected downwind of the chemical disaster.

HYSPLIT does provide the ability to specify deposition if you check out the model for yourself, but I didn't feel that there was enough information to specify that variable. Thanks for your scientific inquiry; hopefully government officials release an official dispersion map at some point.


apathyEndsNow OP t1_j8x027p wrote

I used the web-based interface to generate this model (using NOAA's servers). You can run it yourself here or install the software locally on your computer. https://www.ready.noaa.gov/HYSPLIT.php


apathyEndsNow OP t1_j8u0j56 wrote

The plumes were apparently made up mix of impartially burnt Vinyl chloride, Ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, Butyl acrylate, Ethylhexyl acrylate, and Isobutylene [source]. The interaction between the byproducts of combustion and the atmosphere are a huge mystery without additional information. Unfortunately, Northfolk Southern, the EPA, and local authorities haven't exactly been transparent about cleanup operations. The fact that local authorities were performing open burns in trenches only complicated the matter.

Also, Due to poor air quality weather conditions (subsidence inversion), the plume of toxic chemicals were not able to "go far up into the sky". Look at any done photos or ground footage and you'll say that the pollution was trapped in the low levels of the atmosphere (close to the ground). That deck of stratus clouds already indicated a stable layer of the atmosphere preventing pollution escape into the upper troposphere.

Lastly, your argument regarding power plants emitting SO2 is irrelevant, especially since the EPA mandates scubbers within their smokestacks. Would you want these chemicals from East Palestine dispersed anywhere close to your home?


apathyEndsNow OP t1_j8sql1q wrote

This simulation depicts the steady release of a million pounds of persistent chemical from East Palestine, Ohio. The model was initialized to start around 02Z on February 4th (9PM EST 2/3/23), since the crash site was reportedly on fire after the derailment. According, to AP News, the controlled burn of vinyl chloride started on Monday, February 6th. Consequently, this would have been when the largest plume was likely emitted towards Western Pennsylvania.

HYSPLIT was the same model used by the National Weather Service to assist in evacuations of East Palestine, Ohio [Source]. Please do not harass me to remove this post for not being a perfect chemical model. If you don't like this post, downvote it and run your own model simulation. I'm only posting this since there are reports of folks getting sick tens of miles away from East Palestine, Ohio.

Please don't focus on the exact concentrations of chemical, especially since the EPA has reportedly found additional toxic substances burning at the site (ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate, and isobutylene). The main focus should be on the potential threat that trace amounts of carcinogens may have been dispersed far away from East Palestine, Ohio.

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